The 1980’s brought big changes to Theatre IV. While producing many more theatre classics including Oklahoma, The King and I, Peter Pan, Fiddler on the Roof and Grease, an effort was made to find a permanent production space. The first of two was The Eagle Theatre in downtown Pontiac. Both Oklahoma and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum were produced at The Eagle in 1980. The next venue was The Masonic Theatre, also in downtown Pontiac. That theater was our home from 1981’s production of The Odd Couple until 1985’s Godspell. The Masonic Theatre was then sold, and Theatre IV returned to its roots using the venues of The School District of the City of Pontiac as primary performing spaces, a relationship that continues to this day.
The 1980’s also saw the production of Theatre IV’s highest attended production in its history. The 1988 production Annie saw a total attendance of 2079 for four performances. This is the sole Theatre IV production for which records exist where the 2000 attendance mark was achieved. The 1988-89 season also marked other major changes in the group.
As happens with all groups in any volunteer endeavor, some participants move on to other interests or jobs and family responsibilities change. Whatever the case, there was a turnover in the group after the 1988-89 season. Many members, with two or three major exceptions, moved away from Theatre IV and a new members moved in to fill the positions. The newest board of directors also made a major shift in types of shows to be produced. Up until that time, Theatre IV had been primarily known as a producer of musicals. With the 1990-91 season, straight shows and children’s shows were added to the season formats. This expanded our membership to non-singers as well as singers.