The Bristol Theatre Company was founded in 1983 as the Bristol High School Alumni Theatre Company. The new Company’s first shows, FUNNY GIRL and ANYTHING GOES, were performed at The Bristol High School Auditorium in the summers of 1983 and 1984. In 1985, the name was changed to The Bristol Summer Theatre Company. That year's show was an original cabaret – BACKSTAGE-A MUSICAL REVIEW – and was staged at St. Elizabeth’s Church Social Room.
“The Barn” at Roger Williams University opened in 1986 and became a home to the Bristol Summer Theatre Company. BSTC performed DAMES AT SEA in 1986 and the Company’s first non-musical production, SEVEN KEYS TO BALPATE in 1987 followed by an adaptation of Dylan Thomas’ A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES in December 1988.
In the spring of 1989, the Company formally changed its name to The Bristol Theatre Company [BTC].
From 1989 until 2005, BTC produced a show every August at The Barn (which became known as the Roger Williams University Performing Arts Center.) These productions included OLIVER, ON THE RAZZLE, CAMELOT, HEAVEN CAN WAIT, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, FORUM, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, CABARET, and KISS ME KATE. In 2006, BTC produced CATS at Mount Hope High School. BTC returned to RWU with another production of JOSEPH in 2007, followed by a two-actor show, LOVE LETTERS, in February of 2008, and a summer production of WILLIE WONKA, JR. The play FOOLS, was performed in 2009, and ALICE IN WONDERLAND, JR. in 2010.
In 2011, ANNIE JR. was performed at Mount Hope High School, followed by CHILDREN OF EDEN in 2012.
In December of 2012 BTC presented the first of 4 annual productions of A CHRISTMAS CAROL – A PLAY WITH MUSIC.
THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE was performed at Kickemuit Middle School in 2013. That same year there were 3 cabarets: SWEET INDULGENCE at Linden Place; DISNEY UNDER THE STARS at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Aboretum; and FROM BACK TO THE FUTURE – A COMPILATION OF BROADWAY HITS at Franklin Court.
In August of 2013 BTC presented BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR. at Mount Hope High School.
Late in 2013, Bristol Theatre Company finally found a permanent home at the old Reynolds School in downtown Bristol and became a founding partner of the Arts in Common collaborative.
January 2014 - A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (in conjunction with Caron Productions)
March 2014 - HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD Cabaret
April 2014 - ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
August 2014 - Disney's HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL
December 2014 - A CHRISTMAS CAROL - A Play with Music
May 2015 - KIDS ON BROADWAY Cabaret
August 2015 - SHREK Jr.
December 2015 - A CHRISTMAS CAROL
June 2016 - VINYLS: A Musical Revue
August 2016 - SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL
December 2016 - A GOOD OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR
March 2017 - URINETOWN THE MUSICAL
August 2017 - JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH Jr.
December 2017 - TINSEL & TALES
March 2018 - THE DROWSY CHAPERONE
August 2018 - ELF, The Musical, Jr.
November 2018 - THE WHO'S TOMMY
December 2018 - IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, A LIVE RADIO PLAY
The Drowsy Chaperone, March 2018
A Christmas Carol December 2015
Urinetown The Musical March 2017
Shrek Jr. August 2015
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
In conjunction with Caron Productions, January 2014