Polo Area Community Theatre's mission is to offer live theatre experiences for members of the community of all ages as spectators and participants, to enrich culture and life in the rural community of Polo, Illinois and the surrounding areas.
Since December 2006, PACT has performed 3-4 shows per year using talent from Polo and the surrounding area. PACT stages its productions in the historic Polo Town Hall using a number of very talented local volunteers. Please contact us or come to one of our shows if you would like to be involved with our community theatre!
When Kristin DuBois, Artistic Director of Polo Area Community Theatre, moved to the area in 2004, she began looking around for a community theatre to become involved with, especially with a focus on children. She was unable find one at the time, at least a theatre that was doing big shows that had parts for children as well as for adults. When Kristin realized that there was a need to be filled, she started to think of creating such a theatre group.
How fortunate for Polo and the surrounding area, that Kristin brought with her the experience of having been Chairman of a children’s theatre branch where she had been living in Pennsylvania. She, with Dave Dahl, went before the Polo Economic Development Corporation and presented the idea of a community theatre for Polo. The PEDC approved a small budget for them to put on a show immediately.
Luckily, the first step, finding a location to put on a production came fairly easily. Kristin’s daughter, Miranda was taking dance from Janet Wilkin in the old Polo Town Hall. After getting in touch with the Township Supervisor, PACT received permission to rent the theatre. The stage itself was being used as storage. It needed cleaned and fresh paint. Not to mention the putting together of a production from scratch, no tech, set pieces, etc. PACT’s founders felt it was crazy to be taking on such a huge project, but to look at the organization now, they are quite grateful that they took that leap of faith.
"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" was the first production performed by PACT. Chaos ensued, including a terrible snowstorm one of the nights and an actor that got stuck in Chicago due to it... It was stressful, however, that show holds a special place in our Artistic Director’s heart. Because of that, PACT reprises the show every five years.
PACT continued to get a budget until the point where they could become incorporated on their own. They went on to do "Godspell" (another favorite), "Clue," which was done as an interesting dinner theatre that people are still talking about, and "Hyronomous A. Frog." Kristin’s philosophy was and still is that she wouldn’t do a show if God didn’t bless it, and He did and He has continued to do so.
As of 2015, ten years has passed since that first show that started this group. When thinking of the future and what the next ten years may bring, the future is bright and the dreams are big. One such dream is of PACT owning their own building, with the equipment and facilities available to support this vibrant, growing group.
PACT houses its productions in the Polo Town Hall which is currently owned and operated by the Buffalo Township supervisors.
Previously known as the Polo Opera House, its grand opening was held on April 12th, 1888. The Opera House could seat about 900 people. Since that time it has known its ups and downs, including the sad event when the beautiful brick facade was torn off the front of the building to provide more office space and a more "modern" look. By the 1980s, the ceiling was lowered in an effort to reduce heating costs but at the expense of reducing the proscenium size and use of the balcony.
The Polo Town Hall, however, remains a building of enormous historical value to the town of Polo. The basement dining hall is still used for community gatherings and PACT's dinner theatres. In 2007 and 2009, new tin roofs were installed which will help to preserve the building and contents therein.