Information on:

Playcrafters Barn Theatre

Playcrafters Barn Theatre
4950 35th Avenue


Playcrafters history traces it's roots back to the office of Mel Hodges, Director of the Rock Island Illinois Playground and Recreation Commission in the 1920's, and a group known as Marshall Dramatics. Several theatre enthusiasts in the Quad Cities area of Western Illinois (Rock Island, Moline) and Eastern Iowa (Davenport, Bettendorf) had formed groups to quench their thirst for theatre by meeting to read plays.

In 1929 these enthusiasts banded together to stage their own shows under the name conceived by Hodges - Playcrafters.

Despite the onset of the depression, Playcrafters pioneers performed three shows a year in whatever facility they could get their hands on, often paying for locales and scripts with money out of their own pockets. Tickets were only 25 and 35 cents, and if people didn't have the money for tickets, Playcrafters let them in free.

For it's first 30 years Playcrafters we're reminiscent of a wandering band of minstrels, as venues varied from show to show. Performances were held on outdoor stages, in Audubon School, in the old Fort Theater (now Circa 21), at the old Pronger's Restaurant in Davenport, Iowa, in the Terrace Room of the old Plantation, and at the old Tower Restaurant in Moline, Illinois before the little theater of Rock Island High School became a semi-permanent home.

Sets or flats were constructed in Henry Carlson's Rock Island garage and in members basements, then carted along with lights, and props to wherever that nights production would be held.

Playcrafters Barn Theatre is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media