Since 1954, the Actors' Guild of Parkersburg has been providing quality theatre programming for the community. Longtime Guild supporters Tom and Suzanne Bayley wanted to help ensure that the organization would continue to thrive in the future, so they created the Actors' Guild of Parkersburg, Inc., Preservation Fund to support the preservation, maintenance, repair, and improvement of the theatre property. Research conducted by the Guild when renovating their present theatre showed that it is more difficult to raise funds for capital needs than for programming needs. In establishing this fund at the Foundation, the Bayley's goal was to give the Guild a "safety net" to help maintain their physical plant, now and in the future.
A successful attorney, Mr. Bayley was a Senior Partner in the firm of Burk and Bayley. Active in a wide variety of charitable organizations, he played a significant role in the development of charters for the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, the Actors' Guild, and the Blennerhassett Historical Foundation. Mr. Bayley was a former President of the Parkersburg Country Club and a City Attorney for Williamstown for many years, and he was listed in Who's Who in American Law and the World.
Mrs. Bayley also was active in community organizations, including the Junior League of Parkersburg and the Children's Theatre Bureau. She also helped to found ARTSBRIDGE, served as Executive Director for the opening of "Eden on the River," and has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Banquet of WEALTH and Finch College, NY. Mrs. Bayley began her involvement with the Guild by directing and acting in plays. She helped to raise funds for the renovation of the current theatre, located at Eight and Market Streets, which was acquired in the 1970s. She helped design renovations for this facility and worked on an ongoing basis to secure funding for various upgrades.
Founded in 1954, the Actors' Guild is primarily a volunteer organization. Other than a paid manager and superintendent, all other positions are volunteer. The Guild presents at least five shows a year on a season ticket, as well as one or two other shows, such as a dinner theatre or a youth program. The Guild has been a recipient of many state and regional awards for outstanding acting and directing. Many of these award winning actors and directors have been trained by the Guild. Others participate while studying theatre at area colleges, while others come to the Guild with community theatre experience from different areas.