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Engle Lane Theater Endowment Fund

Engle Lane Theater Endowment Fund

Community Players of Streator, Inc. evolved from a small group of people who "simply wanted to put on a play", according to Donna Peterson. In 1958, Mrs. Peterson, a drama instructor at Streator High School, heard that a local man shared that dream of hers to establish a community theatre in Streator. Kes Pollack was program director for WIZZ radio and the two meabout just in the lobby of the radio station to discuss plans and ideas. The project quickly began to turn into an exciting reality as the two contacted others who shared their interest in the theatre. 

Through the eagerness of many volunteers, the space formerly occupied by a warehouse became Engle Lane Theatre, Because of Mrs. Constance Engle's generosity in 1960, this simple warehouse was donated to Community Players, Inc. and since has been converted into a comfortable, well-equipped theatre which seats 247. Mrs. Peterson and Mr. Pollack first contacted Dr. William C. Schiffbauer, who ultimately became a driving force for Engle Lane theatre. His background in musical theatre performance and strong support of local offerings made him a prime candidate for the group. He became president of Community Players, Inc. in 1960 and held that position until his death in 1987. His guidance and enthusiasm helped put Engle Lane on the map in community theatre. 

The theatre now stands as a living tribute to Dr. Schiffbauer when in 1989 the board of directors initiated the theatre name of "The William C. Schiffbauer Center for the Performing Arts at Engle Lane". Hundreds of people have also contributed to Engle Lane's success over the years. From designers of sets, costumes, makeup and lighting, to the crews that have served behind the curtains, to board members, directors, staff and performers, all have given themselves unconditionally to this cause of putting on a play. People who have walked across the stage are now doctors, lawyers and professional people. Many children in 1960 can now recall their stage debut to this theatre, and while the list is endless, one thing ties it all together. 

Once inside the doors of Engle Lane, everyone is part of a team with the shared goal of doing their very best. While they work diligently, they receive no monetary compensation. Their reward comes in the form of applause, making the dance steps, memorization of lines and hours of preparation all worth it. The success of Engle Lane is due to many factors, among them a very important audience. People have financially supported the theatre and have been faithful in attendance. These people have given many dollars to the theatre as well as a distinguished group whose donations helped pay off the mortgage in 1988. 

We have established the Engle Lane Endowment Fund to ensure that the show will go on forever! We appreciate your generosity and support of this valuable and significant live community theatre! For more information, visit

Committed to you and your future.

Community foundations exist to meet the philanthropic needs of the community and the philanthropic desires of local donors. When we connect those two, wonderful things happen to enhance the quality of life for all of us.​

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