In 1967, a PTA group at Vanderveer Elementary School in Somerville started a thespian troupe. The curtain went up on the Somerset Valley Players (SVP). This group of volunteers put on one production a year in the beginning. That number increased to three shows including a musical. Guys and Dolls was the first musical produced in 1971. It was a huge success.
SVP moved from the Elementary to the Middle School. After a few years, they moved to Somerville High School, where they were very happy for many years. SVP had a great deal of storage at the school and did their rehearsing at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Thoughts of having their own home where a distant reality.
Next the theater troupe had moved their belongings to the Veteran’s Depot with the help of a benefactor. SVP staged their shows at Somerset Vo-Tech. The search for a home began. One show went on the boards at Hillsborough High School, but because of the expense they were back at Vo-Tech.
At last, after a long search and many temporary homes, SVP purchased the one room schoolhouse on Amwell Road in 1980. With all of their props, scenery, furniture and costumes, they moved into their new home. Over the next five long years, members spent countless hours of renovating.
In January of 1985, to a full house, SVP opened the doors of the Somerset Valley Playhouse. The show was Guys and Dolls. And the rest, as they say, is history…