The Community Theatre League runs on volunteerism.
But that doesn't mean this Williamsport-based organization which puts on plays and other productions doesn't offer top-notch work that rivals many professional groups.
"We are in our 36th season," said Andree Phillips, a founder and board president of the group. "That is a significant thing with the Community Theatre. We have been doing this thing a long time. We think we are pretty good at it."
In a city that offers a plethora of arts and entertainment, the Community Theatre more than holds its own, she said.
The board, the volunteers acting and working on productions and the community itself all work together to make it happen.
Phillips recalled the early days of the Community Theatre when productions were staged throughout the city, wherever adequate space could be found.
"We had our first meeting in my living room in 1976. Before we had the Community Theatre League, we were the St. Boniface Players."
Among the venues in those earlier days was the former Jehovah's Witness building at 1131 Washington Blvd.
Up to the plate stepped the Williamsport Foundation which in collaboration with the chamber of commerce secured money enabling the organization to move in 1999 to its present home at the McDade Trade & Transit Centre, 100 W. Third St.
"It's a great location for us," Phillips said.
Each year, the Community Theatre offers more than a dozen shows including concerts and children's productions.
With so much talent, it's not surprising that directors can be found for specific plays.
"It's fun," Phillips said. "One of the things I like best is it's a wonderful group of people."
Through the years, she's seen children of those originally involved with the Community Theatre become active in the organization.
And everyone is a volunteer.
"I think when people volunteer for CTL they do it for different reasons," said Jacque Engel, youth programs coordinator. "Many want to support the arts. Many do it for fun."
Many volunteers are heavily involved, while others might just work with a single production now and then.
It's really up to the individual.
"Some people just serve as ushers," Engel said.
As the recently hired executive director, Leah Borow is one of the Community Theatre's very few paid employees.
A native of Lycoming County, she moved back to the area from Missoula, Mont. excited about the prospect of working for the organization.
"The organization is growing, and I wanted to be part of it," said Engel, who most recently worked for a nonprofit network in Montana.
But there's more to Community Theatre than what the public sees on stage.
Every summer, some 200 children take part in theatre camp to learn about the ins and out of theatre.
Phillips said there's little question that the less than robust economy has made it challenging to bring live theatre and other productions.
Many theatres are closing. We are fortunate," she said.
By keeping budgets tight and having a "a very hands-on board" the organization continues to flourish - in both good times and bad times.
"I think it's great, and I think it's just onward and upward," said Borow.
Added Engel: "We are able to offer entertainment that can't be found anywhere else around here. And it's affordable."