TCT was founded in 1968 by John and Barbara King along with a host of other generous volunteers.
For many years TCT produced several shows a year at Wells Auditorium. When the Wells campus closed, TCT moved into rented quarters at Tehachapi Academy of Performing Arts on Valley Blvd, producing up to 10 shows a year in a space noted for its intimacy.
Having outgrown our space at TAPA, TCT set out to find a new home, while producing shows in a variety of locations, from the Stallion Springs Community Center, to Mama Hillybean’s Coffee House to Jacobsen Middle School.
The City of Tehachapi had been trying for years to rebuild and re-purpose the burned-out shell of the BeeKay Theatre site at 110 S. Green St. After many proposals had failed, the City's then-mayor Deborah Hand went on-line and asked community members for ideas. The community's response was overwhelmingly in favor of a legitimate theatre. Mayor Hand and the city management team brought to TCT's board a proposal for a partnership.
While TCT embarked on what was a massive fundraising campaign for a small organization, the City combined a California Parks grant and redevelopment funds to recreate the structure of the old building. TCT was responsible to "build a theatre inside the vanilla box," including a box office, technical booth, carpeting, tile, chandeliers, sconces, all stage lighting and sound equipment, chairs, risers, and draperies.
David Reed and Doug Jockinsen accomplished this task beautifully. In exchange for a long-term, rent-free lease, TCT manages the building on the City’s behalf and assumes responsibility for all operating, utility, maintenance and insurance costs. Part of TCT's commitment to the City of Tehachapi is to make the BeeKay Theatre available to other community users.
In addition to four main stage productions, children's and teen shows and Blackbox Studio Productions, TCT rents the theatre to producers of stand up comedy, films, concerts and stage shows.
The partnership benefits the City by bringing crowds into the business core, and the public benefits from a wide variety of cultural activities, all the while remaining budget neutral for the taxpayers.
At long last TCT has a full-time home, and the City of Tehachapi will have a legitimate theatre open for a wide variety of events.
The BeeKay Theatre opened its doors in December of 2008 and is available for rentals.