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Yesterday in La Crosse

Did students still want to see plays? The question, 56 years ago

Brad Williams



In April of 1963, the La Crosse State campus newspaper, the Racquet, reported on a rumor that the speech department was only planning to stage two plays a year, instead of the usual three. The paper asked ‘Do most students on this campus want to see plays?’ Within a few years, the college expanded its theatre schedule to four major plays a year, and now, it also does a ‘Summerstage’ musical.

La Crosse’s newly-formed Community Theatre was getting ready for its very first production, opening in May of ’63. It was the comedy ‘The Matchmaker,’ which would soon be turned into the Broadway musical ‘Hello, Dolly.’ The play was performed at Longfellow Junior High School, and the community theatre would not get its own building until 1968.

Tall girls in town were told to ‘look ahead’ to summer in a newspaper ad. Estel Tall Fashions, across from the Cathedral, said the tall ladies should choose a swimsuit soon…maybe as soon as April, 1963, yesterday in La Crosse.

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