Most theatre in the Sierra Nevada foothills is grassroots-produced, but wonderfully professional performances are often the result. Amazingly high-end theatre professionals have chosen to make the Gold Country home and often give their time to local productions. Often, theatre celebrates the heritage of the region, with melodrama performances following Gold Rush themes.

During the Gold Rush itself, entertainment was less than perfect and often abysmal. Here are a few humorous vignettes from that time.

The Foothill Theatre Company in Nevada City is a vigorous, talented bunch of folks producing some first-rate entertainment.

Upbeat comedies and musicals are the forte at Off Broadstreet Theatre in Nevada City.

Imagination Theater is a non-profit theatre based in Placerville.

Coloma features the long-playing Melodrama Theater, Olde Coloma Theatre at 380 Monument Blvd. in Coloma, Phone: (530) 626-5282.

In Sutter Creek, Main Street Theatre Works offers a beautiful Art Deco venue for the performing arts. The theatre can be reached at: 209 267-1590.

In nearby Volcano, the Volcano Theatre Company is known for its original presentations.

Two theatres present performances in Murphys: the Black Bart Playhouse ([209] 785-7726), and the Murphys Creek Theatre, dedicated to high-quality performances.

Tuolumne County features four live theatres: The Fallon House Theatre in Columbia (209) 532-3120 or 532-4644; The Stage 3 Theatre Company in Sonora (209) 586-1778; The Mountain Actor's Conservatory (M.A.C.) in Sonora, or the Holman Foundry Playhouse at (209) 532-3120. Sonora's oldest live theatre, Sierra Repertory Theatre (S.R.T.) can be reached at (209) 532-3120.

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