In 1973, artist Zaro Weil and educator Lynn Rubright both felt that impulse. What they made up was Metro Theater Company.*
Zaro and Lynn met in the early 1970s at an improvisational theater workshop. At the time, Zaro was studying theater at Webster University, and Lynn was teaching fourth, fifth, and sixth graders in Kirkwood. Both women were interested in creative drama.
To explore their shared interest, Zaro visited Lynn’s class once a week, where she led the students in activities that included movement, improvisation, music,and drama. After a year, Zaro convinced Lynn to give up classroom teaching so that together they could start a professional touring theater for young people.
Zaro and Lynn gathered a diverse group of artists and played around with ideas. Young people were the inspiration and intended audience. What developed was not strictly theater, but a distinctive blend of drama, music, storytelling, and dance. School principals were invited to see the result, and they invited Zaro and Lynn to bring their performances to schools.
In nearly four decades, Metro Theater Company has toured nearly 40 productions – over 30 of them original works – to 41 states, as well as to Canada, Italy, Japan, and Taiwan. Two million people across the country and around the world have seen our work. We still make theater, and we still tour, now primarily throughout the St. Louis metropolitan region, as well as outlying communities in Missouri and southern Illinois.
Like Zaro and Lynn, we continue to be both artists and educators. Nurturing creative learning remains a key purpose of our work, and our educational programs have evolved considerably over the last decade to serve that purpose. Our mission thrives particularly in schools, though we are delighted to go wherever there are young people to greet us!
* Originally, we were known as Metro Theater Circus; we changed our name to Metro Theater Company in 1992.