Bette and Ed Swanson worked with a group of Bellevue residents in the 1960's to establish a theatre group. Early productions were 'traveling' and were done for various groups in Bellevue and other towns. The old Bellevue Queen was one of the local locations which hosted the group. Both Bette and Ed appeared in these productions and both loved being onstage---and both were talented actors and singers.
Bette was working for Phillips Dept. stores at the time, so her behind the scenes work was limited, but as soon as she retired she became active with the BLT board of directors and served for several years as president. After relinquishing that title, she turned to fund raising and would go anywhere to speak for the BLT---and her efforts were frequently rewarded. She planned a 'Celebrity Auction' in the nineties, and memorabilia was collected from numerous celebrities and auctioned off at the BLT.
Bette produced many shows for BLT---most of them were musicals. She was a tough task master, and held the budgets in check---but her casts loved and respected her, as did the directors with whom she worked.
Bette retired from producing several years ago, and turned her talents to group sales and various other board tasks. She was usually present at opening night, holding court and greeting those who arrived to see the show.
Her last appearance 'onstage' was at the 50th Anniversary Celebration.
“Community theatre becomes a reality........ In March of 1968 Bellevue Little Theatre was organized by people interested in promoting the magic of live drama as a contribution to cultural advancement in our city. That group of citizens strongly felt that Bellevue would react enthusiastically to such a project which would offer educational as well as entertainment value.”
The reception over the past 50 years has been very favorable, and therefore the Bellevue Little Theatre would like to dedicate its 50th season to all the community members who have helped over the years. Since there are too many names to list, we have this page to pay tribute to all those who have helped by being on the board of directors, worked backstage, been on stage and/or been a presence in our theater’s history. Please take a moment to provide those names and the effort they gave.
For many years The Bellevue Little Theater has enjoyed making our patrons Laugh and Cry, Embrace and Rejoice. We thank you for that opportunity and hope to be entertaining you for many years to come.