When the idea of Community Theatre began, Sarasota was a small town with a population of 8,000 which grew by 5,000 visitors in the winter months. Fanneal Harrison and Catherine Gavin, owners of the Out-Of-Door School, were looking for activities which would interest its faculty. Finding that theatre was at the top of the list, they gathered a group of friends to discuss the possibility of starting one.
In 1929 the new theatre became a reality and The Sarasota Players moved into a real theatre of its own at the corner of north Tamiami Trail and 9th Street. Built of pecky cypress, it had 246 seats, a lobby with a welcoming fireplace, a large, deep stage and complete lighting system. They began with 256 members who contributed just $2 each for subscriptions.
In the early 70’s the current building went up in its place, with a seating capacity of almost 500. In 2000 the building got new stage and auditorium lighting, updated air-conditioning, sound and acoustical upgrades, new curtains, flooring, new roof, exterior doors, a refurbished rail system, exterior and interior painting, and new landscaping.