The South Carolina Theatre Association was founded on September 23, 1967, in a meeting held at the Holiday Inn in Greenwood, South Carolina. The meeting had been called by Donald McKellar and Philip Hill, acting at the behest of the Southeastern Theatre Conference. SETC, anxious to create a statewide theatre organization in each of its ten states, had appointed state representatives in those states not already so organized, including Hill in South Carolina. Hill prepared and sent a letter of invitation to identifiable theatres throughout the state, and McKellar provided a meeting site and presided at the organizational meeting. The thirty delegates present, representative of community and educational theatres in all parts of the state, concurred in the need for an organization and voted to constitute itself into such an association. A committee was appointed to draw up a constitution, and officers were elected. They included Donald McKellar as President, Philip Hill as Vice-President, Betty Hudgens as Secretary, and Gene Eaker as Treasurer. It was agreed to hold the first annual convention in Columbia on January 20, 1968, with Town Theatre as the host. That theatre’s director, John Bitterman, had booked Margaret Webster for that date, and her performance became a key element of the program.
The constitution and bylaws were formally adopted at that January meeting, and a pattern was established of a winter annual convention. The 1972 convention was moved to November, 1971, to avoid conflicting with the SETC convention held in Columbia in March, 1972, and the SCTA convention was permanently moved to the fall beginning in 1975 — resulting in two 1975 conventions. A complete list of the conventions to date follows this section.
SCTA maintains a fairly complete set of archives for its entire history to date. Those archives are deposited in the Special Collections section of James B. Duke Library at Furman University, where they will remain permanently available to anyone needing access to them. Simply inquire at the circulation desk, and follow directions to the Special Collections section of the library.