In the middle of the 1960's a group of people dedicated to the theater and with the mission of bringing quality entertainment to the fledgling community of Bowie founded the Belair Community Theatre.
Sets were painted and stored in member garages, rehearsals were held in still empty stores in the small Belair Shopping Center and sound and light boards were transported back and forth to the venues for every performance.
Performing first in the local Bowie elementary schools and later in the multipurpose room of the (then) newly constructed Bowie High School, the troupe quickly won a following in the community. Subsequently, we made a favorable arrangement to perform at the D.A.V. Hall on Rt. 197. We were now performing cabaret style.
However, the Belair Community Theatre still needed a home of its own. And so it was that the "Arts Center," after many years of consideration, was constructed by the City of Bowie. Completed November 19, 1976, the Center was dedicated by Mayor Audrey Scott, a former member of the Prince George's County Council.
Musicomedy Productions of Bowie inaugurated the new facility with a concert performance of "Carousel." The Belair Community Theatre's production of "Lysistrata" was performed the following summer.
The Belair Community Theatre was incorporated on February 16, 1967. On October 5, the name was changed to the Bowie Community Theatre to give the organization a Bowie identity.
The Arts Center later became known as the Theater in the Woods because of its bucolic setting. However, after years of answering the question "where do you perform in inclement weather?" the BCT Board of Directors in conjunction with the other companies sharing the venue petitioned the Bowie City Council to change the theatre's name to "The Bowie Playhouse."
Over the years Bowie Community Theatre, or BCT, has expanded its repertoire considerably, recently expanding offerings past the traditional dramas, comedies and murder mysteries to include more contemporary and thought-provoking work, which has been recognized by the WATCH awards and the British Embassy's prestigious Ruby Griffith awards.