Francisco Center for the Performing Arts

The Spoon River Players performed its first play, The Silver Whistle, on July 31, 1976 in an old, 1892 Presbyterian church on Francisco Street.

William H. Adamson built the white, wooden church for $1,200. It initially contained two rooms, a 38-foot by 40-foot audience room, and a second 16-foot by 22-foot room. In 1893, the Church boasted a membership of 35 souls.

Between 1976 and 1981, the Spoon Rivers Players used the old church for plays with little modification to the facility. In fact, during the first five years, they heated the theater using wood stoves to allow for winter productions.

Cool fact: La Veta’s high school drama teacher, Robert W. Johnson, started the Spoon River Players, which debuted with the production of Edgar Lee Master’s The Spoon River Anthology.

In the early 1970s, the Presbyterian church signed the structure over to the town of La Veta for use by the Francisco Fort Museum. Following a 1981 lease agreement between the Francisco Fort Museum and the Spoon Rivers Players, the Francisco Center for the Performing Arts was formed.

Over time, the Spoon River Players became the Fort Francisco Players and, currently, the Spanish Peaks Players.

Performances continue year-round at the Francisco Center for the Performing Arts with doors opening at 6:30 pm for 7 pm performances and 1:30 pm for matinees. Advance tickets to Francisco Center for the Performing Arts’ shows, when made available, normally go on sale online approximately four weeks before the first show date.

When advance tickets are sold ahead of the show, tickets can still be purchased at the door, but only if tickets are still available. The Francisco Center for the Performing Arts recommends tickets are purchased in advance to ensure a seat.