The Hickory Community Theatre was first visualized in 1947 when a planning group met in the apartment of Buddy Deal, a part-time college student and touring actor. During the next sixteen months, progress was made irregularly until February 19, 1949, when a meeting was held to formally organize a theatrical group.
The meeting was led by Katherine "Kay" Johnson, then assistant director of recreation for the City of Hickory, who served as the driving force behind the organization of the Theatre. The institution was named The Hickory Little Theatre the next month, and the first live performance was set for May 24, 1949, in the Hickory City Auditorium. The production was composed of three one-act plays including The Enchanted Night, The Valiant and Curse You, Jack Dalton.
From that simple beginning, The Hickory Community Theatre has grown in both success and popularity. The Theatre has always been located in the Old City Hall, and the staff members and volunteers reverently refer to the "jail" (now the scenic shop) and the "firemen's kitchen", both of which are still nicknamed after their original functions. A massive renovation effort during the three year-period from 1984-1987 updated the theatre's auditorium, stage, lobby, dressing rooms and technical facilities.
Managing Artistic Director Charles Jeffers retired in 2000 after 40 years of distinguished service to the theatre. At that time, Pamela Livingstone became the new Managing Artistic Director. In 2005, Pamela moved into the position of Artistic Director while John Rambo was hired to be Managing Director. The two head the job of fulfilling the mission of the theatre, along with five other staff members, a Board of Directors, and hundreds of volunteers.