Acme Theatre Company is an independent, self-sustaining, community theatre group for ninth through twelfth grade artists. Founded in 1980 by Davis High School teacher David Burmester and a group of dedicated students, Acme has been passed down through generations of youth and adult mentors for over 40 years. The company is now operated under the artistic direction of Acme alumna Emily Henderson in cooperation with a youth leadership team of current company members, and supported by an adult board of alumni, parents, and community members. Acme's mission is to present plays of high literary quality while providing opportunities for young people to learn acting and technical theatre skills and, above all, accountability, responsibility, and teamwork.
Acme produces three mainstage theatrical productions and several smaller events each year. In addition, every summer, Acme's members organize and teach a series of drama classes for approximately 75 K-8 students in Davis. In Acme's summer drama classes, K-8 participants are exposed to all aspects of theatre production and have an introduction to the kind of responsibility and accountability that Acme participation demands. The company's theatrical operations are accomplished entirely by the young people themselves with the mentorship of a small cadre of adults. This mandate for youth leadership, which has always been the hallmark of Acme, is what gives the company its unique value. Teens who participate in Acme don't just learn to act or to design and make costumes, build sets, hang lights, or create publicity. They learn to work as a team towards a common goal and to be accountable to themselves and the company as a whole. The success of every production is entirely up to the young people themselves.
For over 40 years, Acme has provided Davis youth in-depth training in theatrical and life skills. This program has always been available at absolutely no cost to the high school company members and their families. Acme is financially sustained through ticket sales for performances, fees paid by parents of K-8 students who attend the Drama Camp program, individual donations, fundraiser events, corporate sponsorship, and grant funding.