Starting in July 2013, the Department of Theatre and the Friends of Theatre at MSU launched a major fundraising campaign for a permanent home for Summer Circle Theatre. Lead donors Sam and Mary Austin started the process in motion when Sam (former Friends of Theatre President and University Distinguished Professor from the Department of Physics and Astronomy and National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory), Department of Theatre Chairperson, Kirk Domer and MSU Landscape Architect, Deb Kinney visited various sites around MSU to find the perfect spot. Not surprisingly the space between the Auditorium Building and the Kresge Art Center (former home of SCT from the 1970s) was identified as the ideal location.
Begun in 1961, Summer Circle Theatre presented its first play, Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. The program was a success and Summer Circle Theater began presenting five plays each summer to the general public, using students and community actors, and charging admission. Right from the start, SCT operated under the basic premise which still guides it today: to foster collaboration between town and gown using the best talents of both the students and the community to create quality summer theatre.