LALO History

lightopera logoThe Beginnings: Theater in Los Alamos 1941—Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, and there was no longer a question of the US entering World War II. In 1942 the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction showed that atomic powered weapons were theoretically possible. The Manhattan Engineer District (MED) was charged with developing such a weapon.

Los Alamos was isolated in those days; so isolated, in fact, that the MED decided to place a secret laboratory here in hopes of developing the weapon that could end the war. By April of 1943 the atomic scientists and engineers, military personnel, and civilian guards had begun moving into town. “Town” was an outdoorsy prep school, whose students had rushed their graduation and turned over their housing and classrooms to the secret war effort.

On this isolated mountainside, the townspeople worked hard, and they played hard. Many residents had grown up in cities where opera, concerts, plays, and music lessons were taken for granted. Theater-lovers got together, and by the end of 1943, Los Alamos Little Theatre (LALT) and Los Alamos Light Opera (LALO) were born.

In a town where nobody could talk about their work, social distinctions blurred, and the theater welcomed everyone: scientists, teachers, Army privates, and anyone else, who could sing a note, remember a line, swing a hammer, or sew a costume.

For more than 60 years Los Alamos Little Theatre and Los Alamos Light Opera have involved the community in the creative process; in a chance to shine on stage; and in the town’s best way to meet people, have fun, and make long-lasting friendships. The first show was in 1948 – HMS Pinafore.

LALO is a non-profit 501(c)3. Your generous donations are appreciated! Ticket proceeds from each show are used to pay for the next production. Each production is completely volunteer, including the orchestra, utilizing all local talent.