Get Involved


You can be a part of the continued restoration of this gem of a theater or make a general gift for an area of your choosing.  In 2013 we completed the award-winning restoration of Tibbits Opera House’s exquisite exterior. Plans continue for further restoration and preservation of this outstanding historic treasure. Donations help keep the dream moving forward. Please donate today. Donations of any amount may also be made when purchasing tickets online. For more information on restoration please call the Tibbits office (517) 278-6029.

Donate Now



Up to $1000 – Restoration Donor
$1000 up to $2500 – Restoration Friend
For larger gifts please contact us so we can direct your gift where you would like to see it.

The elements of Tibbits’ restoration from the preservation of brick and the recreation of the metal ornamentation, to the fundraising and community efforts are documented in a special DVD which is available at our gift shop. The $25 cost includes fees and shipping.  

Membership is the foundation of all that Tibbits does. Ticket sales generally cover the cost of events, but rarely cover the costs of maintaining the opera house. Please follow the membership link that’s right for you.

Types of Memberships

Individual Membership

Helps maintain a vital piece of history. Memories have been a part of Tibbits since it was built in 1882 by Barton S. Tibbits. It is one of only a handful of theatres from that era still operating in the United States, and thousands visit this beautiful Victorian treasure every year.

Sustains the daily operations of the theatre. Tibbits depends on the generosity of its members to meet daily operational expenses. Donations supplement ticket sales and make it possible to keep ticket prices low.

Enhances children’s programming and encourages each child to experience and appreciate arts and culture. Tibbits’ goal is to offer programs that excite, educate and stimulate our youth.

Nourishes the hopes and dreams of aspiring actors, musicians, dancers and artists who appear on the Tibbits stage or display their talents in the gallery. It is home to school productions, Arts Alive, community theatre, community band, area dance studios and other local organizations.

Corporate Membership

Lift your business well above the competition by becoming a Tibbits member. Featuring year-round entertainment and stunningly restored facade, you’ll be linking to the region’s most visible arts organization—Tibbits—heightening your image as a good corporate citizen.

We can tailor a membership package that matches your goal of community recognition with our need for financial support.


Every effort is made to maximize promotion of the event and recognition for the sponsor. Sponsorship makes a very real difference to Tibbits’ programming by allowing Tibbits to provide professional entertainment to the region at affordable prices. Items listed are subject to change. If you are interested in sponsoring a program at Tibbits, please contact Executive Director Christine Delaney at 517-278-6029.


Explanation of benefits


  • Sponsor’s name is listed with all materials and advertising related to that show. 
  • Media Releases: Sent to media in a 60 to 100-mile radius of Coldwater.

Paid Advertising: Concentrated in Branch and surrounding counties

  • Radio
  • Newspaper
  • Digital, Tourism, and Seasonal publications

Program Ad:

  • Distributed to show patrons, includes sponsor’s ad design up to a full page (5” x 7½”)

Online Recognition:

  • Facebook (4000+ followers), Twitter, Instagram
  • Email list – 4000+ Tibbits patrons
  • –mobile friendly design will include a sponsor link
  • Event listings – state, theatre, tourism and regional listings

Professionally Designed Printed Promotion:

  • Rack Cards – 3000 printed for season and used through June
  • Large posters (36” x 50”) displayed at Tibbits offices on Chicago Street & elsewhere
  • Other posters (11 x 17 & smaller) customizable for sponsors and regional distribution

Performance recognition:

  • Lobby signage
  • Acknowledgement from stage


  • Sponsor receives complimentary tickets
  • Additional tickets discounted
  • Community tickets distributed in the sponsor’s name

Art Gallery

  • Hospitality Area for promotional display or for sponsor to host a reception (Subject to availability)


New ideas for using the Tibbits production to help you promote your business are welcome. Let us know and we will see what we can accomplish together.

No matter how large or small your request may be, it truly makes a difference. If you would like to discuss planned gifts or estate planning ideas which will benefit you and your family as much as Tibbits, please call the office and ask for Christine Delaney at 517-278-6029.


“I give, devise , and bequeath to the Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council the sum of $_________ (Or _____%) from my estate to be used for _______.”

“I give the residue of my estate to ___ family member. If that person does not survive me, I give the residue of my estate to the Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council to be used for ______.”

“After all specified bequests have been made I give, devise and bequeath to the Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council all (or ___%) of the remainder of my estate to be used for ______.”


Fun & exciting opportunity awaits those interested in donating their time and talent to the Tibbits. Our volunteers range from 8 to 98. They include students, retired persons, stay-at-home parents, and people employed in occupations as diverse as the volunteers themselves. There are many fields of interest that require a small army of volunteers to help keep the Tibbits running efficiently.


Learn About The Volunteers

Have you ever thought about volunteering your time or talents at Tibbits? Volunteers are our most valuable asset. Volunteers are needed in numerous areas – ushers, office, auction, special events, art, behind the scenes, and youth programs – to name a few. You can volunteer as often as you like and in as many areas as you like. The choice is yours.

The mission is  to provide and coordinate volunteer support for Tibbits. The volunteer program focuses on recruiting, retaining and recognizing. We now operate under a streamlined committee structure instead of a governing board. The committees directly reflect the primary needs of the Tibbits Opera Foundation.

Interested in Volunteering? Learn about the committees and volunteer opportunities and fill out the interest form HERE or contact Tirsha today at 517-278-6029!


Current Volunteers & Boosters

If membership is the foundation of the theatre, then the volunteers are its heart. Over 250 people donated their time and talents to the theatre last year, and we cannot thank you enough!  The committees directly reflect the primary needs of the Tibbits Opera Foundation.

Volunteers, submit your hours HERE!


Volunteer of the Year

Each year in March, volunteers are nominated as volunteer of the year. It is a surprise announced at the Volunteer Reception held each spring.

If you would like to nominate a volunteer of the year, please send us your nomination! Please include who you are nominating and why you feel they deserve the award.

Nominating Criteria for Volunteer of the Year

  • The person volunteers at TIBBITS.
  • Previous winners are ineligible.
  • The number of hours worked is not as important as a willingness to
    “do-what-it-takes-to-get-the-job-done attitude” with a smile on their face!

Previous Winners of Volunteer of the Year

  • Diane Riegel (2019)
  • Angie Washburn (2018)
  • Tirsha Odisher (2017)
  • Linda Lintner (2016)
  • Linda Ives (2015)
  • Vera Renshaw (2014)
  • Waive Wardwell (2013)
  • Marisue Taylor (2012)
  • Jean Swart (2011)
  • Sabrina Aughenbaugh (2010)
  • Connie and Paul Winbigler (2009)
  • Mary Smith (2008)
  • Ruth Scheidler (2007)
  • Steve and Julia Littley (2006)
  • Karen Hargreave and Haley Smith (2005)
  • Lois Voss (2004)
  • Joan Spaulding (2003)


Volunteer Newsletter

A Volunteer Newsletter is provided to volunteers via email. Volunteers are thanked, new opportunities to volunteer are explained, and Tibbits information is shared. Let us know if you’re not receiving yours!


Volunteer Reception

A Volunteer Reception is held each spring. All volunteers are invited, pins are awarded at this time, and the Volunteer of the Year is honored. Refreshments and entertainment are provided.



During summer, performances for youth include professional touring events as well as the wildly popular Popcorn Theatre featured Friday and Saturday mornings. Additionally, performances for area schools often meet specific curriculum needs and tours of the building can provide other customizable educational opportunities.

Tickets to Popcorn Theatre are General Admission (first-come first-serve, NON-assigned seating). Tickets for Popcorn Theatre are $10 (includes $2 fee, popcorn, and juice) and can be purchased online and by phone. Patrons are strongly encouraged to buy tickets in advance as there is no additional fee to do so. If purchasing tickets at the door, please plan to arrive at least 20 minutes early to avoid lines at the box office and ensure great seats.

Family and group rates available. Please contact Tirsha Odisher at 517-278-6029.


Tibbits Young Audiences/TYA (grades 4-8)

Tibbits Young Audiences produces two shows yearly with a full cast of about 50 students. A play in the fall and a musical in the spring provide students an enjoyable introduction to the world of theatre. By putting on a show they learn teamwork, discipline, theatre skills, self-confidence and an appreciation for the arts. Shows are open to youth in fourth through eighth grade.

Audition information for the next production is available HERE.


Tibbits Theatre and Beyond/T-TAB (middle-high school)

Tibbits Theatre and Beyond (T-TAB) provides middle and high school students a chance to learn more about theatre through workshops, hands on experience, performance and producing their annual talent show as well as the 10-Day Film Contest.


T-TAB Criteria and Sign Up 

T-TAB is open to students in grades 6-12 (or ages 13-18) who are committed to participating in at least three T-TAB sponsored activities each year.  A $10 annual due from each member supports refreshments at group parties.

Members of T-TAB receive experience in performing, producing, working behind the scenes, and promoting the fine arts. The programs also develop skills in teamwork, discipline, self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-expression.


Behind the Scenes and Technical Work

Tibbits is always looking for help building sets and or working behind-the-scenes. Experienced T-TAB members have had opportunities to operate spotlights, the light-board, sound and work backstage during professional and community productions. To learn more and become involved in T-TAB, please email Tirsha Odisher at


Annual “Spotlight on Teen Talent”

Talented teenagers entertain community members during the talent competition at the Tibbits Opera House. Students, age 11 to 18, will sing, dance, and perform as they showcase their skills and compete for cash prizes during the annual competition.


Professional Acting Auditions

**We are still accepting video submissions for Ain’t Misbehavin’. All other video submissions are now closed.**

Children interested in auditioning for the TST production of ANNIE should attend auditions at the opera house on April 13 or 14. More information can be found HERE.

Tibbits Summer Theatre attends the United Professional Theatre Auditions in Memphis, TN. If you have not attended this unified call, you may arrange an audition at the Opera House. Ideally prepare a comic monologue from the modern repertory.  Two contrasting vocal selections (in the style of what is being presented that summer) are also required. Please have accompaniment on tape or disc as no pianist is on staff until the summer. The hiring process for Tibbits Professional Summer Theatre begins in February for the June through August summer season.

To make an appointment at Tibbits Opera House, call Charles Burr at 517-278-6029 after Feb. 1 or email him at

If you live outside Michigan, a YouTube link may be sent to the email address above or a CD/DVD may be sent to:

Charles Burr, Artistic Director
Tibbits Summer Theatre
14 S Hanchett St
Coldwater, MI  49036


Professional Design and Technical Positions

Tibbits Summer Theatre hires technical and design positions for the summer. The hiring process begins in February for the following summer. Complete listings are available on: Search Tibbits.
All positions are paid and no-cost housing is provided. June 5 to August 13.

Resumes may be sent to Charles Burr at


Tibbits Young Audiences/TYA (grades 4-8)

Tibbits produces two shows yearly shows with a full cast of about 50 students. A play in the fall and a musical in the spring provide students an enjoyable introduction to the world of theatre. By putting on a show they learn teamwork, discipline, theatre skills, self-confidence and an appreciation for the arts. Shows are open to youth in fourth through eighth grade. For more information on TYA, check out the Youth Programming tab, the calendar, or email Tirsha at

 Cast List Secret Garden

The first rehearsal  for The Secret Garden will be December 12, 2019 at 4:30pm with a mandatory parent meeting at 6pm at Coldwater Free Methodist Church 200 N Fremont St.


Tibbits Opera House is fortunate to be home to a permanent Henry Clay Lewis art collection that is prominently displayed throughout the theatre.

Along with the permanent collection, the downstairs of Tibbits features a rotating themed art gallery with artwork submitted by local and regional artists.  Tibbits patrons and visitors have the opportunity to purchase that artwork or vote on their favorite pieces.  Several artists are also awarded cash prizes at the close of each show.



The local arts organization that is responsible for exhibits displayed in the art gallery is also responsible for the downtown art walks, the Art of Holiday Food, Drink & Decor event, and other community art projects.

The Tibbits Art Gallery is located in the lower level of the Tibbits Opera House. Year-round exhibits feature the works of both aspiring and established artists. Art Gallery exhibits are coordinated by Arts Alive, an organization that hosts gallery exhibitions, organizes Art Walks and other art-related community events in Coldwater, MI.

Arts Alive’s goal is to provide an outlet to facilitate education, growth and an appreciation for arts and culture in all forms.


Gallery Exhibitions / Call For Work

Local and regional artists have the opportunity to submit their artwork for the enjoyment of Tibbits patrons and the wide region from which Tibbits draws. There is a small entry fee for each piece.Arts Alive 2020 gallery show list

Patrons have the opportunity to select their favorite piece during each exhibition. Several artists are awarded a people’s choice awards at the end of each show.  Patrons also have the opportunity to purchase work through the Tibbits box office or Tibbits administration office.

Gallery Rules

Artists can interpret each gallery theme in any way they see fit.  All ages are welcome to submit artwork.  Enter up to 3 pieces per show at $5 per piece.  Pieces must be ready to hang (PLEASE use a having wire (due to the nature of our new system with uses large hooks, small nail holes or little tooth hangers on the back of frames DO NOT WORK). Sculptures and all other mediums accepted.   

People’s Choice Award given to top 3 artists.  You can also sell your work if you want (on commission).  Please do not submit artwork that contains nudity.  Arts Alive has the right to refuse entries.

Visit the Arts Alive facebook page here for more information and event details.  


Kids Art Rocks

Kids’ Art Rocks! is a program of the Tibbits Foundation that mats and frames student artwork for lease by area businesses for a year. Prior to their lease, artwork hangs in the Tibbits gallery.  A call for work goes out early in the spring of each year.

Prior to 2018, teachers would submit their best work to this program. In 2018, Arts Alive took over the program and opened it up to allow for submission by anyone completing K-12 curriculum. This allowed for a broader scope of work (almost 60 pieces!) from homeschool groups or those attending schools outside of Branch County. All pieces were then judged by a panel of judges, and the top pieces were then matted and/or framed along with student bios.

The 2019 winning pieces and sponsoring businesses can be found HERE.

Entry guidelines for 2020 are located HERE.