The Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento (LOTS) was founded in 1982 by Mike and Debbie Baad and Dolores Allen. Drawing on their considerable theatre experience, including roles with the Sacramento Opera and Davis Comic Opera, the Baad family assembled a core group of St. Mary's Church Choir members to start the St. Mary's Players. "H.M.S. Pinafore," the St. Mary's Players first production in 1982, received rave reviews. "H.M.S. Pinafore" was followed in 1983 by "The Pirates of Penzance" and in 1984 by "The Mikado." By this time, the St. Mary's Players, drawing on many talented performers from throughout the Sacramento area, had established itself with the theatre-going public, and its productions were attracting larger and larger audiences. In its fourth year, the St. Mary's Players became The Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento and moved to a new "home" at the Coloma Community Center. In 1989 they moved to their present location at the 24th Street Theater.
The primary goals of LOTS have remained unchanged since its founding:
Present the comic humor of W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.
Provide, via an open audition process, an opportunity for local performers to bring their talents to Sacramento audiences.
Promote the performing arts in the Sacramento region.
In addition, LOTS has performed at the Woodland Opera House, Theater El Dorado in Placerville, at the Vet's Memorial Theatre in Davis, and in Roseville. In previous years, LOTS has also presented works other than the Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire, including "Man of La Mancha," and Stephen Sondheim's "Side by Side." LOTS is a member of the Sacramento Area Regional Theater Alliance (SARTA) and a founding member of the League of Sacramento Theatres. Mike and Debbie Baad continue to guide the development of LOTS as artistic directors of the organization.