Our company was founded in 1978 as "Little Miami Theater Works." From 1978 to 1988, we built our reputation with original plays based on Ohio history. We toured throughout Ohio reaching audiences through local arts councils and schools. In 1988, we changed our name to Mad River Theater Works in order to clarify that our plays were for people of all ages. We started a summer season in a tent near West Liberty that same year while continuing to tour in the Winter.

Our Home season attracted a cross-section of our community.  premieres included Freedom Bound,  JOHN HENRY, and Evelyn and the Polka King, which was later staged at the Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival in 1992. The home season, though artistically satisfying, was not financially viable and was discontinued in 1993. We expanded our performance calendar with the addition of tours throughout the U.S. and the combination of local and national touring is still the backbone of our programming. In our 40-year history we have created more than 30 original plays, all of which is company-derived.

For the past decade, we have partnered with Baylin Artists Management to tour our work nationally, reaching an annual audience of over 90,000 people. The company also conducts educational residencies in schools and learning centers.