From the 1920s to the 1940s, there was a diverse flowering of amateur theatres in Adelaide which were experimental, creatively inventive and ahead of their times. Other Australian capital cities had their own Little Theatres during this period, but some of the Adelaide theatres were unique in anticipating later creative theatre movements, including overseas ones. These Little Theatres helped to form the basis of Adelaide's reputation as 'the city of culture' and also laid the groundwork for the later development of the Adelaide Festival of Arts. Certainly the subsequent landscapes of the Australian theatre scene would have been very different without Adelaide's Little Theatres of the 1920s to 1940s.
Thelma Afford (1908-1996) was born in Broken Hill. On leaving school she won a scholarship to the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts and was one of the first five students trained as an art teacher buy the South Australian Education Department who introduced the subject into Adelaide high schools. As well as being a teacher she designed costumes for many theatre and TV productions.