A Family Tradition for Over 55 Years

Junior University began in 1962 as a children's summer activity in the backyard of Robert and Barbara Henley. One hundred and fifty people saw the first show. Since 1963, Junior University's musical shows have been original adaptations of familiar children's stories written and scored by William R. Dixon. In 1965 the Henleys, with William and Patricia Dixon, formed the non-profit corporation. That year, the popular productions found a home at Roosevelt Bowl in San Bernardino's Perris Hill Park. A full orchestra composed of local musicians and students was added in 1968. In 1994 Mr. Dixon passed away. Junior University has continued our summer family tradition by performing shows from the original musicals written by William R. Dixon as well as other family friendly content.

For over fifty years, Junior University has provided San Bernardino and the Inland Empire the best family entertainment while offering an exciting and educational experience for young people. Cast members range from 9 years old to beyond college age, with teen-agers as the majority. Because Junior University is such a large commitment in both time and energy, it often involves the entire family. The rewarding learning experience is a wonderful opportunity for new friendships, in addition to providing a stepping stone for those interested in professional and community theater.


Roosevelt Bowl at Perris Hill Park
Our Home from 1965 to 2017

Junior University would like to thank the City of San Bernardino for allowing us to perform in the amphitheater at Perris Hill Park. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Bowl is nestled against the hills at Perris Hill Park. The bowl was built and dedicated in 1934 as part of the Federal Work Progress Administration (FWPA). The retainer wall is a beautiful mosaic of stone work and is a reflection of the architecture of the period as well as the labor-intensive style of FWPA. This 1,800-seat outdoor amphitheater provided a historic and natural setting for Junior University's musical productions.

San Manuel Performing Arts Center at Aquinas High School
Our New Home

Junior University is excited to announce our new partnership with Aquinas High School and the new San Manuel Performing Arts Center. We look forward to our next adventure as we grow new roots in this state of the art facility.


On Sunday, July 15th, Patsy Dixon left our world to join her beloved husband William R (Billy) Dixon to begin their eternal life together. Patsy was the matriarch of Junior University and an original founder of the organization. Thousands of young performers in the Inland Empire were introduced for their very first audition by the gracious “Patsy”, and were forever captured by her charm, endless love and support. This loss will be felt in every aspect of Junior University, but it will serve as our guiding inspiration to ensure that the life’s work of Billy and Patsy Dixon will live on in the hearts of future generations.

Click here or on the image below for a link to the celebration service for Patsy


Celebration Video