Mill Mountain Theatre

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Performance of The Music of Motown in 2016.

Mill Mountain Theatre (MMT) is the only professional regional theatre in Roanoke, offering a variety of classic and contemporary American plays, musicals and children's shows on the Trinkle Main Stage and the smaller Waldron Stage. Located at Center in the Square in Downtown Roanoke, MMT has proudly served the region and industry for 50 years.

Recent offerings have included large musicals (White Christmas, 42nd Street, Hairspray and Children of Eden); dramas (To Kill a Mockingbird, On Golden Pond,); comedies (The Odd Couple, The 39 Steps); children's shows (Into the Woods Jr, Disney's Beauty and the Beast Jr,); and original music revues, conceived and produced in-house (The Music of ABBA, The Music of Motown.)

MMT also offers year-round theatre arts education through the Mill Mountain Theatre Conservatory (MMTC). MMTC provides instruction in Acting, Music Theatre, Dance, & Technical Theatre for emerging artists ages K through Adults. All classes are taught by experienced, working industry professionals, with performance opportunities on MMT's Main Stages.

Mill Mountain Theatre has a longstanding relationship with Hollins University and the Hollins Theatre Institute. Current collaborations include The Hollins-Mill Mountain Theatre Winter Festival of New Works, Overnight Sensations (a 24-hour play event), and the MFA Playwright Lab's 6-week summer residency at MMT.

The upcoming 2017 Season will feature 14 productions, from staged readings on the Waldron Stage to fully realized plays and musicals on the Trinkle Main Stage.

From a performance of "Into the Woods Jr" in 2016

History[edit]

In 1964, two New York producers established a summer stock theatre in the vacant Rockledge Inn on the highest point in Roanoke, Virginia- Mill Mountain. Soon dubbed Mill Mountain Playhouse, the company underwent a series of institutional changes, finally incorporating as a not-for-profit, non-Equity resident stock theatre. When the original playhouse burned down in 1976, the company moved to the recently re-opened Grandin Theatre, an old movie house in an established neighborhood. With the opening of Center in the Square in 1983 came a year-round class schedule and a new name—Mill Mountain Theatre. The growing company’s ever-increasing quality and scope was a major force in the renaissance of downtown Roanoke.

Within its shops and offices spread across the Center in the Square complex, Mill Mountain Theatre has created more than 400 productions, including world and regional premieres; the national hit All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and the American premiere of Children of Eden.

In January 2009, Mill Mountain Theater’s Board of Directors responsibly faced mounted debt by ceasing productions to focus on reorganizing the Theater’s business operations. All staff members, with the exception of the director of education were laid off. At the same time MMT's landord, Center in the Square, undertook a complete reonvation, moving MMT into temporary space.

During the reinvention process, educational classes continued and enrollment doubled, becoming one of the theatre's best sources of income during the reinvention process. Mill Mountain Theatre Conservatory (MMTC) produced a holiday show each year during the reorganization; Annie, Jr. in 2009, Disney's My Son Pinocchio, Geppetto's Musical Tale in December 2010, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in 2011 and 2012.

In March 2012, MMT produced Greater Tuna on the Waldron Stage, its first professional Equity performance since 2009. On April 24, 2013, Mill Mountain Theatre returned to the Trinkle Main Stage in the newly renovated Center in the Square presenting The Marvelous Wonderettes, marking the beginning of a new era.

Mill Mountain Theatre has developed a financially sustainable business model that is innovative, pragmatic, and emphasizes regional and organizational collaboration. The new model acknowledges the organization’s historical importance to the region’s identity and tourism initiatives, while being sensitive to today’s economic realities. The reemerging MMT will be a key cultural asset for the Roanoke Valley continuing with its history of providing professional theatre and conservatory education to the Roanoke Region.

Mill Mountain Theatre is located at the Center in the Square[1] facility on the Market Square in downtown Roanoke, Virginia, in the United States of America. The theater is named after the nearby Mill Mountain, which is a popular theme for the naming of Roanoke landmarks and organizations, including the Mill Mountain Star, Mill Mountain Zoo, and Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea.[2]

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