Mill Mountain Theatre announced Wednesday the 2014 season, marking its 50th year of service as the Roanoke region's only professional theatre. The season also is the first full production cycle since MMT began a four-year financial reorganization.
The theatre shut down in 2009 after a 10-year span put the company in more than $800,000 worth of debt. That time period allowed for the company to reorganize and come up with a new business model.
Vice President of the Board Cynthia Lawrence says the Theatre will be producing four to six full productions this year instead of the full 12, and will sprinkle in smaller concerts or co-productions throughout the year.
They have also scaled down to a smaller full-time staff.
The four major shows produced by Mill Mountain Theatre and a two-show festival presented in partnership with the Hollins University Theatre Department include:
"This season represents a big step for our supporters, Board of Directors, and staff," said Ginger Poole, producing managing director. "It demonstrates our confidence that the Roanoke community is again ready for a full line-up of high-quality productions."
Since 2009, when the MMT Board canceled scheduled productions to absolve accumulated debt and develop a sustainable business plan, Mill Mountain Theatre has operated its profitable education programs and produced four stage shows. Its current production in rehearsal, "The Sound of Music," will run Dec. 4-22 on the Trinkle Main Stage.
Mill Mountain Theatre, located at Center in the Square in downtown Roanoke, was founded in 1964 as is a cornerstone of the region's arts community. It serves about 90,000 people a year. As a member of Actors Equity Association, it maintains artistic and production standards as a fully professional company, the only such theatre in the Roanoke region. The non-profit organization also operates MMT Conservatory with educational programs for children, teenagers, and adults with pre-professional training and drama enrichment.