In 1964, two New York producers established a summer stock theater in a vacant resort inn on the highest point in Roanoke, Virginia. 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.
Years of planning and building in a new, state-of-the-art home. With the opening of Center in the Square in 1983 came a year-round production 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 a once-dying downtown.
From these modest beginnings grew one of the most respected regional theatres in the US. Mill Mountain Theatre now presents world premieres, dramatic classics, full-scale musicals, youth-oriented productions, and educational classes for all ages – on its two stages in Roanoke, and touring productions that travel throughout Virginia. As a professional, year-round, regional theatre with roots in its community and excellence as its primary objective; MMT has proudly served the region and the industry for almost 50 years.
Within its shops and offices spread across the Center in the Square complex, MMT has created almost 400 productions, including world premieres and regional premieres; the national hit All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten; and the American premiere of Children of Eden.
The Norfolk Southern Festival of New Works served as an annual home for the winners of the MMT New Play Competition (no longer running), and now showcases other notable playwrights like Sherry Kramer (Partial Objects): Jeffrey Stanley (Tesla’s Letters and Medicine, Man); Julie Jensen (Tenderhooks, Last Lists of My Mad Mother); Tom Ziegler (Grace and Glorie); Jim Henry (Angels of Lemnos); and Robert Caisley (The 22-Day Adagio)
As a professional, year-round, regional theater with roots in its community and excellence as its primary objective, MMT has proudly served the region and the industry for 50 years. We look forward to another 50 years of presenting locally produced world class theatre.