History of Huntsville, Alabama - Culture - Performing Arts

Performing Arts

  • The Huntsville Community Chorus Association (HCCA) is one of Alabama's oldest performing arts organizations, with its first performance dating to December 1946 (per its website, the Mobile Opera Guild — the state's oldest — first performed in April of that year). HCCA produces choral concerts and musical theater productions. In addition, the company features its madrigal singers; "Glitz!" (a show choir); a chamber chorale; an annual summer melodrama/fundraiser; and three children's groups: the Huntsville Community Chorus (HCC) Children's Chorale (ages 3−5); the HCC Treble Chorale (ages 6−8); and the HCC Youth Chorale (ages 9−12).
  • Broadway Theatre League was founded in 1959. BTL presents a season of national touring Broadway productions each year, a family-fun show, and additional season specials. Shows are presented in the Von Braun Center's Mark C. Smith Concert Hall. Recent productions include Mamma Mia!, A Chorus Line, The Color Purple, and An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin.
  • The Flying Monkey Arts Center is in the historic Lowe Mill under the auspices of Lowe Mill ARTS and Entertainment and hosts events such as the traditional Cigar Box Guitar festival, the Sex Workers' Art Show, concerts, and many presentations of the Film Co-op.
  • Huntsville Symphony Orchestra is Alabama's oldest continuously operating professional symphony orchestra, featuring performances of classical, pops and family concerts, and music education programs in public schools.
  • Fantasy Playhouse Children's Theatre, Huntsville's oldest children's theater, was founded in 1960. An all-volunteer organization, Fantasy Playhouse performs for the children of north Alabama on stage and off. Fantasy Playhouse Theater Academy, the organization's dance, music, and art school, teaches children and adults each year. Fantasy Playhouse regularly produces three plays a year with an additional play, A Christmas Carol, produced early each December.
  • Theatre Huntsville, the result of a merger between the Twickenham Repertory Company (1979–1997) and Huntsville Little Theatre (1950–1997), is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, all-volunteer arts organization that presents six plays each season in the Von Braun Center Playhouse. It produces the annual "Shakespeare on the Mountain" in an outdoor venue, such as Burritt on the Mountain. Presentations range from The Foreigner and Noises Off to the occasional musical (Little Shop of Horrors and Nunsense). In addition, TH presents drama-related workshops (stage management, stage makeup, etc.), as announced.
  • Independent Musical Productions, was founded in 1993 and presents at least one annual main production such as Ragtime, Civil War, 1776, Into the Woods, RENT, and Sweeney Todd. Standard and original musicals for children as well as outreach programs complete the season.
  • Plays are performed at Renaissance Theatre, with two stages, the MainStage (upstairs) and the Alpha Stage (downstairs), each with seating about 85. The theaters are housed in the former Commissary Building for the historic Lincoln Mill Village. In addition to well-known and mainstream titles, Renaissance produces original, controversial, and offbeat plays. It was the site for the East Coast premiere of "The Maltese Falcon."
  • Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that opened in 2007, after nearly $3 million in renovations to the historic building. It was once the social center of the Merrimack Mill Village in the early 1900s. The Company Store, gymnasium, bowling alley, were all there and provided a place for socialization and recreation to all of the village's residents. Merrimack Hall now includes a 302-seat performance hall, a 3,000 square feet (280 m2) foot dance studio, and rehearsal and instructional spaces for musicians. Productions and performers include Menopause The Musical, Dixie's Tupperware Party, Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters, Dionne Warwick, Lisa Loeb, Claire Lynch, and the Second City Comedy Troupe.
  • Ars Nova School of the Arts is a conservatory for music and performing arts. Ars Nova produces musical theatre, opera, and operetta for the local stage.
  • The Huntsville Youth Orchestra was founded by Russell Gerhart, founding conductor of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, in 1961. The HYO is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to “foster, promote, and provide the support necessary for students from North Alabama to experience musical education in an orchestral setting.” The organization has six ensembles: the Huntsville Youth Symphony, Sinfonia, Philharmonia, Concert Orchestra, Intermezzo Orchestra, and Novice Strings.
  • Huntsville Chamber Music Guild was organized in 1952 to promote and present chamber music programs; the group seeks to present recitals in which artists are presented in works of the classical masters.
  • The Huntsville Ballet Company is under the non-profit Community Ballet Association, Inc. The Huntsville Ballet Company performs ballets each year such as The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, The Firebird, and Swan Lake.

Read more about this topic:  History Of Huntsville, Alabama, Culture

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