The Mooresville Community Theatre was founded in 1971 as a community outreach from the Creative Arts Center in the Mooresville City Schools. One of the founding members, Clayton Miller, was an essential part of putting the group together and kept the group going. In 1996, as Executive Director of the Mooresville Community Theatre, Clayton Miller organized the first group of volunteers to head up a children’s division under the adult theatre umbrella. The Mooresville Community Children’s Theatre (MCCT) produced its first performance around 1997. This children’s theatre division quickly became loved among the community. Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat was one of its most memorable performances. Often the children’s division brought in more revenue to the organization than the adult performances. Unfortunately, the waning economy, in addition to the eff and flow of the interest in community theatre, limited funding. The children’s division performed its last musical Willy Wonka, Jr. during the summer of 2009.
Thankfully, former Mooresville Community Theatre Board of Directors members, Maria Dozier and Vicki Reeves, worked closely with the Town of Mooresville to resurrect the local children’s theatre. In partnership with the Town of Mooresville, the Mooresville Community Children’s Theatre (MCCT) received town funding and support to bring children’s theatre back to Mooresville. To date, the Town of Mooresville is our largest funding partner. MCCT has the privilege to rehearse and perform in the town’s buildings.
In the fall of 2011, community volunteers united loosely to form the MCCT Board of Directors. This group of eight individuals pioneered the basic business structure of today’s organization. Efforts included the MCCT became a registered non-profit organization with a 501(c)3 status in May 2013. The Board established bylaws, organizational charter, contracts, policies, procedures, mission statement, branding, and began collaborations with additional community partners and the Town of Mooresville. MCCT started with seed money from previous year’s (2011) efforts, with continued funding and support from the Town of Mooresville, which is subject to an annual review, and donations and sponsorships from corporate and private individuals.
Mooresville Community Children’s Theatre Comes Into Its Own
With the renewed energy and community interest in the arts, the MCCT put on their first summer musical production of Beauty and The Beast (2013) directed by Ron Higdon with 43 actors and over 70% of which had never performed on a stage before. The show had seven performances and average attendance size of 161 guest per show. The summer youth musical became an annual community event with:
- Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. (2014) directed by Melissa Ohlman-Roberge with 50 actors, nine shows and two Town of Mooresville Summer Champ shows;
- Disney’s Aladdin, Jr. (2015) directed by Sidney Horton had 45 actors, and performed 13 shows including Camp Shows;
- Disney’s The Jungle Book, Kids (2016) directed by Sidney Horton had 45 actors, and performed 8 shows including a camp show;
- Into the Woods, Jr. (2017) directed by Melissa Ohlman-Roberge with 40 actors, eight shows and a camp show; and
- The Wizard of Oz (2018) directed by Melissa Ohlman-Roberge with 35 actors, eight shows and a camp show.
Through the summer musicals, community and youth interest swelled! MCCT added themed youth Tea Parties/Dance Parties around the shows. In FY2015 (2014-2015) MCCT’s added a winter drama to its community offerings. The 2015 winter drama was dedicated to the memory of Clayton Miller in appreciation for his bringing theatre to Mooresville. We started with the winter drama productions:
- Oliver Twist (2015) directed by Dr. Wrenn Goodrum with 40 actors and twelve (12) shows;
- The Princess and The Magic Pea (2016) directed by Dr. Wrenn Goodrum with 43 actors and nine shows, including a school show;
- The Magic Tree House – The Knight at Dawn (2017) directed by Dr. Wrenn Goodrum with 40 actors and nine (9) shows, including a school show; and
- The House at Pooh’s Corner (2018) directed by Melissa Ohlman-Roberge with 40 actors, seven (7) shows and one school show.
Beginning in 2016, a spring (musical) show was added with:
- You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (2016) directed by Melissa Ohlman-Roberge with 30 actors and eight (8) shows including a school show;
- School House Rocks (2017) directed by Brandon Engelskirchen with seven (7) shows including a school show.
- School Daze (2018) directed by Mark Lighton featuring over the course of two days a series of short (10 – 30 minute) small-scale plays will be performed in the style of a film festival. A series of workshop-style events will lead up to the actual stage performances. Our goal is to help the participants gain a deeper understanding of stage production through hands-on experience. All show proceeds went to the Clayton Miller Scholarship fund.
In Fall 2017, an autumn musical featuring our Teen Troup:
- In The Heights (2017) musical directed by Lori Anne Sword with 30 teen actors (ages 12-18) for seven (7) shows including a school show.
- The Addams Family (2018) musical directed by Lori Anne Sword with 30 teen actors (ages 12-18) for seven (7) shows including a school show.
Continuing Our Education Mission
In 2014 we held our first Introduction to Theatre Workshop (May 2014) directed by Lisa Alteri with 35 participants. We continued adding workshops before each audition and then a summer week-long workshop as time and space allowed. In Fall 2016 we added a Theatre Skills Intensive Workshop and a Winter 2017 Triple Threat Intensive Workshop to meet the growing community interest in youth theatre.
In 2015, MCCT began offering student internships opportunities for high school and college students, and created the Clayton Miller Memorial Scholarship Award for youth pursuing theatre in their choice of higher education programs. In 2016, MCCT was able to expanded the scholarship fund to include participation fee scholarships for children wanting to participate in our productions and workshops.
The North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) recognized MCCT for their 2017 Youth Education Award. This statewide award was nominated by the NCTC Board of Directors. Presented to MCCT at their Wizard of Oz Summer 2018 production.
Clayton Miller Memorial Scholarship
After the passing of Clayton Miller in 2014, the MCCT created a college scholarship award named in his honor to youth pursuing theatre in their choice of higher education programs. In 2016 MCCT expanded the scholarship fund to include participation fee scholarships for children wanting to participate in our productions and workshops.
- 2015 – Darius Crusoe, Greensboro College
- 2016 – Austin Flewell, Greensboro College/CPCC; and Victoria Hargett, Wake Forest University.
- 2017 – Brooke Baldwin, Millikin University; and Camry Duckworth, Wagner College
- 2018 – Kate Durgin; Hannah Whittington, UNC Chapel Hill; Cloe Wright, Winthrop University; Patrick Weeks, UNC Chapel Hill (Honorable Mention); and Emma Metzger (Honorable Mention)
In April 2018, MCCT presented School Daze (2018) directed by Mark Lighton. This production featured over the course of two days a series of short (10 – 30 minute) small-scale plays will be performed in the style of a film festival. A series of workshop-style events led up to the actual stage performances. Our goal was to help the participants gain a deeper understanding of stage production through hands-on experience. Three of the plays were directed by student directors completing their high school senior projects and mentored by MCCT Board Members. All proceeds went to toward the Clayton Miller Scholarship Fund.
This Wizard of Oz (Musical) (July 2018)
The Addams Family (Musical) (October 2018)
Into The Woods, Jr. (Musical) (July 2017)
In The Heights (Musical) (October 2017)
The House at Pooh Corner (February 2018)
School Daze Play Festival (April 2018)
Disney’s The Jungle Book (Musical) (July 2016)
The Magic Tree House – The Knight at Dawn (Drama)
School House Rock! (Musical) (April 2017)
Disney’s Aladdin, Jr. (Musical) (July 2015)
The Princess and the Magic Pea (Drama) (February 2016)
You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (Musical) (May 2016)
Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. (Musical) (July 2014)
Oliver Twist (Drama) (February 2015)
Disney’s Beauty & The Beast, Jr. (Musical) (July 2013)