Sunday, January 29Hampton Roads Weekly

Virginia Musical Theatre

Commonwealth Musical Stage was incorporated in 1991 as the State’s only professional theatre committed exclusively to the production of musical theatre. To more clearly reflect the company’s identity, the name was changed to Virginia Musical Theatre (VMT) in 1997. VMT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization. A volunteer board of trustees oversees the fiduciary responsibilities of the company.

Now entering its 29th season, VMT remains the only professional arts organization in Hampton Roads devoted exclusively to musical theatre. This focused commitment ensures its contributions enhance efforts of other institutions to complete the region’s cultural fabric. VMT provides: 1) affordable, professional, high quality productions; 2) added breadth to alternative popular fare offered by touring and other groups; and 3) educational performances for school audiences.  This 2019-2020 season’s performances include: Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, A Grand Night for Singing, Chicago the Musical and Mama Mia!

Each year, VMT produces four musicals, generally two contemporary and two from the classical Broadway annals, that bring together the finest professional performers from Broadway, touring circuits and the Virginia region with leading musicians, designers and young theatre aspirants. Boasting significant Broadway, national and international credits, the artistic leads inspire our regional talent to create supreme productions like Camelot, Phantom of the Opera, Little Women, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and a variety of classical Broadway musicals.

To date, VMT has produced more than 120 different productions that represent the diversity of the genre (From Oklahoma to Legally Blonde), its ever-changing musical styles (Tintypes to A Chorus Line), and the genius of its creators (Man of La Mancha to South Pacific).  America’s foremost composers and lyricists are represented, collectively mirroring the history and popular culture of Twentieth Century America and offering a comprehensive survey of the art form’s development.

VMT also produces many regional premieres, such as Happy Days the Musical, the highly anticipated, Disney’s Freaky Friday the New Musical (from the creators of Next to Normal and TV’s Friday Night Lights).

To kindle interest among young audiences, VMT actively cultivates student groups. In particular, it produces productions with significant educational and historical value (1776 and Shenandoah). For each production, VMT offers a student-priced ticket, as well as student rush tickets. For selected productions, VMT offers special showings to local students.

VMT operates under agreements with Actors’ Equity Association and Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, the unions representing American Theatre professionals. Like the other principal arts organizations in the region, VMT combines guest artists with regional professionals in its productions. An average of 300 performers, musicians, designers, directors, choreographers and technicians are employed each season.

Virginia Musical Theatre has emerged as a leading theatre company dedicated to nurturing artists in a creative environment. VMT is driven by an innovative spirit that constantly seeks new management and artistic models. Current hallmarks of its management are resourcefulness and collaboration.

In addition to producing musical theatre revivals and new works, VMT prides itself on a wide variety of community outreach initiatives and educational programs.  The close relationship between Virginia Musical Theatre and The Governor’s School for the Arts guarantees VMT’s mission to cultivate and encourage young artists. Through our Internship program with their Musical Theatre Department, young actors are given the opportunity to work with seasoned professionals on stage as well as off. We are proud to support and help develop these young artists, many of whom will go on to careers in the arts and will pass on the knowledge they learned to future generations the way it was passed on to them.

Virginia Musical Theatre’s Awards:

Alli Award 2002 “For outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Greater Hampton Roads”.

Port Folio Award 1999 “Career achievement in professional theatre” awarded to Jeff Meredith.

Designated “The Official Professional Theatre of the City of Virginia Beach” 1995.

The curtain goes up for VMT musicals at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach’s vibrant Town Center located at the intersection of Commerce and Market Streets in Virginia Beach.

There’s nothing like the exhilaration of seeing popular musicals performed live!

For 29 years, Virginia Musical Theatre (VMT) has presented top-flight musical theatre featuring many of today’s finest regional and Broadway artists… more than 120 productions in all!

We are totally supportive of the community by nurturing budding actors.  Virginia Musical Theatre offers a wide variety of productions to entertain a diverse audience through the uniquely American art form known as the Musical Theatre.

We also provide a lively, collaborative venue to nurture emerging talent through master classes and training with guest artists. To learn about enrollment, please call VMT.

One can expect each season to span everything from contemporary Broadway to the great traditions of American musical theatre.