Mill Mountain Theatre
Center in the Square is proud to house one of the country’s top professional nonprofit regional theatres. Mill Mountain Theatre (MMT) has served for almost 50 years as a nationally recognized professional, regional performing arts theatre committed to producing the highest quality theatre in Southwest Virginia, actively promoting and developing new theatre works, strengthening the artistic influence in the community through education and outreach, seeking and developing new audiences, and providing a diverse population access to both alternative and traditional theatre.
Mill Mountain Theatre Conservatory (MMTC) is the educational wing of Mill Mountain Theatre offering several scholarships to low-income individuals on as-needed basis. MMT works together and collaborates with other theatres and professional arts organizations across the region to provide excellent programming for the citizens of Southwest Virginia.
For more details about Mill Mountain Theatre visit www.millmountain.org
Southwest Virginia’s only professional opera company, Opera Roanoke presents fully-staged productions and a variety of smaller-scale presentations each year. Scott Williamson is the General and Artistic Director of Opera Roanoke, where he was an Associate Conductor, Chorus Master, and artist beginning in 1998. Steven White, Principal Guest Conductor & Artistic Advisor, is one of North America’s premiere conductors of both operatic and symphonic repertoire.
Opera Roanoke has moved its offices into the Center in the Square facility in order to enhance its budgetary position, take advantage of in-house benefits, and to support a strategic cost-savings move by Center in the Square.
Guest artists of national and international distinction perform on the Opera Roanoke stage. Southwest Virginia’s pool of talent is an integral part of the Opera Roanoke experience. The Roanoke Symphony is the official orchestra of Opera Roanoke. The Roanoke College Children’s Choir, Roanoke Ballet Theater, and the Blacksburg Master Chorale are just some of the outstanding local organizations that frequently add luster to Opera Roanoke productions.
Educational and outreach programs and activities of Opera Roanoke allow persons of all ages and socio-economic levels to enhance their knowledge and enjoyment of opera. Teacher Resources offer information relative to performances with cross-curricular ideas for lessons that meet the Virginia Standards of Learning. Opera Roanoke also introduces local students to production cast members through in-school performances. These free programs offer opportunities for students to interact with singers while learning more about opera and its career opportunities.
Most significantly, Opera Roanoke is proud to offer the Sempre Libera Program – Free Admission for Students! This initiative encourages students of all ages to attend any performances entirely free of charge. Italian for “always free,” Sempre Libera allows students the opportunity to experience an art form that encompasses everything young people love: high drama, thrilling music, sly humor and extravagant costumes regardless of ability to pay.
Opera Roanoke’s administrative offices are housed in Center in the Square at Center on Church – performances held in Shaftman Performance Hall at Jefferson Center. Performance tickets may be purchased through Jefferson Center Box Office
For more details about Opera Roanoke, please visit www.operaroanoke.org
Roanoke Ballet Theatre,Inc.
Roanoke Ballet Theatre, Inc. (RBT) is one of Virginia’s preeminent dance companies, and is known nationwide for its innovative and exciting ballet and cutting-edge modern performances and is Roanoke’s only non-profit school of dance, providing excellent instruction in ballet, pointe, modern, tap, jazz, and specialty classes for all ages and skill levels. Dedicated to the heritage, development and promotion of dance, RBT is committed to offering excellent dance instruction in a diverse range of styles and levels; creating and sustaining a challenging artistic environment; providing a variety of performing opportunities for dancers; and offering our community a variety of opportunities to experience dance.
RBT maintains a Company of professional and student artists that offers performances and tours throughout the year. RBT’s teaching philosophy embraces a holistic approach, wherein each student is regarded as a “whole” being, and not just as a dancer needing technical training. Positive attitudes, good nutrition, teamwork, creativity, and personal commitment are all important components of instruction.
Past projects which have received international recognition for innovation include Bluegrass Ballet with the Del McCoury Band, Aerial Ballet, and NASCAR Ballet. RBT has presented and/or performed in concert with North Carolina Dance Theatre, Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, Moscow State Ballet, Guangdong, Richmond Ballet, Doug Varone and Dancers; and individual artists from Dance Theatre of Harlem, National Dance Institute, School of American Ballet, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Charleston Ballet, National Ballet of Ecuador, Mongolian National Ballet, Merce Cunningham Company, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Urban Bush Women, Pilobolous, Moving Poets, and others.
For more details about Roanoke Ballet, School of RBT, Roanoke City Ballet, City Modern Ensemble, and Tinker Showcase please visit www.roanokeballet.org
The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra
The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1953, is the largest professional orchestra in Virginia west of Richmond. In 1986 the Roanoke Symphony hired its first full-time, resident music director, Victoria Bond; established its professional status; and made a public commitment to artistic excellence and meaningful educational programs. Since that time, the orchestra has been recognized nationally for its artistic achievements, its innovative education programs and its unique outreach to diverse audiences.
David Stewart Wiley serves concurrently as Music Director and Conductor of both New York’s Long Island Philharmonic and Virginia’s Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. Wiley’s tenure with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra continues to be a remarkable success story, and the RSO is rapidly becoming an example for a successful new artistic business model for a vital and stable regional orchestra. Under his artistic leadership, the RSO balanced budget has almost tripled, with dramatically increased artistic quality, community excitement, endowment growth, and increased ticket sales. Wiley partners with schools and numerous arts organizations throughout the region, and innovative events like “RSO Rocks” have broadened what a symphony event can be for new audiences.
The administrative offices for RSO are located on the second level of the historic Shenandoah Hotel building at 128 East Campbell Avenue in downtown Roanoke with studio space for David Stewart Wiley, Music Director and Conductor of the RSO, occupying the north-east corner of the building on the ground level. Picture windows open up the space and invite observers to enjoy a glimpse into the excitement of the Symphony and engage the public in downtown Roanoke.
“The Green Room” is the heart of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra’s new location just steps away from Roanoke’s downtown City Market. Wiley, together with RSO musicians, are able to advance opportunities for participation in the arts and strengthen the RSO’s integration into the cultural and educational mainstream of our community. Visit The Green Room for music, learning, and fun in the rhythm of Roanoke’s downtown city center. Programs are given by RSO musicians, music director David Stewart Wiley, plus guest speakers and performers.
For more details about the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Roanoke Youth Symphony, In-School Ensembles, and RSO’s Educational Programs, please visit www.rso.com