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Meadow Brook Theatre celebrates 50 years

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published October 7, 2015

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ROCHESTER HILLS — For the past-half century, Meadow Brook Theatre has delivered professional art and culture to the greater Rochester area.

“We are so excited to launch our 50th season,” Travis Walter, MBT artistic director, said at an Oct. 5 ceremony on the steps of Wilson Hall, leading to the theater at Oakland University.

Meadow Brook Theatre is Michigan’s largest nonprofit professional theater. Local politicians helped celebrate the anniversary and talked about the impact of MBT on the community.

Auburn Hills City Councilman Henry Knight said he and his wife first moved to the city in 1956.

“Later that year was the first opening of Michigan State University, Oakland campus,” he said. “We live in the same house. I’ve watched Oakland grow and the theater with it. We are proud to join with the others in celebration today, and proud to work together.”

“I intend to start ‘A Christmas Carol’ tradition with my family,” Rochester Mayor Jeffrey Cuthbertson said.

Walter said he performed in MBT’s “A Christmas Carol” for six years prior to becoming the theater’s artistic director. He said the annual holiday play has been an MBT fixture for 34 years.

“We represent the community and we love what we do,” he said. “I like to think of us as a little jewel in the crown of Oakland County.”

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said he has a long past with the theater.

“Our family comes to ‘A Christmas Carol’ and other productions also — and we always think, ‘Why don’t we do this more often?’”

MBT’s 50th season kicked off with the “The Explorers Club,” by Nell Benjamin, Oct. 7-Nov. 1. Set in 1879 London, the comedy spoofs Victorian adventurers. The 2015-16 MBT season features seven productions, four of which are Michigan premieres. 

Tickets are on sale now for all performances, including “A Christmas Carol,” which runs Nov. 13-Dec. 24.

The “Fifty Years of Meadow Brook Theatre” book is available by calling (248) 377-3300.

For tickets or more information about the upcoming MBT season, visit www.mbtheatre.com.

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