The Early Years.
The Milledgeville Players (MVP) came into being after a very successful production of Oklahoma! in 2000. The Georgia College and State University Department of Continuing Education organized the production at Russell Auditorium in late summer of 2000, and that success spawned several follow up meetings about forming a local community theater group.
In early 2001, an initial group was formally established and performed the cabaret, Directions of the Heart. Later that year, our second production, The Robber Bridegroom, was staged at Oak Hills Middle School.
With that initial success, in 2002 The Milledgeville Players brought on the follow up cabaret, Directions of the Heart II, and staged our first big musical, South Pacific at Russell Auditorium.
In 2003, we shifted from a cabaret format to a stage comedy with Arsenic and Old Lace, and Guys and Dolls, both at Russell Auditorium.
Around this time, a formal Board management structure was developed along with the required Georgia State approval. The Board structure outlined management organization along with operating by-laws. Working relationships with Georgia College and State University, Allied Arts, and other production facilities were formalized, and we became a member of American Association of Community Theater (AACT).
The Growing Years.
In 2004, we returned to the cabaret with Directions of the Heart III at Allen’s Market. Our Murder Mystery Dinner was Thirst for Blood held at St. Stephen’s Parish Hall, followed by the comedy You Can’t Take It With You, and the musical The Music Man, both at Russell Auditorium.
For 2005, the Murder Mystery Dinner was Next of Kin at the Milledgeville Country Club, followed by the comedy Harvey at Russell and the musical Fiddler on the Roof in the Goldstein Center for the Performing Arts Auditorium at Georgia Military College.
Our 2006 productions included the Music and Murder with the Milledgeville Mavericks at the Milledgeville Country Club, followed by the comedy The Man Who Came To Dinner at Russell Auditorium.
The Formative Years.
In 2007, a yearly production pattern emerged – an early year Murder Mystery Dinner, a late spring comedy, and a fall Broadway musical. We produced Manners and Murders at the Southern Ladies University of Traditions at Crockette’s, the comedy Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and musical H.M.S. Pinafore, both at Russell Auditorium.
We also revisited our Board structure and revised the organizing documents to better align with current operations. In that reorganization, we expanded and better defined the Board position roles, as well as completed the official re-filing with the State of Georgia. A major step for the Board that year was to look ahead and establish the full-season schedule for the following year.
In 2008, our productions included Murder on Maui at Crocketts, and the comedy Bell, Book and Candle, and the musical The Pajama Game, both at Russell Auditorium.
To expand our presence and reach in the middle Georgia area, we joined Macon Arts. The Board also revisited our tax exempt status and completed the application with the IRS. The application was subsequently approved in early 2009. Lastly, now that we had a yearly planning process in place, we moved to expand to include four productions a year.
For 2009, it was A Vintage Murder at Crocketts, a mystery And Then There Were None, a musical Annie Get Your Gun, both at Russell, and a fourth production added in November, the musical comedy Smoke on the Mountain.
The Milledgeville Players also joined the Friends of Allied Arts. Along the way, the Milledgeville Players have provided theater talent for many local activities including churches, clubs, and one of our annual favorites, the Milledgeville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Haunted Trolley Tour. We also support and publicize our fellow local actor’s productions, and provide scholarship and support funding to Georgia College and State University, Allied Arts activities, and others.
Our 2010 season included Til Death Do We Part…And We Part Tonight at Crocketts, and Moon Over Buffalo at Russell. We had great fun with Once Upon A Mattress in August as well as the sequel to Smoke on the Mountain, A Sanders Family Christmas in November.
2011 brought Dead Man’s Chest, Neil Simon’s great comedy The Odd Couple, a classic Broadway musical Damn Yankees, along with the final Sanders Family play, Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming.
In 2012, we started with the The Mafia Murders for our dinner theater at the Milledgeville Country Club. We tried something very different with the thriller Wait Until Dark and got a great result at the old theater at Baldwin High School. Brigadoon hit the spotlight in August and was a big hit. And we produced our Christmas “Present” Concert to the Community at Allen’s Market in November.
2013 had us “killing ourselves” again in the Bordello of Blood murder mystery dinner at the Country Club. We raised our Broadway musical “bar” with a super version of Kiss Me Kate at Russell in August. And, the Sanders Family returns with Smoke on the Mountain in November.
Our history has been great, but you should think about being a part of our future! You can join our casts or crew, work backstage, sponsor a production, or help our Board in many, many ways.
Contact us and see what fun Community Theater can be!
We're Just CRAZY About Theater!!!
The Milledgeville Players