The mission of the Media Music Theatre Company is to promote and nurture the imagination, diversity, and joy unique to music theatre by the production of new and classic works; to herald music theatre to young people as an art form that is relevant to their lives and to foster an understanding by them that it is indigenous to their cultural heritage.
WHAT WE DO IS INSPIRE LIVES, IMPROVE LIVES, AND EDUCATE THROUGH MUSIC THEATRE! Not only do we have a full season of mainstage Broadway musicals and children’s programming, we also have a highly respected summer camp for ages 6 and up, plus a teen camp each summer which produces its own musicals . We also have a VOCALIST contest during summer months, so that young people who may not otherwise have an outlet for their talents, have the ability to showcase themselves and their favorite songs in any genre onstage in front of hundreds of people with positive feedback from entertainment specialists and local community leaders. Add to that our State Street Miracles performance troupe of adults with developmental disabilities, and it equals one very important reason why THE MEDIA THEATRE is one of Delaware County’s jewels.
Simply put, musical theatre is the great AMERICAN contribution to the art of theatre. Our mission can be more fully realized as the community sees the Media Theatre not as a building, but as the home of a nationally recognized, community inspired professional music Theatre Company. The theatre’s identity in the community is established by the quality of the art it creates and it is the responsibility of the theatre put forth the message that the art of live theatre has tremendous value to the cultural health of this region. It is truly a testament to the power of live theatre that almost 80 years later, in an era of iPODS, cell phones, video games, and blackberries, that an old vaudeville house propels the artistic, cultural, and economic enhancement of Delaware County. The Media Theatre is proud to serve all ages and peoples by teaching them about the incomparable joy of live theatrical entertainment.
It is a Friday evening in downtown Media. Up and down State Street, restaurant patrons have finished their meals as they await change from their bills. Every restaurant on State Street advertises pre- and post- theatre specials, competing for the business of over 600 theatre patrons that evening.
Parents drop off their children at Media Elementary School, directly across the street from the Theatre, to a space provided by RoseTree School District for its use as an educational space. The children will participate in theatre activities while the parents enjoy a progressive new musical or an old favorite.
The theatre’s bar, located in the lobby has been open since 6:30. There are theatre patrons there who are relaxing and having a drink while listening to Broadway showtunes being played on the piano.
It is now 7:30, and the house is being opened. Some patrons who shopped at Trader Joe’s and visited the Veteran’s Museum have now arrived at the theatre. They are out of town guests who have spent much of the day in Media. Patrons are finding their way to their seats in the well-lit theatre that has recently added additional house lighting system, that make program reading less of a task. The Luxury Balcony is lively with a small group of 20 guests delighting in the amenities available to Corporate Sponsors. A recently installed assisted listening system will be a great help to the hearing impaired patron during the performance. This acquisition was made possible by interest from a healthy 2 million-dollar endowment in principal and growing. Additional support for an assertive and successful grant-writing program has obtained competitive funding from across the US, plus an aggressive local campaign stressing the Media Theatre’s importance as a theatre company and an institution in the community. A large multi-year grant from the National Endowment for the Arts has subsidized The Media Theatre’s season and solidified its future programming.
Patrons peruse their playbill, which acknowledges the NEA and provides interesting background information on the development of the new musical that is playing tonight. Interestingly enough this new piece is also supported by sponsorships from PECO, Sovereign Bank, and Aqua America. These three sponsors will pay for a percentage of the production costs (given the fact that most productions through ticket sales only pay for approximately 60% of their costs). Patrons continue to read the playbill that provides interesting information on staff members. One whole page is devoted to the activities of the Media Theatre Council of Advisors, whose networking will allow the Development Department to secure major equipment upgrades for technical needs and acquire funds to purchase a company property to house actors, designers, and other artists from out of town.
As the last audience members hurry in, a hush falls over the auditorium; a board member has risen from their seat and walked to the front of the stage. Standing next to the orchestra pit, they turn and smile as they introduce themself: “Welcome to your Tony Award-winning Regional Theatre – The Media Theatre. We’d like to thank our corporate family and our patrons who made this evening’s performance possible…”
The preceding ‘vision narrative’ is just one of the many possible outcomes for the Media Theatre. While it seems idealistic – the fact remains that such change can be accomplished with focused implementation of strategic objectives, fueled by the resources and energy of those who support the organization – from board, to staff, to donor, to the community at large.
However, at the heart of all such change is the most fundamental element of the Media Theatre – the art of live music theatre. It is what happens on stage, and its artistic integrity, that is the guiding element and the foundation for all growth.