Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



The Board of Trustees of Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the Friends of MRT invite the community to Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s 30th Anniversary Gala on Friday, June 12, 6PM-11PM at Lowell Memorial Auditorium, 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell.  Recognizing the leadership of MRT’s past presidents, the evening will feature cocktails, dinner, dancing and live performances by the Stardust Band and Laiona Michelle of MRT’s acclaimed hit, Dinah Was.  Tickets are $130 and can be purchased online at or by contacting Jeff Prescott, Development Associate at 978.654.7552.  Sponsorships are also available.  The proceeds of the event will help underwrite MRT’s productions and education programs.

The evening will be hosted by Master of Ceremonies State Senator Steven Panagiotakos, who will recognize the 11 past presidents of MRT for their leadership, which has guided the Company from its beginnings in 1979 as Merrimack Regional Theatre at the University of Lowell’s Mahoney Hall to the current location at Liberty Hall in Lowell Memorial Auditorium.  Since its founding in 1979, MRT has served over one million theatergoers with 203 professional productions, including 14 world premieres and 32 regional premieres.  Dedicated to producing theatrical productions at the highest level of artistic excellence, the Company has been recognized twice by the Independent Reviewers of New England for Best Production of a Play, for The Drawer Boy (2003) and Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance (2008).  MRT has also served over 100,000 students through its education programs, and has annual attendance of over 40,000 people per year.  The past presidents of MRT are: 

Nancy Donahue (1979-1981/1988-1992)
John Duff (1981-1982)
Richard Bournival (1982-1985)
Richard Dobroth (1985-1988)
Jack O’Connor (1992-1994/2001-2003)
Nicola Tsongas (1994-1997)
Michael Gallagher (1997-1999)
Carol Duncan (1999-2001)
Robert McDonald (2003-2005)
Edward Moloney (2005-2007)
Lincoln Pinsky (2007-2009)

Other highlights of the evening will include dinner, dancing and entertainment.  Music will be provided by the Stardust Band, and features a special musical performance from Laiona Michelle, star of one of the most popular shows in MRT’s history, Dinah Was (2006).  Other features will be a retrospective of the theatre’s 30-year history, and 30-year subscribers to MRT will also be honored.

The 30th Anniversary Gala coincides with the 30th birthday of MRT Executive Director Tom Parrish.  Referred to by some as the Theo Epstein of MRT, Parrish became Executive Director of MRT in 2006 at age 27, and is still the youngest executive director of any of the 77 LORT theatres.  Since joining MRT, Parrish has helped lead the theatre to an operating surplus for three consecutive years, eliminating the theatre’s long-time accumulated deficit.  During his tenure, the theatre has achieved an industry leading subscriber-renewal rate, and sent its first production to New York (Secret Order), all while maintaining maximum affordability for the audience and integrity for the artistic process.

30th ANNIVERSARY GALA TICKETS: Tickets are $130.  Sponsorships are $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000.  RSVP to Jeff Prescott at 978.654.7552 or purchase tickets online at by May 29, 2009.

MENU: Petite Salad Station: Caesar Salad, Baby Greek Salad, Spring Fling House Salad, Herb Crusted Salmon Salad.  Whipped Potato Station: Red Bliss Whipped Potatoes, topping choices include baby lamb lollipops, balsamic & soy marinated steak, bordelaise sauce, prosciutto crisps, cheddar cheese, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, chives and sour cream.  Polenta Station: Southwest Crostini, Grilled Italian Sausage & Peppers Toscana, Shrimp Bisque with Polenta & Pancetta Wrapped Shrimp.  North End Pasta Station: Full assortment of antipasti, olive oils, foccacia breads, pesto, Italian sausage, meatballs, eggplant, olives, grilled vegetables, feta cheese, pepperocini, mushrooms, freshly grated cheeses, sauces and pastas.  Dessert Station: ice cream lollipops, assorted cakes with fresh berries, coffee, herbal teas and freshly brewed coffee.  Cash Bar

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