MTA & MSU Riley Center Host Annual Theatre Conference


Stephen Cunetto & Stacy Howell
Co-Executive Directors

December 7, 2016

MTA & MSU Riley Center Host Annual Theatre Conference

Over 400 high school students and community theatre enthusiasts will travel to Meridian to participate in the annual statewide theatre festival and convention being held at the Mississippi State University Riley Center January 14-17, 2016.  This unique festival brings theatres from around the state to perform their one-act productions, to learn more about theatre and how to improve theatre arts in the respective theatres.

High schools throughout the state have been rehearsing plays since September in hopes of placing in the regional competitions and then advancing to the State Festival. High schools that were awarded a Distinguished Play Award at the North and South regional festivals held in December advanced to the State Festival.  The schools advancing to the State Festival include Cleveland High School, Hernando High School, Jackson Preparatory School, Pearl River Central High School, Picayune High School, Oak Grove High School, Ocean Springs High School, Starkville High School, and Washington High School. High school productions will be held Friday, January 15, at The Riley Center.  The top two winners of the MTA Festival advance to the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

Community Theatres from around the State also participate in the State Theatre Festival in hopes of advancing to the regional Southeastern Theatre Conference. Community Theatres performing include Black Rose Theatre, Just Over The Rainbow Theatre, Theatre Oxford, The Center Players, Starkville Community Theatre, Tupelo Community Theatre, and WINGS Performing Arts. Community Theatre productions begin Saturday morning, January 16 and run through Saturday evening.

Additionally, MTA sponsors a Theatre for Youth Festival on January 15 at The Studio Theatre at The Riley Center. The Theatre for Youth Festival is geared towards youth audiences and includes both community theatre and community college groups performing.  This year’s lineup includes Dramatic Harmonies Rankin Little Theatre, Gautier Drama, Holme-Towne Players (Holmes Community College), Meridian High School, Oak Grove High School, Pascagoula High School, Perk Players, Purvis Masqueraders, and Starkville High School. Schools from throughout the region will be bussed in to see these productions.  The Theatre for Youth Festival is open and free to the public.

The Riley Center will host the festival.  The full schedule will be available by the end of December on the MTA’s website.  General Admission ticket for the secondary and community theatre productions will be available at the door.  Prices are $25 for all 15 productions; $15 for all productions on one day and $5 for a block of plays.

MTA is sponsored in part by grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information, visit the MTA website at or contact Stephen Cunetto, executive director of the Mississippi Theatre Association, at (662) 418-3870 or


Washington High School

Starkville High School product of Eurydice.

Starkville High School

Oak Grove High School

Oak Grove High School


[box type=”info” size=”medium” title=”Registration and Information” right_title=”Box Right Title” right_description=”Box Right Description” url=”” ]For more information on the 2016 MTA Festival visit [/box]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *