Commonwealth Musical Stage was incorporated in 1991 as the State’s only professional theatre committed exclusively to the production of musical theatre. To more clearly reflect the company’s identity, the name was changed to Virginia Musical Theatre in 1997. VMT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization. A volunteer board of trustees oversees the fiduciary responsibilities of the company.
Now entering its 27th season, VMT remains the only professional arts organization in Hampton Roads devoted exclusively to musical theatre. This focused commitment ensures its contributions enhance efforts of other institutions to complete the region’s cultural fabric. VMT provides: 1) affordable, professional, high quality productions; 2) added breadth to alternative popular fare offered by touring and other groups; and 3) educational performances for school audiences.
Each year, VMT produces four musicals, generally two contemporary and two from the classical Broadway annals, that bring together the finest professional performers from Broadway, touring circuits and the Virginia region with leading musicians, designers and young theatre aspirants. Boasting significant Broadway, national and international credits, the artistic leads inspire regional talent to create supreme productions like Camelot, Phantom of the Opera, Little Women, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and a variety of classical Broadway musicals.
To date, VMT has produced more than 100 different productions that represent the diversity of the genre (From Oklahoma to Legally Blonde), its ever-changing musical styles (Tintypes to A Chorus Line), and the genius of its creators (Man of La Mancha to South Pacific). America’s foremost composers and lyricists are represented, collectively mirroring the history and popular culture of Twentieth Century America and offering a comprehensive survey of the art form’s development.
VMT also produces many regional premieres, such as Happy Days the Musical and next season’s highly anticipated, Disney’s Freaky Friday the New Musical (from the creators of Next to Normal and TV’s Friday Night Lights).
To kindle interest among young audiences, VMT actively cultivates student groups. In particular, it produces productions with significant educational and historical value (1776 and Shenandoah). For each production, VMT offers a student-priced ticket as well as student rush tickets. For selected productions, VMT offers special showings to local students.
VMT operates under agreements with Actors’ Equity Association and Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, the unions representing American Theatre professionals. Like the other principal arts organizations in the region, VMT combines guest artists with regional professionals in its productions. An average of 300 performers, musicians, designers, directors, choreographers and technicians are employed each season.