The Housatonic Musical Theatre Society is the musical theatre organization at Housatonic Valley Regional High School where students at all levels of experience are encouraged to participate, either onstage or backstage, in the annual March musical.
After many years without a musical theatre program, the Society was founded in 2003 by alumnus Lori Belter and theatre professional Michael Berkeley who believe that being a part of the musical offers students far more than just the fun of a show. “It teaches team-building and empowers students with strengthened self-esteem, pride and confidence that enriches all parts of their lives. We were both fortunate to have had extraordinary high school musical theatre experiences and we are committed to passing that on to future generations.”
HMTS produces one musical each year typically involving 40 or more students. Michael Berkeley, with his many years of directing and musical directing as well as performing as an Equity actor, and musical theatre veteran Lori Belter bring other theatre professionals into the collaboration, giving students the unique opportunity to work with, and learn from, theatre professionals.
Auditions are held each fall for the March production and are designed to be welcoming and as stress-free as possible. Any student who is interested is encouraged to come to an audition that is guaranteed to be the friendliest audition experience possible. HMTS is founded on the principle that everyone has something to offer and developing each student’s strength lies at the heart of this theatre program.
In addition to being on stage, students have the opportunity to design show posters, build set pieces, paint sets, hang lighting, run spotlights, manage props, and be a part of the backstage run crew.
Approximately 10% of the yearly budget is provided by the school; the remaining amount is raised by HMTS through fundraising events (such as the annual fall Kitchen Tour), sponsorships, program ads, donations, concessions, and ticket sales. Parent volunteers are an intrinsic part of the success of the program and help in many aspects including fundraising, set building, painting, concessions, and marketing.
Past shows include: Grease, Bye Bye Birdie, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Little Shop Of Horrors, Guys And Dolls, Anything Goes, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, South Pacific and Fiddler On The Roof.
For more information, please visit the Housatonic Musical Theatre Society’s website: HMTS.org.