Theatre-Arts has grown to be one of the most outstanding
community theatres in Mississippi in only 40-plus years.
When it was formed in March, 1968, it was organized to
present theatre, concerts, art exhibits and other art-related
areas to the Corinth-Alcorn community. One of the prime
movers behind the founding of CT-A was H. L. "Sandy"
Williams, president of the Corinth-Alcorn Area Chamber
of Commerce in 1968. Original board of directors was A.
H. "Lon" Taylor Jr., president; O.R. "Sammy"
Smith Jr., secretary; Dr. E.A. "Boogie" White
III, treasurer; Mrs. Doug Hammond; Liddon McPeters; Mrs.
Maury Whitfield; John Henderson; A. B. Isbell and Mrs.
Ellis Perry. The first membership drive was held Aug.
1-15 with sponsors paying $100, patrons $30 and season
members $7.50 per ticket. The first production, "The
Egg and I," opened on Sept. 26, 1968.
Theatre-Arts used numerous school auditoriums for stage
space until 1972. The Tri-State Fair Association had ceased
using exhibit buildings on the city-owned fairgrounds
land and Mayor John D. Mercier wondered if Corinth Theatre-Arts
might make use of them as a permanent playhouse. Cyrill
Mallett -- a New Yorker who had been hired as resident
director -- led a volunteer crew in adapting the structures
(by scrounging materials) into the Crossroads Playhouse.
Mallett returned to New York, however, before directing
a single play. The first presentation in the new playhouse
was "Of Mice and Men" in March, 1973.
Theatre-Arts has had many talented directors, both guest
and resident: Sylvia Beasley, Ron Hamilton, Cyrill Mallett,
Max Young, Conchita Wallace, Mavis Labas, Mark Wagner,
Marty Hansen, Hud Hickman, Lynn West, Kathryn Hill, Lynn
Wroten, Rae Marsh, Bob Carver, Jo Anderson, Frank Chapin,
Raymond Burgin, Mary Ann Rodman, Marshall St. Clair, Scott
Conley, Larry Cox, Will Stutts, David Moore, Tamsie West,
Murray Chase, Chris Wooten, Autry Davis, Joan Hazel, Myra
Byrnes, Jennifer Winters, Petey Pace, Jason Gonzalez,
Victoria Blake, Sandy LeBlanc, Dr. Laurie McBride, Lynda
Whitfield, R. Andrew Strickland, Timothy Hodges, Katie
Simons, Daniel Inouye, Christopher Schager, Kelly Gilson,
David Maxedon, Tyson Stephenson and Cristina Skinner.
spin-off of Corinth Theatre-Arts has been the formation
of the Theatre Guild in 1979 as a support group. The Guild
has been the guiding force behind many fundraising events,
such as the Critics' Choice Cookbooks. They were also
instrumental in establishing the Magnolia Awards Galas.
major renovation of the Playhouse was completed in 1982,
centering around the addition of a large work and storage
room on the northeast corner. The stage-high area also
provides wing room and features a loading dock. Dressing
rooms, make-up rooms, restrooms and the concession area
also were expanded; a new director's office was built
and the lobby was redecorated. In 1990, CT-A replaced
the wooden seats, originally acquired from the old Cruise
Street School auditorium, with overstuffed movie theatre
seats from a Malco theatre in the Old Hickory Mall in
the years, CT-A has had many ups and downs and there have
been many changes, both good and bad. Through it all,
many volunteers generously have given their time, talents
and money so that this vision of a non-profit arts organization
in the Alcorn-Corinth area would be successful -- and
survive. CT-A has given years of memories for this community.
Please join us in our quest to bring arts entertainment
to northeast Mississippi, to help educate youngsters in
our tri-state area and to economically stimulate our area
through the promotion of tourism. CT-A is nothing other
than a community of volunteers committed to the arts and
we need you -- the community!