About Us :
New Stage Theatre was chartered as a nonprofit organization in 1965 and produced its initial season in the winter and spring of 1966. Founded by Jane Reid Petty and seven other charter board members, with the assistance of the American National Theatre Academy and Actors' Equity Association, the theatre has been dedicated to professional excellence in the dramatic arts since its inception. New Stage produced 13 seasons in the 150-seat church before moving to its present site in Belhaven in 1978. Built in 1963 for the Jackson Little Theatre, the 12,000 square foot structure includes the 364-seat Meyer Crystal Auditorium, and a flexible, smaller performing space, the Jimmy Hewes Room. The theatre also owns the three other structures on the site, two of which are used for actors' housing and one for offices. In 1997, the theatre complex was designated as the Jane Reid Petty Theatre Center in recognition of the New Stage founder's contributions to the development of professional theatre in Mississippi. Now in its 35th year, New Stage produces a full professional season, including five main stage shows in the subscription series, a Christmas show, children's shows and selections in the Eudora Welty New Plays Series, named in honor of the internationally acclaimed writer, a lifetime member of the theatre's board of directors.
The mission of New Stage Theatre is to provide professional theatre of the highest quality for the people of Mississippi and the southeast.
New Stage is committed to producing important contemporary works and classics, selected for their artistic merit and their power to illuminate the human condition. Challenging new works in development are included through the Eudora Welty New Play Series named for the distinguished writer who helped found New Stage.
The theatre is dedicated to cultivating and educating a culturally diverse audience by gathering the finest available resources including playwrights, actors directors, designers, technicians, administrators, trainees, and board members. Integral to the theatre's total effort, its education department maximizes its potential by offering artistic and technical internships, by mounting intern touring programs supported by teachers' materials for schools statewide, and by developing curricula for and teaching youth and adult classes.