Club Meeting – January 30th, 2014

Poole 013014Ginger Poole is a proud member of Actor’s Equity and is the Producing Managing Director of the Mill Mountain Theatre (MMT).  She has a strong background in dance and is an accomplished actor, most recently in the cast of MMT’s production of “The 39 Steps” in October, and was the director of “The Sound of Music,” which recently had a very successful run.  She was the sole employee of the theatre during the 2009-2012 reorganization.  She runs the education program – MMT Conservatory having worked with students that range in age from kindergarten through professionals.

“50 Years of History – Moving Forward”

  • In 1983 MMT joined other museums and Center in the Square
  • At a 2009 staff meeting on Tuesday men in suits came in and told the Board, 23 full time employees and 16 contract folks that MMT was closing; everyone was shocked.
  • MMT was $850,000 in debt at the time.
  • A hand full of employees worked hand in hand with the Board to save the name.  Within the next year 6 people  raised all the needed funds other than $75,000 which was season ticket holder money.
  • They went face-to-face with merchants and sponsors and explained how they got into debt; this debt took 11 years to accumulate.
  • Ginger received an e-mail every day from someone who supported MMT.
  • The location has moved three times and the staff dwindled down to only Ginger; this gave time for MMT to reorganize; find a new facility; now celebrating 50th year in the Roanoke Valley; underwriters and sponsors money was given to season ticket holders from 2009; if anyone in Rotary was given gift certificates or season tickets, MMT will honor them.
  • She then talked about the 2014 season which includes: Wizard of Oz, To Kill a Mockingbird, Children of Eden, etc.

Ginger Poole shared a great story about love of the arts and perseverance.  To learn more about MMT upcoming shows, educational programs, be a volunteer or how to make a donate visit their site by clicking here.

Our thanks to Cindy Liechtenstein for providing content for this post.