Main Street Players celebrate 40 years

Montevallo Main Street Players director, Elaine Hughes, and the actors for the 40th Anniversary Gala take the stage during their finale June 18. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – As schools integrated in 1971, citizens of Montevallo wanted to find a way to bring their community together. The Montevallo Parent-Teacher Association put on “A Womanless Wedding” before a full house at the University of Montevallo’s Palmer Auditorium, and thus began the inception of the Montevallo Main Street Players.

“When the two communities in Montevallo merged because of the school integration, the two communities came together in ‘A Womanless Wedding,'” said Elaine Hughes, one of MMSP’s founding members and current director. “Forty-five men in this town were in the play, and they really came together as a community.

“It was so much fun, no one wanted to quit,” she added.

During the 40th anniversary gala on June 18 in the Parnell Memorial Library Theatre, Main Street Players, both past and current, reenacted favorite scenes from a handful of the 65 plays produced by the theatre company, including “A Doll’s House,” “The Odd Couple,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Nunsense” and “Always … Patsy Cline.”

“We primarily wanted people to understand how and why we began,” Hughes said of the gala.

After performing in different venues including the Montevallo Depot, the old Strand Theater, the Montevallo Recreation Building, the Montevallo Twin Plus One, Reynolds Studio Theatre, Thompson and Montevallo High Schools and the Montevallo Grille, the Players found a permanent home in the Parnell Library Theatre in 2007.

“Art is a wonderful vehicle for bringing people together and it worked,” Hughes said.

For more information on the Montevallo Main Street Players, visit Montevalloartscouncil.org/mmsp or contact Elaine Hughes at 665-7757.