Musical Theater Guild
|Type of group:||Theater|
|President:||Kirsten Olson '14|
The MIT Musical Theatre Guild (MTG) is the oldest and largest theatre organization at MIT. It is entirely student-run.
MTG was formed from the merger of the MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Society, the Classical Musical Society, and the Tech Show Society in 1971. The first MTG production was "Pirates of Penzance," November 11-13, 1971. MTG's predecessor, Tech Show, was founded in 1899.
MTG performs four shows a year: one each in IAP, the spring and fall academic terms, and in the summer.
- Children of Eden
November 11-19, 2011, La Sala De Puerto Rico
September 2-17, 2011, Kresge Little Theatre
- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
April 22-30, 2011, Kresge Little Theatre
- Jekyll & Hyde
January 28 - February 5, 2011, La Sala De Puerto Rico
- Guys And Dolls
November 18-21, 2010, La Sala De Puerto Rico
- Jesus Christ Superstar
September 3-18, 2010, Kresge Little Theatre
- Evil Dead: The Musical
April 23 - May 1, 2010, Kresge Little Theatre
- Little Shop Of Horrors
January 29 - February 6, 2010, La Sala De Puerto Rico
- Side Show
November 6-14, 2009, La Sala De Puerto Rico
- Bat Boy: The Musical
August 28 - September 12, 2009, Kresge Little Theatre
April 25 - May 2, 2009, Kresge Little Theatre
- The Mystery of Edwin Drood
January 30 - February 7, 2009, La Sala De Puerto Rico
Tech Show was first presented in May of 1899 to raise money to liquidate the debt of the bankrupt Athletic Association. Mrs. Evelyn Greenleaf Sutherland convinced well-known composers to write the score and she herself penned the script. To the surprise of many, it was a big success.
With the exception of Tech Show 1901, which was the American premier of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Grand Duke," the early Tech Shows were original vaudeville revues or comedies. These early productions increased the popularity of Tech Show within the community. After 1910, the musical scores became so good that they were published each year, and the productions had grown so large that "A Royal Johnnie," in 1914, had two full choruses and a ballet, as well as the first orchestra ever at MIT.
With MIT's move to Cambridge from Boston in 1916, the flavor of Tech Show began to change. Tech Show 1918 was the first pure musical comedy, with specialty acts and a loose plot; and, since the Athletic Association was now on firm ground, Tech Show began to benefit other organizations. "Patsy," Tech Show 1920, was considered the best pre-World War II production. The first three scheduled performances were sold out to standing room only crowds so that two return performances were held, which also sold out. All in all, approximately 500 students worked on this production.
Encouraged by the success of "Patsy" and the attitudes of the Roaring Twenties, Tech Show became an extravaganza. Tech Show began to tour, sponsored by alumni clubs. The budgets were between $13,000 and $20,000. Over-extension quickly put Tech Show into debt. Tech Show 1929 reverted back to the revue format and put the organization back into the black. However, productions continued to have problems and Tech Show again went into the red.
In 1932, after tremendous bickering with the Institute Committee, Tech Show 1933 received provisional recognition with a limited budget of $1000. A group of dedicated students, under the guidance of Prof. William C. Greene, planned a new type of musical comedy aimed solely at the students, rather than at outside audiences. That year's production was a large success, and Tech Show was reinstated as a class "A" activity.
Once again, the Institute Committee put pressure on Tech Show. Despite the moderate success of Tech Show '36, the Committee rashly revoked Tech Show's constitution on the basis of so-called `lack of student interest and support.' Despite overwhelming approval of Tech Show by the student body, Tech Show was forced to discontinue because of some prominent student officials' comments in the Tech that `Tech Show was a thing of the past.'
A referendum was held in 1946, and, with the aid of Prof. Greene, a new Tech Show opened. It was a surprising success. Organized to entertain MIT students alone and not to travel for alumni to other cities, Tech Show found new life and flourished for approximately 20 years. But then, in the late sixties, problems again plagued Tech Show. Controversy over scripts caused turmoil and division within the organization and Tech Show did not reopen after the close of Utopia.
In 1971, Tech Show and two other ailing theatre groups—the Gilbert and Sullivan Society and the Classical Musical Society—merged to form the MIT Musical Theatre Guild.