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History

A Brief History of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre (CTC)

Founded in 1923 as the Little Theatre of Chattanooga, the CTC [a member the Association of American Community Theatres (AACT); Tennessee Theatre Association (TTA); Tennesseans for the Arts (TFTA); and, Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC)] is one of the oldest, largest, and busiest community theatres in the country. Our fifteen productions per year - seen by audiences of more than 50,000 - are created by hundreds of talented volunteers and represent theatrical experiences of the highest caliber. The physical plant that is the Chattanooga Theatre Centre is a 40,000 square-foot facility beautifully situated on the banks of the Tennessee River. In addition to our 380-seat Main Theatre and 200-seat Mildred M. Montague Circle Theatre (a black box space), we boast huge scene and costume shops, spacious dressing rooms, large classroom/rehearsal rooms - one with a mirrored wall, sprung dance floor and ballet barre, gorgeous lobbies, attractive offices, and other amenities.

Our flagship program is a ten-show series featuring a variety of offerings designed to satisfy the tastes of most theatre lovers -- dramas, musicals, mysteries, and comedies of quality and lasting value performed in our Main and Circle Theatres from September through July. Young actors and crews create four plays annually for more than 18,000 children, teachers, parents, and other adult friends in our internationally acclaimed Youth Theatre, performed in our Main and Circle Theatres from September through May.

In addition to our performance programs, we also provide drama and dance classes, workshops, and a summer academy for students of theatre arts from kindergarten through high school. Offerings range from Beginning Acting, Theatre Dance, and Improvisation to Professional Clowning, Singing for Actors, Scene Analysis, and Stage Managing. Our adjunct faculty of local theatre professionals see more than 200 students per year. Thanks to our scholarship program, many who could not otherwise attend pay nothing.

Our Education Outreach program provides free admission to dress rehearsals, low-cost educational performances, free study guides for classes attending our Youth Theatre, and workshops for teachers learning to use theatre arts as part of their daily activities. We are Partners in Education with a local magnet school for the performing arts, work closely with the theatre department of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and offer internship opportunities for technical theatre students of Chattanooga State Technical Community College.

We are proud to provide professional opportunities for directors, music directors, choreographers, and musicians in our productions. 

Our professional staff includes Artistic Director, Patron Services Manager, Education Director, Youth Theatre Director, Technical Director/Master Carpenter and Marketing and Public Relations Director. Management is provided by our Executive Director who reports to the Board of Directors.

The mission of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, in brief, is to enhance our community through quality theatrical experiences. With our rehearsal halls, construction shops, and workrooms busy with devoted volunteers, our classrooms filled with interested students, and our auditoriums brimming with enthusiastic patrons, it is clear we are well on our way to fulfilling that mission.