About Brookhaven Little Theatre
Brookhaven Little Theatre is one of the oldest continually running community theaters in the state of Mississippi. Its first production was “You Can’t Take It With You” in April of 1968.
Since that time BLT has performed approximately 150 plays, playlets and readings.
It has used several venues as ‘home’ for its productions including Brookhaven Elementary Auditorium, Maggie Ewing Auditorium at Copiah Lincoln Community College and the Lampton Auditorium on the campus of what is now Mississippi School of the Arts.
On March 23, 1982 the Board of Directors, on behalf of the members of Brookhaven Little Theatre, purchased the historic Haven Theater on West Cherokee Street in downtown Brookhaven. Thus began the ongoing project of refurbishing, replacing, and remodeling the building. The first play to be held in the new BLT home was “The Man Who Came To Dinner” in the spring of 1985.
The mission of Brookhaven Little Theatre is to expose people of all ages to the arts. It also feels it is a partner with many who want Downtown Brookhaven to remain a vibrant and active place of shopping, eating, entertainment and living.
Though there are many reasons Brookhaven Little Theatre (BLT) considers itself a part of the progressiveness of Brookhaven and Lincoln County, one stands head and shoulders above the others.
We believe our BLT contributes to the progress of this area of the state by exposing young children and teens to the arts. We offer a two-week Summer Theater Camp that draws youngsters from Lincoln, Copiah, Lawrence, Franklin, Pike, Walthall, Hinds and Rankin Counties. We also draw children from out of state who travel to Brookhaven/Lincoln County to spend this two weeks with their grandparents or other family in order to participate.
We also offer a summer BLTeen production that draws young actors from local and surrounding high schools.
Our summer programs give all of them the chance to express themselves creatively and teach them discipline as well. It motivates them in ways that are not found in a regular course curriculum in school. They learn perseverance; develop critical thinking skills and the value of working together for a common goal.
All of these, of course, contribute to the making of a well-rounded person. But what is valuable about these opportunities is that BLT is making sure the craft does not become a lost art.
Whether our young actors stay in Brookhaven or carry what they have learned to other parts of our state or country what they’ve learned through their BLT experiences will stay with them.
What is interesting about our local young people is that many of them leave the area and as they marry and start families they remember the life they had growing up in Brookhaven and gradually they filter back home, bringing their families and their love of this community with them.
We feel BLT is a part of the reason they come back. Amateur theatre plays a vital roll in making Brookhaven the Homeseekers Paradise it continues to be. We are growing but we are retaining that small-town flavor that makes us what we are. As we progress we are keeping our values valid and important.
BLT, along with exposing our youth to the arts, gives people of all ages the opportunity to be a part of live theater through the three performances it presents each year. Musicals, comedies and dramatic plays provide a wide scope to showcase the talent that resides in our area.
BLT has also begun offering itself as a concert venue to local talent. It has been the location of CD Release Concerts and we work well with Mississippi School of the Arts (MSA) located just down the street from us. We draw talent from both the student body and faculty as they have been a part of our production crews, and casts in recent months.
Since the marquee has been restored it has become a place for promoting events such as concerts and weddings. Everyone loves to see their “name in lights” at the Haven Theatre.
For over 40 years BLT has been a part of the progressiveness of Brookhaven. We have moved from borrowing high school auditoriums for our productions to a vibrant, beautiful ‘work in progress’ home in Downtown Brookhaven. Visible and attractive and a part of a growing downtown area we are so proud to call our home.