New Stage Theatre

1100 Carlisle St
Jackson MS 39202
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Opening Hours

  • Mon: 10am-5pm
  • Tue: 10am-5pm
  • Wed: 10am-5pm
  • Thu: 10am-5pm
  • Fri: 10am-5pm


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Mission The mission of New Stage Theatre is to provide professional theatre of the highest quality for the people of Mississippi and the southeast. New Stage is committed to producing important contemporary works and classics, selected for their artistic merit and their power to illuminate the human condition. Challenging new works in development are included through the Eudora Welty New Play Series named for the distinguished writer who helped found New Stage. The theatre is dedicated to cultivating and educating a culturally diverse audience by gathering the finest available resources including playwrights, actors directors, designers, technicians, administrators, trainees, and board members. Integral to the theatre's total effort, its education department maximizes its potential by offering artistic and technical internships, by mounting intern touring programs supported by teachers' materials for schools statewide, and by developing curricula for and teaching youth and adult classes. Main Stage Productions New Stage produces five plays each year in its subscription series, in addition to a Christmas show, an annual student matinee, and a kids-only show that features local area talent. Main stage productions range from master works to contemporary classics to new plays. All carry the mark of professional quality for which the theatre has long been recognized. New Stage founder Jane Reid Petty described the theatre's commitment to new work this way: The artist comes first, and at New Stage Theatre, our energies are directed toward sustaining a vital environment in which artists can work together to achieve their finest moments on stage. Mississippi audiences are bred on the rich literary heritage of the state - William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright - and they respond to the dramatic event that is rooted in the playwright's words and vision. Our emphasis on new work evolves from this heritage; therefore, our special programming of The Eudora Welty New Play Series provides the creative meeting of playwright and the performing artists that nurtures the art of the dramatist and the present and future vitality of the American theatre. New Stage endeavors to include an original play in its subscription series every year. Additionally, the theatre has begun a second season called Unframed at New Stage featuring cutting-edge plays directed and performed by local artists. New Stage Theatre was chartered as a nonprofit organization in 1965 and produced its initial season in the winter and spring of 1966. Founded by Jane Reid Petty and seven other charter board members, with the assistance of the American National Theatre Academy and Actors' Equity Association, the theatre has been dedicated to professional excellence in the dramatic arts since its inception. Ivan Rider was the theatre's first artistic director and served in that capacity until 1979. A gifted professional, Rider established the high artistic production standards that remain the hallmark of New Stage programming today. New Stage's first home was an adapted church at the corner of Gallatin and Hooker Streets. The full houses for its opening season were significant: they represented the city's first racially integrated theatre audience and playgoers' response to more intellectually stimulating theatre fare than had been previously available locally. New Stage produced 13 seasons in the 150-seat church before moving to its present site in Belhaven in 1978. Built in 1963 for the Jackson Little Theatre, the 12, 000 square foot structure includes the 364-seat Meyer Crystal Auditorium, and a flexible, smaller performing space, the Jimmy Hewes Room. The theatre also owns the three other structures on the site, two of which are used for actors' housing and one for offices. In 1997, the theatre complex was designated as the Jane Reid Petty Theatre Center in recognition of the New Stage founder's contributions to the development of professional theatre in Mississippi. N