Who Are We?
The purpose of Meadow Brook Theatre Guild is to support the activities of the actors, directors and stage crew of the Meadowbrook Theater. Our members enjoy the benefits of participating in our many exciting events, meeting the performers, providing food for the actors and stage crew, and discounts on performances throughout the year. In return our members and sponsors help us raise funds to support the theatre activities. Each year we make a sizable donation to the Meadow Brook theatre that benefits our community by supporting the arts.
We are blessed to be celebrating our 40th Anniversary this year. As part of our cerebration please enjoy this video.
The Guild idea originated when Mr. & Mrs. Boutell of Bloomfield Hills, who for several years served on the Meadow Brook Executive Committee, acted as hosts for a series of parties in their home for the actors and directors who came to Meadow Brook Theatre. As time went by, members of the community became interested in theatre after attending the Boutell’s parties. It was at this point that Robert A Dearth, then Director of Cultural Affairs at Oakland University, suggested a more formal structure, which would provide an opportunity to assist the theatre and its personnel. The outcome was the development of the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild in 1977.
Mrs. John McClure, of Rochester, served as the first president of the Guild. It was during her second term that the Guild developed goals, formed bylaws and undertook a few projects providing a structure and format that has continues to the present.
A number of services were initiated in the first years. Those services included suppers to the crew on technical dress rehearsal nights, funding the afterglow parties on opening nights, offering hospitality to visiting performers in the form of welcome baskets, hosting brunches in their homes to entertain the cast of the plays and assisting in furnishing the trailers in which the cast members lives while at Meadow Brook Theatre. These services have been changed over the years to meet the needs of the theatre.
A number of fundraisers have been initiated over the years. Touring costume shows were started in 1982. These shows were presentations of costumes from previous Meadow Brook Theatre productions, modeled by guild members with professional commentary. These costumes were also seen at the Concours d’ Elegence at Meadow Brook Hall.
Luncheon on the Aisle was initiated in 1977 and became an immediate success. Guests were served a prepared lunch in the theatre, followed by a working rehearsal with discussion by the director. Luncheon on the Aisle is presented each year at the start of the final production of each season. It has now evolved into an all day event which includes boutique shopping, costume displays, as well as the lunch and rehearsal. Welcome baskets are still provided, although the cast members no longer are housed in trailers but ensconced in nearby hotels. Tech suppers on the day of the technical rehearsal are very popular with the crew.
Our biggest fundraiser is now “SPOTLIGHTS,” an outdoor art and gift show, held in the streets of downtown Rochester in early September. This show has over 120 exhibitors with a variety of original works of art.
Beginning with the 2003-2004 season Meadow Brook Theatre separated from Oakland University. Meadow Brook Theatre Ensemble was formed as a non profit group to continue to provide the regional theatre experience for our community. At the same time, The Guild, was undergoing a change as well. We are now a non-profit organization with 501 © 3 status.
Through its fundraising efforts Meadow Brook Theatre Guild has donated over $857,000 dollars in goods and services to Meadow Brook Theatre since its inception in 1977.