Lights Up, Noises Off: Denton Community Theatre and Music Theatre of Denton Are Merging 

Published on: Wed, Jul 03, 2019

I’ve always been a fan of mergers. Exxon and Mobil. America Online and Time Warner. And who could forget Vodafone and Mannesmann? Inspired by my love of a good merger — and an exciting local merger, as well — I have crafted a compelling play sure to thrill all lovers of mergers.

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled blog programming to bring you an excerpt from the script for the new, critically acclaimed musical dramedy production, Merger.

FADE IN:
EXT. CAMPUS THEATRE – NIGHT

A lone light beams down on the stage as a writer who knows nothing about theatre, music, or musical theatre walks to center stage. Inexplicably, and unfortunately for all patrons within earshot, the writer begins to sing.

WRITER:
The crowd is here
The lights are low
It’s almost time
For the show
There’s just one thing
That I must know
Which company puts on this show?

CUT TO:

A chorus of confused Dentonites floods the stage, giving the audience hope that maybe, just maybe, their ears will be spared more wretched singing.

WRITER:
Is it DCT? They always thrill me!
Is it MTD? Whose tunes are groovy
My fiance is here
Her parents are near
And I should not have had those last three beers
So before you gooooo
Please, please, please tell me
Who is putting on this showwwww?

[END OF SCENE]

Don’t worry: “Merger” is, alas, not a real production, even though the tone-deaf writer is very, very real. But thanks to a recent real-life merger, Denton Community Theatre (DCT) and Music Theatre of Denton (MTD) will be joining forces to create and curate seasons of real, entertaining, and real entertaining productions. In between writing drafts of Merger that will (thankfully) never see the light of day, I connected with Mike Barrow, the veteran Managing Director of Denton Community Theatre. As you can imagine, it’s been a busy few weeks for Barrow. Even though the merger will not officially go into effect until September 1, 2020, he and the DCT and MDT teams are busy ironing out the details, thinking about the new company’s schedule and preparing for the theatrical team-up.

“We’re excited,” he tells me. “It’s going to create a stronger, more unified Denton theatre community.”

Denton Community Theatre, theater, musicals, plays, downtown, square, campus theatre, black box theatreWhen I ask Barrow how the merger will accomplish that, he tells me something that will go on to inspire the opening scene of “Merger”:

“We had a lot of people who would support DCT and MTD, and a lot of actors who were part of both companies. In the long run, it just made sense for us, and for Denton.”

That’s the beauty of the great mergers: Two great things come together to make something even greater. And when those two things are DCT and MTD, the end result is bound to be something profound. This merger will earn dividends for the performers and crew members, too, as Barrow believes a combined DCT and MTD will allow for the company to enjoy longer runs. Shared resources means more manpower, and the company will have the power to keep a show running for an additional week.

Before the merger takes effect in 2020, MTD will produce a production of “Mamma Mia!” that will close out the summer of 2020 and each distinctive company’s runs as independent troupes. Barrow calls this “the last hurrah,” and I can assure you, it will be better than “Merger”.


The remaining shows of the 2019 season for DCT are: Late, a Cowboy’s Song (showing at the Black Box Theatre Aug. 2-4) and Cats the Musical (showing Aug. 9-18 at the Campus Theatre). See DCT’s release 2019-20 season here.

The remaining shows of the 2019 season for MTD are: Next to Normal (showing at the Black Box Theatre July 12-21) and Newsies (showing Oct. 18-27 at the Campus Theatre). The MTD 2020 season has yet to be announced.

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