WHO WE ARE
Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston's mission is to present the highest quality of musical theatre productions by combining talented regional performers with professional performers and technicians, thus providing an unusual learning experience for its regular members and more enjoyable experiences for its audiences. Reagle Music Theatre is committed to using the skills of its company to strengthen and enhance teaching and learning in the Waltham Public Schools by educating youth to the joys of theatre, and by using theatre techniques to enhance learning in other curriculum areas.
Each season, we offer...
- Summer musicals featuring Broadway professionals
- Educational programs
- A year-round concert series
- Revues (including holiday favorites ChristmasTime and A Little Bit of Ireland)
- New York theatergoing trips
- and more!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Susan Carity Conkey, President
Connie Braceland, Vice President
Nicholas Iacuzio, Treasurer
David Casavant, Clerk
Yolanda M. Cellucci
John C. Peacock
Stacey Gallagher Tully
Diane P. LeBlanc
Richard J. Monahan
Louis J. Nocera
William F. Wiggin
WHAT TO DO WITH AN EMPTY SCHOOL THEATRE?
Following a successful Spring 1969 production of The Music Man, a group of Waltham High School students and alumni began planning a summer theatre under the leadership of Robert J. Eagle. This was not only an opportunity for students to learn and grow throughout the summer, but also, as Superintendent James FitzGerald put it, “an excellent use of an empty school theater.” With support from Mayor Richard F. Dacey, the Waltham City Council appropriated funds for a theatre program. Subsequently, the group’s first production—Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel—opened to critical acclaim, and the Reagle Players (renamed the Reagle Music Theatre in 2010) were established.
The connection to Waltham High School has remained throughout those years, especially considering that the RMT was among the first organizations to use the newly-constructed Robinson Theatre in 1970. In return, the Reagle has provided financial support for the school, including a $1.2 million dollar renovation and addition to the Fine Arts Wing (including a dance studio, costume and prop workshops, and an improved rigging system), a professional stage floor, and state-of-the-art lighting equipment. Both students and professionals are able to use these facilities, creating a unique relationship. PB’s Jared Bowen noted that the bond is “really revolutionary” and that the National Endowment of the Arts has yet to find another professional theatre company connected so closely to a public school system.
BRINGING BROADWAY TO GREATER BOSTON
In 1973—just four years after its inception—Reagle Music Theatre’s production of 1776 received the New England Theatre Conference’s prestigious Moss Hart Memorial Award. Since then, Reagle has won not only rave reviews from publications and audiences alike, but several awards, including six Best Musical prizes (and more than 36 individual awards) from the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE). These productions are facilitated by the numerous employees of the company, including a year-round staff of a half dozen, members of theatrical unions, creative professionals, and volunteers.
Reagle’s mission has remained consistent throughout its nearly fifty-year history: provide the highest-caliber productions possible. Broadway choreography is recreated for many shows, and large orchestras made up of professional musicians play in every summer performance. Technical elements receive similar attention: the RMT owns costumes and sets from several original Broadway and touring productions. As a result, the company has formed connections with some of theatre’s greatest creative minds, including Jerry Herman, Baayork Lee, Mary Rodgers Guettel, Agnes de Mille, Theodore Chapin, and Gemze de Lappe.
Reagle’s noted reputation and quality productions have enabled it to become a professional theatre. The group’s first professional hire was Bob Fitch, who recreated his original Broadway role of Rooster Hannigan in the 1984 production of Annie. Since then, the Reagle has employed countless Broadway performers and members of Actors’ Equity Association. Many aspiring actors have also received their Equity cards by performing with the RMT. In 1991, the company was accepted into the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, which officially established the group as a professional theatre organization.
OTHER PERFORMANCES AT REAGLE
In addition to high-quality musicals, the Reagle Music Theatre also prides itself on its many different kinds of productions throughout the year. The company is known for its original musical revues, including Remembering the 40’s (which began as a dinner theatre production at the Chateau Family Restaurant), A Little Bit of Ireland, Irving Berlin's Say It With Music, and the beloved annual production of ChristmasTime.
Reagle also sponsors a concert series throughout the year which has attracted renowned performers and musical groups, including Robert Goulet, Debbie Reynolds, Ann-Margret, Patti LuPone, Tommy Tune, Herb Reed and the Platters, Vicki Lawrence, the Manhattan Rhythm Kings with Shirley Jones, and the Lettermen.
TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION
Reagle Music Theatre has emphasized the importance of education and a working relationship with students of all ages from its first-ever production. We pride ourselves on offering three different theatre camps throughout the year, held during winter, spring, and summer vacations. In February and April, four-day workshop sessions include dance, music, and acting, along with master classes with Broadway professionals. The July summer theatre camp runs for four weeks. All three camps end with a revue that allows our rising stars to showcase their talents to family and friends. To foster a love of music and performance, Reagle also offers free theatre tickets to those enrolled in the summer camp, as well as need-based scholarships, so that every child can experience the joy and benefits of the performing arts.
Reagle’s contributions to the Robinson Theatre’s high-caliber facilities have also made it a popular destination for choir and dance competitions, hosting students from across the United States. Additionally, students at both Waltham High School and John F. Kennedy Middle School use the performance space to mount productions of their own, giving them the opportunity to work in a professional-level environment and thus give them skills that help them through college and adulthood.
The following people are just some of the talented individuals who have appeared in summer productions at Reagle Music Theatre:
Shirley Jones (Cousin Nettie in Carousel), Sally Struthers (Annie), Lee Meriwether (Mame), John Davidson (The Sound of Music), Lorenzo Lamas (A Chorus Line), Jo Anne Worley (Hello, Dolly!), Donna McKechnie (No, No, Nanette), Kirby and Beverly Ward (numerous shows including Crazy For You), Sarah Pfisterer and Rick Hilsabeck (numerous shows including My Fair Lady), Rachel York (several shows including 42nd Street), Brent Barrett (Guys and Dolls), Anita Gillette (Bye Bye Birdie), Andrea McArdle (Annie Get Your Gun), Stephen Bogardus (Damn Yankees), Patrick Cassidy (The Sound of Music), Michel Bell (Show Boat), Robert Fitch (Annie), and Lara Teeter (On Your Toes).