History

The Monticello Theatre Association (MTA) was formed in 1975 with the primary goal of fostering an appreciation of the performing arts in Monticello. For the first few years of its existence, the MTA presented four performances of two major plays each year in various venues. Plays ranged from the melodrama Dirty Work At The Crossroads to the Pulitzer Prize winning The Shadow Box.

 

Camp Creek Playhouse

In 1989, the MTA mounted a successful fund drive to purchase a former duck processing plant. It was transformed into a dinner theater – The Camp Creek Playhouse. The building was converted with the help of many supporters and countless hours of volunteer labor along with the financial support of loyal patrons and businesses. With the completion of the building, the MTA was able to expand the scope of its dramatic presentations.

The Camp Creek Playhouse hosted guest performances including Jim Post’s Mark Twain and the Laughing River and Grammy Award winner Allison Kraus and the Union Station. To help meet the expenses of the theater, MTA made the building available for rental during the times when the stage was dark. The playhouse became a popular facility for wedding receptions, company dinners, and amateur shows by other community groups.

After nearly 25 years of bringing the performing arts to the stage in the Monticello region, the MTA suffered a crushing blow. In the last week of March, 1999, the Camp Creek Playhouse was destroyed by fire. The storage shed containing set materials, some props and about 75% of the costumes survived with only minor damage. The rest of the building, the auditorium, cast room, kitchen and lobby were a total loss.

 

Our Current Playhouse

In the years after that disastrous fire, the MTA continued to performed plays in various venues. We purchased the building across the road from Monticello Forest Preserve park and, with the help of our members and friends, we created the Phoenix Theatre.  In this facility we will continue to produce outstanding theatre experiences for our audience.