Minority Voices TheatreTheatre that creates a sense of belonging
Welcome to Minority Voices Theatre
MVT, housed at The Very Little Theatre (VLT) in Eugene, OR., is designed to offer an opportunity for members of minority or marginalized communities to participate in the collaborative art of theatre as actors, writers, directors, designers, and/or audience members.
MVT’s first year (2017) was a very exciting and illuminating time. We produced staged readings of three plays (Having Our Say, Vita & Virginia, and Now I Am Your Neighbor). We helped sponsor two community events (DisOrient Film Festival, Eugene Children’s Film Festival), and we offered a scholarship to a summer film/animation camp to a young person of color through the Academic Achievement Center Foundation.
At the end of 2017, VLT and MVT decided to join forces, offering VLT an active community outreach tool, and giving MVT a home, a 501(c)3 for fund raising, and the support of one of the oldest continuously running community theatres in the country (VLT has been producing plays in Eugene, OR every year since March, 1929).
In April 2018, MVT partnered with Trans*Ponder to present a staged reading of Transfigurations – a 1998 play that explores the lives of Oregonians who identify as transgender. And, in the same event, we introduced the first annual Trans Monologues, bringing up-to-date the stories and experiences of our local Transgender/Gender non-conforming community. And in the fall of 2018, MVT, VLT, and the University of Oregon joined together to present Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World by Yussef El Guindi, directed by Michael Malek Najjar.
The following year (2019) saw our first Spanish language play, La Gringa by Carmen Rivera, and our first commissioned work, At Winter’s Edge by Rachael Carnes, creating a unique multicultural holiday play. And now, in the midst of Covid-19, we we are looking at a shift to digital, starting with Marty Kingsbury’s tender love story, The Scent of Tulips.
To date, approximately 2500 people have come to see our productions. By sharing donations at the door with our community partners, we raised approximately $4000 for local non-profits (NAACP of Lane County, Lane Community College Multi-Cultural Center, Soromundi: Lesbian Chorus of Eugene, Community Alliance of Lane County, Centro Latino Americano, the Islamic Community Center of Lane County, Trans*Ponder, and the UO Muslim Student Union).
Going forward, we will be focusing on Black theatre (a passion of MVT Co-Founder, Stan Coleman), telling stories that can help continue important community conversations.
To learn more about the history of MVT, please check out the About MVT page. Our upcoming productions can be found in the panel to the right. Other relevant performances and community events can be found on the Related Events page. To learn more about The Very Little Theatre, visit TheVLT.com.
Please use the form below to sign up for our periodic e-newsletter or to contact us with ideas for future productions, related events you’d like us to help promote, and any messages of encouragement you’d like to pass along.
MVT Upcoming Productions
August 3 – 16 – The Virtual Little Theatre and MVT present
The Scent of Tulips
by Marty Kingsbury
What: Minority Voices Theatre and the Virtual Little Theatre present a staged reading of The Scent of Tulips by Marty Kingsbury. This funny, sweet, and tender one-act play looks in on Cynthia and Donna, both in their 80s, who have been partners for 40 years. The time is 1994 – before marriage equality – and Cynthia is dying of cancer. In The Scent of Tulips, we see a 30 minute slice of their last day together. Featuring Sharon Rosalyn Sless and Nancy Boyett, directed by Carol Dennis. Sharon, Nancy and Carol are reprising their roles from 24 years ago – with everyone now a good bit closer to the right age.
When: The Scent of Tulips will appear online for a limited run Monday, August 3 through Sunday, August 16. You can watch the play at anytime during those two weeks, at your convenience.
The Virtual Little Theatre is a new initiative from The Very Little Theatre to explore digital theatrical production, with a mission to engage and inspire our community and its performing artists in this time of social distancing and beyond.
To be sure you will get an email notification about this and other MVT productions, please use the form below to be included in our email list.
Spanish Language Theatre!
MVT will be working this year to create and nurture a Spanish language theatre project in Eugene/Springfield – dedicated to our friend Dagmaris Cabezas, whose dedication to LatinX voices in local theatre inspired much of the work at MVT and who passed away suddenly on November 12, 2019.
During and after our first Spanish language production, La Gringa, we saw and heard the excitement and emotions it created. We were asked to do more, and we accept that challenge.
We will be spending time during the shut-down exploring how to do this – who we might partner with, and what shape it might take. Watch for our next Spanish language production as soon as theatres are permitted to open again.