Melbourne Civic Theatre began life as the Indian River Players in 1951. We are Brevard County’s ‘longest running’ community theatre!
Indian River Players staged three seasons in the municipal auditorium at Trailer Haven, beginning with its first play – Big Hearted Herbert – in February of 1952. Renovation of a partially burned Navy Mess Hall resulted in the theatre that would be IRP’s home for over 23 years. IRP was incorporated as a Florida Not For Profit Company in 1965.
In 1988, Indian River Players joined the effort to renovate the Henegar Center in downtown Melbourne, and changed its name to Melbourne Civic Theatre to better identify the community we serve. We were the resident theatre group when the Henegar Center for the Performing Arts opened in 1991. Then, a 1999 move took us to the Metro West Shopping Center in West Melbourne, where we renovated the former Meadowland Library into a theater.
Since 2006, MCT has made its home in the intimate space at La Galerie arcade in Downtown Melbourne. This 93-seat theater opened as The Ensemble Theatre of Florida in 1986, and was later occupied by The Phoenix Theatre.
Our award-winning theater was named Winner of Florida Theatre Conference in 1980 with The Dumb Waiter and again in 1990 with Painting Churches, for which IRP mainstay Gillian Wilson also won Best Actress.
Over six decades of entertaining and educating theatergoers, MCT has had its ebbs and flows, changes, moves and challenges like any volunteer organization. Faces may change, but the passion for theatrical excellence remains.
As part of the flourishing Historic Downtown Melbourne, Melbourne Civic Theatre continues to enrich the quality of life in Brevard County.