Champlain Philharmonic 

The experience the Champlain Philharmonic  seeks to provide combines inspiring concerts and community engagement projects with a nurturing environment for amateur and semi-professional musicians to perform great orchestral music. Their work is designed to honor the heritage of orchestral music while ensuring its future.

For more information:

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Courageous Stage 

Courageous Stage is an innovative series of core literacy programs that use the theatre arts to engage students in an immersive education experience. Their programs are designed to bridge the opportunity gap and reach every single student. For more information:


 Middlebury Community Players

One of Vermont’s oldest and best community theaters, the company recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. MCP produces three shows every year at THT.

For more information:

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 Opera Company of Middlebury

OCM presents grand opera in the intimate hall of  THT. Auditions are held in Vermont and New York City for performances in early June.

For more information:

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 Middlebury Actors Workshop

Mid-Vermont’s premiere professional ensemble, producing 2-3 challenging plays each year.

For more

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Maiden Vermont

Our homegrown women’s barbershop chorus, under the expert direction of Lindi Bortney.

For more information:

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Accordian Lesson resizeTheatre Group Ltd.

The creators and producers of Night Fires.






 THT Young Company

Town Hall Theater's own young acting troupe. New shows twice a year in conjunction with Town Hall Theater's education department.

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slate-300x200 (1)Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival

4th Annual: August 23-26, 2018

MNFF continues its late summer tradition of offering an outstanding program of new films, guest speakers, panels, presentations and parties.  Discover the fine work of the emerging new voices in independent filmmaking.  More information at  





Middlebury College Musical Players

MCMP is a student-run/directed/acted/produced musical theater group from Middlebury College, active since 1996.  MCMP is in residence every spring.




Middlebury College
Winter Term Musical

Every January the theater becomes the home of a collaboration between THT and the Middlebury College Department of Music.  Students and townspeople come together to stage a major musical.  Recent production include Cabaret, Ragtime, Into the Woods and Les Misèrables





Point CounterPoint

PCP is an established summer music camp located on nearby Lake Dunmore.  Due to a generous donation, the annual faculty recitals are held at THT and are free to the public. 

Benjamin (Benj) Deppman (President) Benj Deppman joined the Board in 2011. He is an attorney in private practice at Deppman Law PLC, a law firm in Middlebury. He has three children and enjoys spending time with them. Benj is currently serving on the Boards of Directors for Addison County Fair & Field Days, Inc.; Porter Hospital Auxiliary; and the Middlebury Maple Run. He is also on the Scholarship Committee for the Middlebury Lions Club. He also enjoys spending time outdoors with his family and travelling. Benj has yet to appear on the Town Hall Theater stage, but does have aspirations!

Charlie Grigg (Vice President) Board-CharlieGrigg Sue and I moved to Cornwall in 2000 and I three quarters retired in 2003. I graduated from Yale in 1961 and Sue and I were married in 1962. Shortly before we were married, I was commissioned as a Marine Corps officer and served for three and a half years. After completing active duty (I never saw a shot fired in anger and I escaped going to Vietnam by 30 days on my date of commissioning), I spent two years at the Harvard Business School and graduated with an MBA. I was recruited to be President and COO of Watts Industries located in Andover, Massachusetts in 1983. In 1993 I was recruited to be Chairman and CEO of SPS Technologies located in Jenkintown, Pa. Both Watts and SPS were publicly traded New York stock exchange companies with extensive international operations. In 2003, SPS was sold and I partially retired. I am now a general partner in Tinicum Capital Partners and serve as Chairman of the Board of three manufacturing companies where Tinicum has a significant investment. In Middlebury, I served as Chairman of the Comprehensive Planning Committee for the Champlain Valley Unitarian Church. This committee was responsible for the planning, fund raising and construction of the new sanctuary, which recently opened for worship. Sue and I have three children and eight grandchildren. We are fortunate that two of our children and five of our grandchildren live in Vermont.

Walt Deverell (Treasurer) has been the Treasurer and Board Member of Town Hall Theater from its inception in 1998. "I have been thrilled to watch THT grow from an idea to a real gem in the heart of Middlebury."  Walt was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1947 and served in the military from 1965 - 1969 (Texas, Massachusetts, Vietnam, Montana).  He attended Western New England College, Springfield, MA (BS degree) and became a certified public accountant in 1973.  He is married to Mary Ann Deverell, his children are Adam & Rebecca, and he is proud of his grandchildren, Grace, Jack, & Eve.

 Peter DeGraff (Secretary) Peter DeGraff is a licensed professional civil engineer, and former president and founding partner of Otter Creek Engineering in East Middlebury. His professional career has been primarily focused on the design and construction of public community water systems throughout Vermont and he has volunteered his experience to assist with water supply projects in rural communities in Central and South America.

Peter is an active participant in a number of community organizations, having served on the Boards of Town Hall Theater, Porter Hospital, Ilsley Public Library, and Henry Sheldon Museum. He has also been a board member of the Vermont/Honduras chapter of Partners of the Americas, the Vermont Professional Chapter of Engineers without Borders, and a technical advisor to the University of Vermont’s EWB Student Chapter. He graduated from the University of Vermont and has until recently lived and worked in Middlebury, since 1990.

Susan Anderson-Ray Susan moved to Middlebury with her husband Ben in 2008.  She completed her undergraduate studies at Albion College and received a master’s degree from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.  Most of her career as a social worker focused on health care and aging. Currently Susan is the administrative partner in a consulting practice with her husband here in Middlebury.  Over the years Susan has served on a number of healthcare, community service and arts related non-profit boards.  She is active in the Episcopal Church and has served on vestries of two congregations.  Susan is an enthusiast of quilting, hiking, gardening, yoga and skiing.

Bruce Baker Bruce Baker grew up in Ohio where he attended Bowling Green State University, graduating with an MA in Jewelry and Enameling. He moved to Middlebury just after college where he taught Jr. High School at MUHS for 3 years. He is a jeweler by trade, and owned Middlebury Jewelry and Design for 17 years. His jewelry line can often be seen at shows in the Jackson Gallery or at Sweet Cecily on Main St. in Middlebury. When not making jewelry, Bruce works as a retail sales and merchandising consultant across the country and abroad. Main Street organizations and small business development centers are his primary clients. He lives with his wife Nancie Dunn in Middlebury. 

Pieter Broucke Middlebury College Director of the Arts Pieter Broucke Trained as an architect in Ghent, Belgium, Pieter came to the US to study archaeology and architectural history, respectively, at the University of Minnesota and at Yale University. He is a professor of History of Art and Architecture at Middlebury College and currently serves as the college’s Director of the Arts, overseeing seven departments in the arts, the Mahaney Centerfor the Arts, the Middlebury College Museum of Art, and the Performing Arts Series. Serving on the board of the Town Hall Theater helps him to forge a meaningful and strong town-gown relationship as it pertains to the arts, to the benefit of both the college and town communities.  Pieter is married to Ilaria Brancoli Busdraghi and they have two children, Simon and Tobias. They live in Middlebury.

Dan bDan Brown Dan grew up in Ithaca, NY and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1971. He received a Masters degree from the Naval Post Graduate School. He retired from the US Navy after a long career as a Naval Aviator. He moved to Middlebury in 2004 and with his wife Michelle and currently owns and operates the Swift House Inn and Jessica’s Restaurant. Before moving to Middlebury he and Michelle were innkeepers for 15 years owning inns in Annapolis, MD, Deer Isle and Portland, ME. The Browns have two sons, one serving in the US Navy and the other in the New Zealand Navy. Dan currently serves on the board of Directors of the Professional Association of Innkeepers and Select Registry-Distinguished Inns of North America. He also serves on the Addison County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and previously served on the Better Middlebury Partnership Board.

Magna Dodge Magna and her husband David moved back to Middlebury in 2011. She is a graduate of Middlebury College and Harvard Business School. For over 30 years Magna was involved in the financial services industry in New York City and Hong Kong. In addition to the THT Board, she serves on the Board of the Friends of the Middlebury College Art Museum and is active in the town of Cornwall, serving on the Selectboard, Development Review Board and Capital Committee.

Susan D JamesSusan Donaldson James Susan Donaldson James is a veteran news reporter who has worked for ABC News, VICE, NBC News and a variety of newspaper and radio outlets in the U.S. and abroad. For 15 years, she also worked as communications director for Peddie School in New Jersey. Susan has a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism. Susan and her husband Steve, a former Reuters correspondent, moved to Middlebury in 2015 to be closer to their daughter Megan and her family. Susan writes: "I grew up in a town like Middlebury in Massachusetts where my father wrote plays and directed community theater; our kids were also very involved in music and theater throughout their school years. It’s going to be fun to be involved again.”

Sarah Kearns Sarah moved to Vermont with her husband and children in 2006, leaving behind a few decades in various east coast cities. Sarah got her undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her MBA at Babson. Sarah's background includes marketing and business development, with a focus on Latin America, for consumer product companies such as Converse Inc. She later got the entrepreneurial bug and worked for a series of start-up companies for about 10 years. Since moving to Vermont she has been working with the Vermont Small Business Development Center. She has a love and appreciation for the Arts and wanted to find a way to serve Middlebury, and Town Hall Theatre seemed like the perfect place to do just that. She has one child who is very actively involved in Town Hall Theatre youth programs and she appreciates all that Town Hall Theatre brings to the community. Sarah lives in Middlebury with her husband David, and her two teenagers, Devon and Amanda. You can generally find Sarah at all different types of arts events...or at the hockey rink!

Jane Kimble Originally from the metro-Boston area, Jane and her husband, Matthew, and two children moved to Middlebury in 2004 after living abroad in Wales. Trained as an electrical engineer at the University of Vermont and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Jane worked in telecommunications for many years. She earned an MBA and has worked on data projects for the University of Wales in Bangor and Middlebury College. Currently, Jane supports donor services for the Vermont Community Foundation. As an outdoor enthusiast in all seasons, living in Vermont has been “a dream come true”. She enjoys serving with others to encourage our community to be the best place it can be. Jane remains grateful for the incredible enriching opportunities that Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater offers.

Jorge Martín Jorge Martín was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1959; his family settled in the U.S. in 1965. He has degrees from Yale College and Columbia University. He writes in all major genres and his music is commissioned and performed by all kinds of artists and groups across the U.S. In 1999 and again in 2012 he received a generous Cintas Fellowship for creative artists of Cuban descent, and also the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ prestigious Academy Award in Music in 1998. In 2005 Mr. Martín was awarded a fellowship by the Bogliasco Foundation in Genoa, and artist’s residencies at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs in 1993 and again in 2003. The Fort Worth Opera Festival presented the World Premiere of Martín’s first full-length large-scale opera, Before Night Falls, in the spring of 2010. The opera is available on record; Mr. Martín has numerous other recordings available commercially, and he is a member of A.S.C.A.P. Visit

Cindy SCindy Seligmann Cindy and her husband, Michael, moved to Ripton twenty years ago from the Boston area where they worked together as therapists.   Cindy also worked as a consultant to school systems and ran a college counseling center affiliated with the clinic where she worked.   In addition, she had a private practice for twenty years.  In Vermont she has been involved with tennis, pottery, quilting and singing and has served on several non-profit boards.   She was a co-rounder of The North Branch School in Ripton.   She and Michael have a daughter who lives in Ripton with her husband and two children and a son who lives in California with his wife and three children.

Beth Stanway Beth Stanway is a full time, licensed real estate agent with IPJ Real Estate in Middlebury. Beth Stanway Born in Montreal, Quebec she moved to New York State when she was 11 years old. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Drama from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. She then took a year of Arts Administration training in Edmonton, Alberta, before taking her first theater administration job as Assistant General Manager at the Roundabout Theatre on Broadway in NYC. After several years there, she became the General Manager of Stamford Theatre Works, a small professional theater in Stamford CT. Beth lives in Middlebury with her husband Tom Klemmer and their two children, Jacob & Suzie.

Kate T

 Kate Tilton At 19, I moved to Vermont from Pennsylvania, and the transplant  was an immediate success. Living in southern Vermont  in the early 80's , I was part of a team running a restaurant , from the kitchen end of things. From there I went to college, where theater probably should have been my major, but I went for a BFA instead. I have been an avid theater supporter in many roles in recent years , mostly backstage working with props and stage management. I love being part of the magic behind the performance, as well as  part of a thriving creative community here in Middlebury.  I enjoy teaching children's art and cooking classes through Middlebury studio school and also supporting community theater though being on the board of Middlebury Community Players.

Paul WyncoopPaul Wyncoop 04 B+W Paul joined the board in the fall of 2015. Paul graduated Carnegie Mellon with a degree in Engineering and Public Policy and after moving halfway around the world with stops in Tucson, Arizona, New York City and Barcelona, Spain, he and his wife Lisa decided to settle in Vermont. Paul received his Masters in historic Preservation from the University of Vermont, and has worked on landmarks around the northeast, including Pier A in Battery Park Manhattan, the New York Public Library, Fort Ticonderoga, the Brooks House in Brattleboro Vermont, and of course, Middlebury’s own Town Hall Theater. Currently Paul is on the board of the Preservation Trust Realty Holdings and the Aurora School in Middlebury and teaches a course in Preservation Redevelopment Economics in the Master’s Program at UVM (that is when he is not working for Bread Loaf Corporation or on one of seven barns at his farm in Orwell, where he lives with Lisa and their two sons). Paul is delighted to be on the board of the Town Hall Theater, to help build our membership base, continue and expand the excellent programming, art and educational opportunities there, and build community while having a blast at one of the great events held at this local gem.

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Douglas Anderson
Artistic Director
Email: ad(at)

Doug led the campaign to save and revive Town Hall Theater, a ten-year effort. He teaches part-time at Middlebury College, and is the artistic director of the Opera Company of Middlebury. In a prior life he was head writer on the CBS day-time drama, Guiding Light. He lives with his wife Debby in East Middlebury.


Mark Bradley
Executive Director
Email: mark(at)

Mark has been a lifelong performing arts worker and advocate, ever since he started playing clarinet as a kid. He studied performance at McGill in Montreal, and then business and arts administration at York University in Toronto. After coming home to the States, he became Assistant Director at Lebanon Opera House in New Hampshire until joining the Town Hall Theater team in 2018.

Elinor Steele Friml
Box Office Manager & Jackson Gallery Director
Email: tickets(at) or jacksongallery(at)
Ellie studied fine arts and music at UNH, and in the tapestry program at Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland. She is a nationally recognized designer/weaver of contemporary tapestries working as Elinor Steele. She lives in New Haven with husband Bill and children Nick and Tina.

Lindsay Pontius
Education Director
Email: education(at)

Lindsay Pontius has been an actor, director, and teacher for over 25 years. She has been a teaching artist with Empire States Partnership for Arts-in-Education, and a presenter at regional conferences on best practices in school/ museum partnerships and arts integration. Recently Lindsay completed her doctorate in Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont. She lives across the lake in Westport, NY with 2 dogs, 4 cats, 4 goats, and 13 horses.

HS close bwHaley Rice
Operations Manager/ Marketing
Email: office(at) publicity(at)

Haley Rice graduated from the University of Georgia, then went right ahead and got her Master of Fine Arts in acting at Illinois State University. She’s acted in commercials, voiceovers, Shakespeare, new plays, weird plays and many, many comedies. She taught acting and movement at Columbus State University. She's also directed and acted with Middlebury Actors Workshop and is the creator/ producer of Pop-Up Plays and The Ingenious Grant at Town Hall Theater.

Ken Hypes
Production Manager
Email: ken(at)

Ken comes to us from NYC after 20 years of working in technical theater on and off broadway, dance, music, special events, as well as 17 years of touring. Ken is a musician and singer who also enjoys watching football (Go Steelers!!!) and playing golf. Ken grew up in West Virginia and feels like Vermont is home.


Joe p Joe Plotts
Technician/ Sound
Email: joe(at)

Cindi Duff
Box Office Assistant & Front-of-House Manager
Email: frontofhouse(at)

Box Office minion Cindi Duff has at last found her niche when she joined the THT family. Actually, she was already part of the family, after helping with opera costumes for years and providing some of the photographs of Town Hall Theater productions.  She is the mother of three fat cats, two tenacious dachshunds and one queer daughter.

Leon Smith
Facilities Manager
Email: facilities(at)

Hailing from the hills of Vermont, Leon is the newest addition to the THT team. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Leon has dabbled in several arenas over the years. He brings a diverse and extensive range of expertise to his current role. He lives in Middlebury with his wife and two teenage sons.


Craig Maravich 
Education Associate
Email: education(at)


 Ronan D bwRonan Daly
Email: accountant(at)




Volunteer Staff

Mary Longey, Production Stage Manager








Interested in playing the Town Hall Theater?


Touring companies, musical acts, and entertainers of all kinds should contact THT Executive Director Mark Bradley at mark(at)

Describe your act and include a link to your web site, if available.

You may also send your materials to:
Mark Bradley
Town Hall Theater
PO Box 128 Middlebury, VT 05753

A History of Town Hall Theater

Andrew Wentink

Theatrical history is highlighted by triumphant returns to the stage by legendary performers. It is less frequent, however, for the stage itself to make a triumphant return. The restoration and reopening of Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater is one of those rare, even miraculous, occasions.

Let’s go back 125 years to February 16, 1883. A special Town Meeting has been convened to discuss the burning issue of where to establish a new center for Middlebury’s social and cultural life. The site is Academy Hall, home of the Addison County Grammar School and Middlebury College at the beginning of the 19th century, and now home of the Middlebury Graded (Elementary) School (standing approximately on the current site of Twilight Hall).

The Academy has long since been deemed unsuitable for public use. A wood structure, the 83-year-old building is clearly a fire hazard, particularly given its public meeting space on the third floor. There is strong support to relocate the center of community cultural and social life to the east side of Otter Creek – delayed payback, perhaps, for the decision to locate the College on the west side of the creek in 1800.

A committee of community-minded citizens has inspected eight locations. The most promising property is the site of Epaphrus Miller's fine 1811 brick house and tavern. Situated here, the new Town Hall would occupy a prominent site overlooking the town green. The contract to design and build the structure is awarded to Clinton Smith and William Allen.

Smith, Middlebury's most influential architect, formed an architectural construction firm with Allen in the 1870’s. Examples of Smith's frame style, featuring elaborate window frames, moldings, and brackets could be seen up and down South Pleasant Street. The firm would also design and build the new Addison County Courthouse, the Beckwith Block, Shard Villa and numerous other local buildings.

One year later, the new Town Hall was complete. The exterior of the beautiful new edifice boasted a soaring tower and two magnificently original chimneys. The main floor was a spacious 600-seat theater and balcony. Town offices occupied the basement. According to Glenn Andres, esteemed Middlebury professor and local architectural historian, the Town Hall is…

“…a vigorous building, with powerful asymmetric massing and a bold use of contrasting stone and brick. The brickwork itself is a mason's delight, creating flush patterns and sculptured textures to pick out and enliven various portions of the facade. The marble details not only emphasize certain elements of the building, but also serve to tie together the various masses. There were originally four cherry doors at the entrance, and the gaslit interior had a stage with an ash and cherry proscenium and a scenic curtain of the Gulf of Venice done after a painting by the English artist Stanfield.”

The building opened on February 13, 1884, with a Masquerade Ball. On Friday, February 15, 1884, the Middlebury Register reported the gala event.

An exceptionally pleasant company of about fifty couples gathered at the new town hall on Wednesday evening for the eleventh annual masquerade party. The costumes were more varied and elaborate than on any previous occasion of the same character. The unmasking, which took place at 10 o’clock, was highly entertaining…This was the first time the new town hall had been used, and afforded a good opportunity for the public to see the building. The gallery and stage were filled with spectators.

For more than a decade, the Middlebury Opera House, as it was often called, hosted an impressive array of theatrical events. The list includes town meetings, religious services, children’s operettas and plays, traveling and local theatricals, balls, dances, and proms, lectures and orations, concerts, readings, political rallies, a tuberculosis exhibit, meetings of the DAR, the WCTU, and Masons, dog and pony shows (literally), minstrels and Hibernian (Irish) shows, Middlebury College Junior Exhibition and Commencement exercises, benefits and charity balls, Middlebury High School graduations, tableaux vivants, local school tests and common teachers’ exams, fairs, dance recitals, music festivals, national holiday and memorial services, and novelty exhibitions including glass blowers, bell ringers, a wax museum, a monumental clock, and exhibition of Edison’s wondrous new phonograph. On January 1, 1898, nearly fifteen years after it opened, the Opera House celebrated its 100th theatrical performance. Although vaudeville and other events continued, it was the art form of the 20th century – the cinema – that would eventually dominate the schedule.

Early in 1922, P.S. Murray took over the reins of the Opera House from J.M. Peek. The following year, the Town ordered a complete overhaul of the 40-year-old building to adapt it to the new requirements of a movie theater. In March 1937, the theater was closed again in order to prepare the building to meet its first serious challenge -- the opening of the Campus Theater on Main Street. The Campus was not only a fully modernized movie house, it was a member of the Graphics Theater circuit, theaters throughout New England that exhibited first-run films and offered two matinees and two evening shows daily.

A refurbished Middlebury Opera House, renamed Town Hall Theater, opened in May, 1937, under the management of Kenneth Gorham. Despite the addition of new projection equipment, sound system, rest rooms, and comfortable upholstered seats, THT – not on the Graphics circuit – generally had to settle for second-run films and “B” pictures. Widely considered the inferior movie house in town, in later years it became known for malfunctioning projectors, film that snapped mid-reel, and rowdy behavior from college students and locals alike.

In 1958, after a seventy-five year residence, the Town offices moved to the old Middlebury High School, and the building was purchased by Sam Emilo, who tried to make a go of it as a furniture store. In October, 1960, the main floor and stage was filled with Buicks for, of all things, a car show. Eventually, Sam created the Belmont, a restaurant popular with local residents, not only because of Marion Desrocher, its well-loved manager and cook, but because it boasted a dance floor.

Once the town sold the building, however, its physical appearance changed drastically. The ornate stage and curved balcony were ripped out and the stained-glass windows bricked in. A dropped ceiling and wood paneling were added. Over time, multiple cracks appeared in the masonry walls. The exterior brick walls, buckling under the weight of the leaky slate roof, began tilting at dangerous angles – a full 12” out of plumb – and bat and bird guano accumulated in the rafters.

The Knights of Columbus bought the building in 1968, and ran it successively as a meeting hall and community space. Among the Knights who were active in those early years were John Adams, Bob Bergedick, Andy Bourdon Sr., Clayton Breiner, Frank Broughton, Bill Collins, Jules Denis, Clement Gagne, Marcel Rheaume, Stan Stefanski, Lucien Paquette, and Bob Whittemore. Many will remember dinners and bingo games in the space, and the After Dark Music Series performed there to the delight of folk music fans. Everyone in town had to stop by the building every few years to get their driver’s license.

In the late 1990’s the aging building was in need of a great deal of repair, and the Knights wrestled with the idea of selling their beloved building. Eventually it was decided that the building would be sold for $275,000, to a community group led by Douglas Anderson.

Douglas Anderson and his wife Debby, residents of Middlebury for more than 15 years, had most recently been the owners of Dada, a popular local culinary supply store. Anderson’s background, however, went far beyond this retail venture. After 14 years on the theater faculty at both Middlebury and Amherst colleges, he moved on to a highly successful career in theater and television as a multifaceted actor, director, and writer.

Anderson wasted no time in mobilizing community residents who shared his passion and vision. Within two years, Town Hall Theater, Inc. – a new non-profit corporation -- had a hard-working Board of Directors and $500,000 in the bank. Early support came from the Lions Club of Middlebury, the Rotary Club of Middlebury, the Walter Cerf Fund, and Middlebury College. The building was purchased in 2000. Almost immediately, THT hired Bread Loaf Corporation to design and build the project, with a team headed by architect Steve Schenker and project manager Dutton Smith, Jr. Keefe and Wesner Architects, Vermont’s premier historical restoration firm, were brought on to oversee the restoration.

Scores of promotional events would follow in the next five years, Community Demolition Day on May 19, 2001, brought in members of the community to spend the day removing the interior “improvements” of past renovations to reveal an entire wall of windows for the first time in decades. Completion of the interior demolition was underwritten by a major grant from the Preservation Trust of Vermont.

In September, Middlebury Remembers brought together long-time residents to reminisce about THT over the past seven decades. Moderated by former town clerk Dick Goodro, a highlight of the event was a showing of The Movie Queen, a film shot in Middlebury in 1939. In October, the 1st Annual Rotary Club/THT Variety Show launched a new showcase for local talent.

Community support proved extraordinary. Early on came the Stagehands, a corps of 70 residents charged to solicit donations. The sold-out Toast the Town Hall series, “intimate dinners and small performance events in private homes,” was organized by Joann Langrock and an energetic Events Committee. The building had no heat, but performances could be presented in the summer months. In May, 2002, the Kander & Ebb Broadway classic Chicago was a smash hit, a production of the Middlebury Community Players. Sellout audiences, amazed by the high caliber of the performances, saw this as a clear indication of the limitless potential of the space. Middlebury Actors Workshop came next with an evening of short plays, and two more hits followed in August with Encore! the popular local musical group, and Jefferson and Adams, the acclaimed historical drama, starring Bill Barker and Sam Goodyear.

Among the scores of devoted community volunteers and donors, a leadership group emerged including Maxwell Eaton Jr. (Board President); Peter & Elisabeth Holm (Co-chairs, Capital Campaign); Bruce & Sue Byers (Board. VP; Co-Chairs, Major Gifts); David & Jean Littlefield (Co-chairs, Honorary Committee); and Peter & Joann Langrock (Legal Counsel, Chair Events Committee).

In 2003, major work on the building exterior began in earnest. Projects included structural stabilization, a new slate roof, copper cresting, a replica of the original weathervane, restoration of bell tower, and the recreation of gingerbread molding on the south gable, the work of Jack Brown of East Middlebury.

Before this phase of the project was over, 59 windows had been removed, restored, and reinstalled. 3000 bricks were replaced, the Pleasant Street garden was created, and a grant from the Middlebury National Bank underwrote the creation of the beautiful new porch and steps.

2003 events began with THT’s 1st New Year’s Eve bash, which drew a large crowd to a completely unheated theater. At a Governor’s Reception in May, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas spoke eloquently in support of efforts to save Vermont’s historic buildings, and raised $50,000. A second summer season included a wild production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, set in Texas, 1959.

The highlight of the 2004 fundraising campaign was the $100,000 Got Your Brick? campaign. Proposed by Middlebury Professor Rich Wolfson, the campaign would sell bricks removed from the windows to the public for $100 each. For $250, bricks would be engraved and reset in the new Pleasant Street Garden. Initially viewed as a “crazy” idea, Got Your Brick? was a wild success and raised more than $100,000. In May, the Great Middlebury Birdhouse Exhibition raised an additional $18,000. THT also hosted the MUHS Junior Prom.

The big story of 2005 was the Saga of the Great Bell. In 1887, Middlebury selectmen purchased a great Meneely bell, the largest in the county, to serve as a community fire alarm and to announce the town curfew at 8:50 p.m. In April 1961, then owner Sam Emilo removed the bell from the tower with the intention of selling it for scrap. Local resident Theron Wolcott and other concerned citizens tracked it down and negotiated to buy it back. To raise the necessary funds, they set up “A Buck for the Bell,” a subscription campaign asking local residents to contribute $1 each to save the bell. The campaign a success, the bell returned to Middlebury and was placed on the lawn of the Henry Sheldon Museum on Park Street, where it sat for over 40 years.

On July 3, 2005, the museum graciously and theatrically returned the bell. A ceremony on the porch of Henry Sheldon Museum honored those who gave a buck to save the bell, a number of whom were in the audience. The bell was loaded on a wagon and pulled through town, carried along by the music of Bud Leeds’ Dixieland Band. G. Stone Commercial’s forklift raised the 1569-pound bell 35-feet into the air. It took a suspenseful hour to maneuver the massive bell into place. Crowds cheered when, for the first time in a half century, the bell pealed out, rung by Angelo Lynn and Paula Simons, who underwrote the restoration of the bell tower.

Magically, when the bell began to ring it was soon answered by a chorus of ringing church bells throughout Middlebury.

At the event, Sen. Jim Jeffords was honored for his support of a $147,000 Federal Grant for the restoration. Gratitude was expressed to Maynard McLaughlin, President of the Bread Loaf Corp., donor of funds to build replicas of the two original chimneys, and to Gardner Stone, owner of G. Stone Motors, for his gift of the monumental front doors.

For its third summer, THT sprang into action, this time offering a virtual performance blitz. Sell-out audiences were delighted by Little Shop of Horrors, Laundry & Bourbon, Tosca, Middlebury Does Motown, Tales & Things : a Monstrous Children’s Musical, The Last Five Years, a series of rock bands, an evening of a cappella singing groups, and Pathos Dance Theater. In October, the THT season came to a triumphant end when the Great Middlebury Antiques Auction, chaired by Barbara Blodgett, raised $18,000.

THT had been operating on a series of temporary occupancy waivers, but the interior was little more than a shell and not up to code. THT and state authorities agreed that the time had come to close the building until the interior had been completely restored, a process that included fire alarms, a sprinkler system, ADA accessibility, and completely new heating, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing systems.

When architect Steve Schenker left Bread Loaf Corporation to create his own firm, the interior restoration was left in the hands of talented young architect Ashar Nelson.

As of April, 2007, THT had raised an amazing total of $3,845,168, within reach of the $5 million fundraising goal. That goal came a giant step closer to reality when Middlebury College formed a partnership with THT providing the theater with $1 million over the next 20 years. The partnership creates a new venue for student and faculty performances, and reserves three weeks each summer for performances by the college Language Schools. “With all of these exciting college productions coming to THT, we’re going to have a season line-up that will be the envy of theaters in much larger towns,” says Anderson. “Everybody wins.”

Bruce Baker and Peggy Keith were the hard-working co-chairs of the final phase of the capital campaign. Working with a small team of volunteers, they raised the last dollar in the fall of 2007. The restoration of the interior started almost immediately.

After years of grueling fundraising efforts and unanticipated construction challenges, the building is once again among the most beautiful structures in Middlebury. It reopened with great fanfare on July 26, 2008 – a state-of-the-art building constructed within the historic shell.

The interior has became a spacious hall. With a ceiling rising to the very peak of the roof, the Main Stage offers a beautiful and capacious space for theater, music, dances, meetings and receptions. Light pours into the room through the newly restored stained-glass windows, and the refinished hardwood floor gleams. The lower level has been reconfigured to accommodate the Carolyn and Will Jackson Gallery, the Bruce and Sue Byers Studio, the Middlebury Community Players Dressing Room, and THT offices.

How often does it happen that a dream, a vision, has been fully realized down to the last detail? How can a community thank the tireless, dedicated efforts of more than a thousand volunteers and donors who are responsible? Clearly, the answer is for everyone to use the building and support THT presentations, guaranteeing that the town’s hall will be here to serve the community for another 125 years.

Technical information on all of THT’s spaces is currently being updated. Please bear with us. 

Click below to see floor plans for all of THT’s spaces.


Town Hall Theater is located in the heart of Middlebury, facing the town green. Look for a red brick building with an impressive bell tower.

From the North

Route 7 south to Middlebury. As you arrive in the village, the Middlebury Inn will be on your left. Route 7 takes a hard left just after the Inn, but if you continue straight you will see Town Hall Theater ahead on the right.

From the South

Route 7 north to Middlebury. As you arrive in the village, Route 7 makes a left around a small green. Stay left. The Middlebury Inn is on your right. Make another left to circle around the small green. You will see Town Hall Theater ahead on the right.

From the West

Route 30 or Route 125 to Middlebury. Both head directly to the center of the village. At the main intersection, with the Alpine Shop on your right, turn right. Travel up Mer-chants Row. Town Hall theater is at the end of the block on your right.



Parking lots 1 and 2

At the top of Merchants Row, bear right past the theater onto South Pleasant Street. Parking lot 1 is on your left at Langrock, Sperry & Wool, 111 South Pleasant Street. Parking lot 2 is on your left at Conley & Foote, 135 South Pleasant Street.

Parking lot 3

At the top of Merchants Row, bear left at the Soldiers Monument and continue straight across onto Route 7 south. At the light at the top of the hill, turn right to continue on Route 7 south. Immediately turn right into the Painter House parking lot at 2 Court Street (Route 7 south).