Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (MTC) is Canada‘s oldest English-language regional theatre. Next to the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, MTC has a higher annual attendance than any other theatre in the country. It was founded in 1958 by John Hirsch and Tom Hendry as an amalgamation of the Winnipeg Little Theatre and Theatre 77. In 2010, the theatre received a royal designation from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and officially became the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.
Located in the Exchange District.
Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg
Want to get to know downtown Winnipeg a little better? Taking in a show at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (MTC) is a must! Join over 150,000 theatre-goers to see some of the best live theatre in Winnipeg. Located in the theatre district (naturally!), the MTC main stage is just across Main Street from the Exchange District on Market Avenue.
Manitoba Theatre Centre history
The MTC was founded in 1958 by John Hirsch and Tom Hendry, whom the main stage theatre and the warehouse theatre are named after, respectively. The theatre has been recognized as a national historic site. Celebrity actors such as Graham Greene, William Hurt and Keanu Reeves have all performed at the Manitoba Theatre Centre in the past.
Over the years, some of the performances have included Hamlet, Mother Courage and Her Children, Tuesdays with Morrie, My Fair Lady and Death of a Salesman. Comedy, drama and musicals are all celebrated at the MTC. Some performances consist of no more than one man or woman on stage with a single prop; other performances appear to contain dozens of performers with a number of spectacular backdrops and glitzy costumes. The many styles that MTC is willing to offer its patrons illustrate the creativity behind the scenes as well as the talent of the actors performing.
Events at the MTC
There is lots to do in downtown Winnipeg and the Manitoba Theatre Centre is not to be missed. No matter what time of year you want to see a performance, there will be one! The regular season generally runs from September to May each year. January and February are when the acclaimed Master Playwright Festival occurs, celebrating a different playwright every year. In July, the MTC takes part in the local Fringe Festival as a venue for some of the performances.
More than one theatre available at the MTC
The lesser-known Tom Hendry warehouse theatre, located on Rupert Avenue just a few blocks away from the main stage, is smaller than the main stage – but don’t be fooled by its size! This theatre has held some amazing performances, most recently including East of Berlin and Looking Back-West.
This theatre is much more intimate than the main stage, and it is an excellent choice for anyone on a budget as it is less expensive than the main stage. Season tickets are also offered for both the John Hirsch and the Tom Hendry stages – it is a lovely way to go out for an evening, with performances taking place a couple months apart.
The Manitoba Theatre Centre is a community-based, registered charitable not-for-profit arts organization.
You can support MTC financially by donating on their website, or by becoming a sponsor. The arts community is a major one in downtown Winnipeg and it is important to ensure that such an essential and lovely part of our culture is maintained for years to come.
Sagan Morrow owns an open-concept condo in Winnipeg’s Exchange District and loves downtown living. By night she writes the blog Living Healthy in the Real World and is the Executive Director for The Food Label Movement; by day, she coordinates the Dig In local food campaign for Food Matters Manitoba. Sagan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Rhetoric, Writing and Communications and is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. She enjoys taking in the theatre and art culture of downtown Winnipeg during her spare time.