Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Merrimack Reunion A Great Event

This summer, Merrimack Hall hosted the Merrimack Reunion. The event drew 300 people who either worked in Merrimack Mills, lived in Merrimack Village or attended Joe Bradley School. It was great to hear feedback from people who have such feelings of pride and nostalgia in this neighborhood and in Merrimack Hall. There was lots of reminiscing going on that day and lots of great compliments on how well our renovations turned out.

Some of the folks attending the reunion put together a picture board that had amazing images of the neighborhood, the mills, the school and Merrimack Hall. One thing that was truly staggering was a photocopy of a paycheck. The check was dated 1910 and was for $.12. Can you imagine, bringing home $.12?

Former Merrimack resident Jim Yell came to visit us shortly after the reunion. He told me that he was impressed with what we've done in renovating and restoring a place that he held dear to his heart. Jim has become a major benefactor to Merrimack Hall, making a staggering donation to us. More than that, he's become a part of our Merrimack family now and is providing valuable assistance to the entire staff.

He's also working with Ron Harris on an original play that Merrimack Hall has commissioned Ron Harris to write. The working title is "Upon the Shoulders: The Merrimack Story" and is a historic fictionalization of events and people from Merrimack's past. We expect to present this production next August, so stay tuned for further developments!

Debra Jenkins

Merrimack Hall Receives Funding

We were so honored and humbled to receive a First Tier Grant from the Jane K. Lowe Charitable Foundation! This foundation, established by the late Jane Lowe, accepts grants from Madison County-based non-profit organizations. This year, they received more than 80 requests for funding and selected only 3 organizations to receive a First Tier Grant. Several other organizations received Second and Third Tier Grants, but we were one of only 3 to get $100,000.00 from the Foundation.

The money has been allocated for the purchase of a grand piano and a video projection system for the theatre. We will also be using these funds to start a ballet class for children with physical disabilities. We are working with United Cerebral Palsy to train our teachers and volunteers for this program. We believe that every little girl should be able to wear a tutu and be a ballerina if she wants to!

Many thanks to the Jane K. Lowe Charitable Foundation for believing in us!

It Was A Great Summer at Merrimack Hall

I can't believe that school has started and things are getting back to the normal old routine! We had quite a summer at Merrimack Hall - from dance workshops with stars from "So You Think You Can Dance," to "One on One with Billy Bob Thornton!" New folks joined our staff, we developed our first Season Brochure and we managed to have a great time doing it all.

Sabra Johnson, the Season 3 winner of "So You Think You Can Dance" taught a workshop here and brought Kameron Bink, Season 3 Top 10, with her. The dancers who took these classes loved Sabra and Kameron both and we are hoping to have them back with us for our "Evening of Dance" in January.

We were proud to be a part of the Huntsville City School's summer enrichment program and enjoyed having 120 middle school students with us each day in June for hip hop classes. Ann's Studio of Dance was here for their company rehearsal, and what a great group they are! The parents were so nice and helpful, the kids were well-mannered and polite...and boy can they ever dance!

Lisa Loeb's concert was great - she sang songs from new new children's album and there were quite a few kids in the audience! LeAnn Siefferman, new Programming Director, commented of Ruthie Foster, "if everyone in the world would listen to that music, it could end the war!" She was one of the finest artists we've had the pleasure of presenting.

And then there was Billy Bob! What a guy - we just love him and his entire crew and band! Lynn Hoffman of the A&E Channel moderated our "One on One" event and it was just like "Inside the Actor's Studio." Billy revealed so much about himself as an actor, and as a man, and we got tremendous feedback from everyone who attended. One of my favorite things about the weekend was meeting Tom Mayhue, Billy's tour manager, and Antony, his crew chief. Tom is developing a new reality series for A&E called "King of the Roadies" that is absolutely hilarious! He showed us footage and promotional videos on the program, that follows him around on the road, showing all of the situations that are part of the routine of his job. He and Antony have a hilarious banter that goes on all the time, and we see them doing things like breaking into cars that are blocking loading docks of theatres, that are side-splitting! Watch A&E for the start of this new reality show!

Scot Bruce's tribute to Elvis was a great show - Merrimack Hall sure can shake, rattle and roll! The best moment of the evening was when Scot got on one knee and sang "Love Me Tender" to a lady in the audience!

New staff members Hayley Smith (Director of Dance) and LeAnn Siefferman (Box Office and Programming Director) have been welcomed additions to our team and we've had a blast getting to know them this summer. Both are smart, funny, gorgeous, hard-working and just all around delightful women!

We have one more show before our season kicks off - Robert Post Comedy Theatre is a family-friendly comedy show. Our season has 12 productions and there's something for everyone - music, theatre and dance are all available. Individual tickets to our shows go on sale August 21, but there are great benefits to being a season ticket holder. Season ticket holders are the first to know when we schedule new events, and we have one looming on the calendar that many people will be excited about! Menopause the Musical wants to return to Merrimack Hall and if you are a season ticket holder, you'll know before everyone else does! Season ticket holders get first dibs on Menopause the Musical tickets, which we know will sell fast!

Hope to see you at a show soon!

Debra Jenkins

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance Pair at Merrimack Hall

Fans of the Fox television series "So You Think You Can Dance" will recognize the name Sabra - she was the Season 3 winner of the dance competition show. She is the incredible contemporary dancer who wowed the judges week after week last year and was Wade Robson's favorite to win from the beginning. We are so excited that she is coming to Merrimack Hall to teach master classes and is bringing with her Kameron Bink, another of last season's Top 10 finalists.

We will be holding classes for dancers age 6 and up. Each age group will have a choice of two classes with Sabra and two with Kameron. They will teach an additional advanced class together, offering a total of 9 classes. They are also attending a meet and greet that will include your own personal photo with them. After pictures and autographs, Kameron and Sabra will take questions from the audience about what it's like to be on "So You Think You Can Dance," what it's like to be a professional dancer, and anything else that the audience would like to know about them! Registration is open at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 21 at

After having Wade Robson with us twice this year, we knew we wanted someone else from the TV show. Wade wants us to bring Mandy Moore, which we are working on - her schedule is totally full for the summer, but we are looking at alternative dates. But Wade was rooting for Sabra all season, so of course, we were too! We can't wait to meet Sabra and Kameron and are so excited that area dancers will have the chance to learn from the two of them!

Debra Jenkins

Karla Bonoff and Kenny Edwards Concert Was HOT!!!

Another remarkable artist presented yet another remarkable performance at Merrimack Hall last Thursday, May 15, 2008. Karla Bonoff and Kenny Edwards garnered three standing ovations from a crowd of devoted fans. But it wasn't only the great music that made the evening memorable. Merrimack Hall's fire alarm malfunctioned, sending the entire house into a hot flash not seen since we had "Menopause the Musical" here!

Apparently something went wrong inside an air duct, causing the fire alarms to go off, so with strobe lights flashing and the computerized voice saying "please evacuate the building," the audience remained calmly in their seats! Alan rushed to the control panel to try to diable the alarm, but couldn't get it to shut off. In a panic, he called Scott and Reisa Schrimscher, the general contractors on the building (and very good friends) who dropped what they were doing and rushed over here, arriving simultaneous with 2 fire trucks. While Alan kept trying to turn off the alram, Scott and Reisa were frantically trying to find a phone number to call to disable the system. They finally located a 1-800 number and Alan wrote it on his hand. He dialed the number.....and reached some adult phone sex line!!! What a wrong number that was!

Karla and Kenny said that in 30 years of touring, they had never had a fire alarm go off - lots of power failures but no fires! They waited patiently, as did the audience, and finally after 20 loud and long minutes, the system was re-set, the fire department left and the show resumed! We're hoping the house doesn't get that hot for a while!

Debra Jenkins

Saturday, May 3, 2008

"The Great American Trailer Park Musical" Sure to be Fun!

We can't wait for Wednesday night's opening performance of "The Great American Trailer Park Musical," coming to Merrimack Hall from New York. This professional touring show features a cast of eccentric characters that live in Armadilla Acres - "where the livin' is easy, and so are the people!" I've been listening to the soundtrack for the past few days and find myself laughing and singing along to songs like "I'm Gonna Make Like A Nail and Press On."

We are going to have lots of fun events going on in our lobby - give-aways from different businesses, drawings for prizes - we're even going to have a Flamigo Toss at intermission! This will not be your ordinary "night at the theatre." We haven't gone as far as some other theatres who have had "Trailer Park" - some have had mullet contests (the haircut, not the fish) or encouraged their audiences to dress in their favorite "trailer trash" outfits. But we do have their merchandise on sale - who doesn't need a cigarette lighter that includes a bottle opener on the end? Or a camo drink coozie that says the easy living slogan?

We hope we'll see you next week!

Debra Jenkins, Founder

One-On-One With Billy Bob Thornton

We are so excited about Billy Bob Thornton's return to Merrimack Hall this summer, and are especially thrilled about the question and answer session he has agreed to hold for area actors and fans! Billy will sit down with a moderator, in front of an audience, on Saturday, August 2 at 4:00 p.m. for a 90 minute interview that will be structured like our version of "Inside the Actor's Studio." Billy will talk about his music, his movies and his life and will also take questions from the audience. This will be such a unique and cool way to get to know one of the most prolific artists of our generation!

When he was here last summer, we found Billy to be one of the most down-to-earth guys we've ever met - he's just a good ole' southern boy from Arkansas! There was absolutely no "Hollywood" about Billy Bob! He was genuinely excited to be in Huntsville and to entertain his fans with his band, The Box Masters. It was great enough that he agreed to return with The Box Masters, but when we learned that he would agree to sit down and talk one-on-one with an audience we were thrilled! We might even see Billy bring Carl Childers to life again, as he did on our stage last summer.

Billy's manager has told me that Merrimack Hall is the only sit-down venue that Billy is willing to play this year, as he prefers to play in a bar or arena setting as opposed to our theatre setting. But he wanted to come back here because he had such a great time with us last summer - lots of his friends and family came down from Arkansas for his shows, as well as several of his friends from Muscle Shoals and Nashville. Billy seemed truly impressed with our venue and congratulated Alan and me for setting up our non-profit organization and providing the venue to Huntsville as our gift. Needless to say, we were pretty proud to hear words of endorsement from an artist of Billy's stature.

Tickets for One-On-One with Billy Bob Thornton are on sale now. More details on the format of this event and the moderator will be available soon!

Debra Jenkins, Founder

Merrimack Hall Choreographers Win at Panoply

Merrimack Hall is so proud of two choreographers, Leigh Caruso and Cynthia Quintela, for the excellent work they presented at Panoply's Choreography Competition April 25 and 26.

Panoply's prestigious Choreography Competition recognizes the work of choreographers with cash awards and attracts choreographers from across the southeast. This year's competition, which was held in the Von Braun Center's concert hall, brought 56 different pieces that were judged by a panel of esteemed dance professionals. The dance pieces were entered into 5 categories - ballet, modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop. An elimination round was held first and pieces were selected as "Honorable Mention"and performed on stage in Big Spring Park on Friday night of the festival, with other pieces selected as finalists to compete in the concert hall on Saturday night. This year, 8 pieces were selected as Honorable Mentions and 15 pieces were selected for the final round of competition.

Leigh, Merrimack Hall's Director of Dance Education, set a work entitled "Free My Soul" on a group of 8 dancers, including Leigh. The dancers came to Merrimack Hall from two different dance organizations - Alabama Youth Ballet and Huntsville Community Ballet - and worked at Merrimack Hall for several weeks in preparation for their participation in Panoply's Choreography Competition. "Free My Soul" was entered in the ballet category, which had the largest number of entries of all the categories, so the competition was tight! For Leigh, who graduated from Vanderbilt University in May 2007, this was the first time her work has been seen in her hometown since she was in high school. She was thrilled, and I was extremely proud, when her piece was selected to perform as an Honorable Mention!

Cynthia is on the staff of Alabama Youth Ballet and teaches visual art at Huntsville High School, where she also directs the school's dance team. Cynthia's piece, "Because," was originally created for Merrimack Hall's "Evening of Dance" held in January. Dancers from Alabama Youth Ballet were featured in this jazz piece, which was selected for the final round of competition and went on to win the jazz category. Cynthia received a $500.00 cash award, along with the honor of being chosed as the finest jazz piece entered in the competition. Cynthia has a long history of winning awards in the Panoply Choreography Competition, having won the "Best of Show" award numerous times in the past.

These choreographers and their work represent exactly what Merrimack Hall has set as our mission - to provide performance opportunities for local performers along with the educational opportunities we are providing. I am so proud that Merrimack Hall has been a part of fostering the development of these two new works and has been able to provide assistance to two of Huntsville's finest choreographers. We are so thrilled for Leigh and Cynthia and for the well-deserved recognition that their work and their dancers received!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Carter's Chord

Carter’s Chord is the “just-uncovered gem” of the cross-over country music scene, and is rapidly garnering a loyal fan base. When we heard their music (southern rock, blues, and Outlaw country) and had a solid sense of their credibility—as evidenced through Toby Keith’s backing—we knew this was a real opportunity. We booked them immediately, with every belief that they’ll be huge by this time next year. They’re touring with Toby this summer, so their exposure will go through the roof.

Their sound is really interesting, in that while it’s definitely country, it reflects influences by the Counting Crows, Emmylou Harris, Marc Cohn, and the Black Crows. You can actually hear the added edge. I mean, these are three sisters in their early twenties, ready to set the world on fire, and their energy really comes through in their music. Even our marketing director, a self-admittedly lukewarm country fan, is excited about this act—she says it isn’t “too twangy.” Regardless, we believe they have a very bright future; we hope we can say “We knew them when…”
—Alan Jenkins, Founder

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Step Afrika!

I don't know when I've been as excited about an event as I am about Step Afrika! This professional step dancing company from Washington, D.C., will present 2 concerts and 2 master classes at Merrimack Hall April 4 and 5.

My first exerience with seeing a performance of African dance was back in 1995 at Panoply and I found it to be one of the most moving experiences I've ever had. The African drums, the beautiful tribal costumes, the ritual dances are all so compelling and inspriational to me. It is fascinating to hear the dancers explain the meaning behind their movements and the occassions when a particular dance or drum cadence was used - to signal that the enemy is coming; to ask the gods for rain; to celebrate the harvest; to rejoice in a birth or mourn a death.

When I think about these ancient rituals and traditions, it makes me realize that from the moment humans came into existence, they have had a primal urge to express themselves through music, dance and art. What makes Step Afrika! so unique as a dance company is that they combine the ancient tribal dances with newer forms of African dance, like stepping. When they perform their step numbers wearing the gumshoe boots, which were worn by the workers in the diamond mines of South Africa during apartheid, and explain what the percussions of their feet mean, you realize that when people are oppressed and not even allowed the right to speak, they will still find a way to communicate. For those mine workers, communication was through stomping, clapping and dancing.

I know that I will leave the Step Afrika! performances with a renewed awe at the power of music and dance!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chris Tyler and Shane Sparks

MTV'a newest dance reality show, "America's Best Dance Crew" features dance troups in amazing hip hop performances. Shane Sparks is the head judge for this show - and is one of the choreographers on Merrimack Hall's wish list of artists we hope to bring to Huntsville for master classes!

Shane is often assisted by Chris Tyler, the Nashville-based hip hop artist and choreographer who is returning to Merrimack Hall on March 29 for a day of master classes. On last week's episode of "American's Best Dance Crew," Shane Sparks told a dancer who was dancing with an injury, "my best friend and favorite assistant is a guy named Chris Tyler. Chris has terrible knees but dances through the pain and kills it every time." Shane continued to praise Chris for his professionalism, his talent and for not letting his injuries affect his performance as a dancer.

My daughter, Emma, and I were watching the show and were so excited to hear Shane speak of Chris on national television! We just loved Chris when he was here in January and can't wait to see him again next month. He is a tremendous teacher, a brilliant dancer and an all around great guy! I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about offering a hip hop dance class to six-year-olds, but what Shane taught these babies was so age appropriate and adorable - he had them hip hop dancing to a rap version of "Pop Goes the Weasel!" From beginner to advanced, Chris' classes were action packed, fun, unique and all the dancers who came enjoyed themselves so much! We can't wait to see what he has up his sleeve for us next!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wade Robson and His Original Work, "Change"

When Wade Robson left Huntsville last July, after a week of master classes, auditions and a three-day intensive, my husband and co-founder of Merrimack Hall, Alan, and I said to each other that if Merrimack Hall never did another thing, that week was worth the money we have donated to start this organization. We knew that the opportunity we had been able to provide to 285 area dancers was truly unique and that the three-day intensive was absolutely life-changing for the 13 dancers Wade selected. After seeing the performance of his original work, "Change," at Merrimack Hall's Evening of Dance featuring Wade Robson last month, we have a new perspective on how truly amazing our experience with him has been.

When I first contacted Wade's agent, in August of 2006, it was a pipe dream that I might be able to convince him to come to Merrimack Hall to help us inaugurate our dance programs. But after my dear friend April Cook, Director of Marketing for Broadway Dance Center in New York, spoke to Wade on my behalf, we were able to schedule the week with him.

In 2007, there were five organizations that received original work from Wade Robson; the hit TV shows "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing with the Stars," The San Francisco Ballet, Cirque de Soliel and.......Merrimack Hall! When "Change" was performed on January 27 at Merrimack Hall, it received a five-minute standing ovation and brought much of the audience to tears. This intense, moving and inspirational piece is Wade's personal statement on peace, and on young people becoming empowered to make a change in the world. I know that each of the young dancers who were a part of this performance were shown the power of dance to express emotion and convey a message - this one of hope and change.

We feel a "semi-connection" to the work Wade did with the San Francisco Ballet, as they called him to commission him while he was in Huntsville in July! He had recently had a piece on "So You Think You Can Dance" entitled "Hummingbird and Flower" that caught the attention of the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Ballet, the nation's oldest professional ballet company. Wade was in our Green Room having his lunch when the call came asking him to meet with the ballet company to discuss the commission. He was so excited after the call and told me he was blown away by the response to "Hummingbird and Flower." He worked with the dancers in San Francisco for several weeks in the fall and again in January, and his piece was the focal point of the ballet company's 75th anniversary celebration in January. Wade said, "I haven't spent one hour doing what those ballet dancers do, and they haven't spent one hour doing what I do, so we were all challenged to work together. But we did it, I loved every minute of it, and I think they did as well." The performance received rave reviews from the San Francisco press, and I'm sure that this work will lead Wade in many new directions!

While he was in Huntsville in July, he was also in the middle of his negotiations with Cirque du Soliel to be the choreographer for a new production they are mounting at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas in August. He has temporarily relocated to Montreal for rehearsals for this new Cirque show, which features the magic of Chris Angell, a cast of 12 dancers and other Cirque characters. Wade is working to set choreography around aerial tricks, acrobatics, and the amazing magic and illusions of Chris Angell. The show is set to open in August, and we are planning our trip to attend one of the first performances! Wade's wife, and creative partner, Amanda, said she is anxious to see what Chris Angell's "tricks" are, but said she is frankly afraid there aren't any tricks - she said after meeting Angell, it is highly possible that he can actually do those unbelievable illusions!

Wade has promised to schedule a return to Merrimack Hall in late 2008 or early 2009, once his work with Cirque is finished. We'll keep you informed as these plans develop!

Debra Jenkins, Founder

Chris Tyler Returns to Merrimack Hall

Nashville-based hip hop choreographer Chris Tyler is set to return to Merrimack Hall on Saturday, March 29, 2008, for another day of master classes for dancers age 6 and up! Our website,, has complete workshop details.

Chris is celebrity choreographer Shane Sparks' favorite teaching assistant,and was mentioned by Shane this week on MTV's new dance show "Dance Crew." Shane referred to Chris as "my best friend and best assistant in the business!" Chris is working with Merrimack Hall to secure a workshop with Shane Sparks in Huntsville, so stay tuned to this blog and our website for more details!

Chris is also the southeast representative for the L.A. talent agency, D.D.O. This agency provides exclusive representation for dancers and places them in music videos, television commercials, stage shows, award shows and more. On January 5, after a day of master classes, Chris conducted an open audition for the D.D.O. Agency. Forty-three local dancers auditioned for Chris. Chris told Leigh Caruso, Merrimack Hall's Director of Dance Education, that he expected to find one or two dancers that he might be interested in signing. Two weeks later, 13 dancers from Huntsville, Decatur and Moulton had been signed to his agency! These dancers are already receiving audition calls from Chris, for everything from rap artists' tours to Pepsi commercials, and a group of dancers just went to Atlanta to audition for a music video. Chris told Leigh he was "blown away" by the talent that he saw at Merrimack Hall!

Providing opportunities like this one to Huntsville's performers is a key component of Merrimack Hall's mission. We are so proud to be able to give area performers the chance to reach their personal dreams and will continue to bring working professionals to Merrimack Hall to work with Huntsville's talented artists!

Debra Jenkins, Founder

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Merrimack Hall Nominates Ron Harris for Virginia Hammil Simms Award

Merrimack Hall is proud to announce that Ron Harris is our nominee for the prestigious Virginia Hammil Simms Award. Given annually to the individual who has done the most to advance the arts in Huntsville through volunteer service, this award is named for one of the early pioneers of Huntsville's vibrant arts community. Mrs. Simms was actively involved in the formation of some of Huntsville's most important art institutions, such as Community Ballet Association and the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and was one of our community's most prominent philanthropists. I was speechless, thrilled, humbled and grateful to have received this award in 2007, and feel so honored to be able to nominate an artist of Ron Harris' caliber for this year's award.

Ron has been a driving force in Huntsville's theatre community for more than 30 years. He retired in 2005 from a teaching career that included 10 years at Johnson High School and 20 years as the director of the Lee High School Magnet Drama Department. His students have received regional, national and international recognition over the years and have won countless awards for their productions. Ron has also received numerous awards for his work as an educator, director, designer, writer and actor.

There is not a theatre organization in North Alabama that hasn't used Ron's expertise, as either a costume designer, set dresser, set designer, actor or director, and for every job he has taken as a professional, there are multiple ones he has taken on as a volunteer. His eye for detail and love of art motivates him to be sure that every production he is involved with is as professional as possible. While he is officially retired, he can still be found working at Lee High School's productions, coaching and mentoring individual students, and hosting impromptu performances in the backyard theatre he built right after his retirement.

When Ron became involved with us in the planning of Merrimack Hall, he put his creative talents to work for us. Every Friday night for a year, he met with us to review our architectural drawings, help select things like seat and curtain colors, help us define our mission and identify our programming goals. He told me that he had three dreams for himself after his retirement - to have a movie produced, to build a theatre in his backyard, and to have someone build a new theatre in Huntsville. Those three dreams all came true for him the summer after he retired, so he is working on a new set of dreams for himself! His play, "Like Moles, Like Rats" was produced last summer, has been accepted into four prestigious independent film festivals and is set for theatrical release later this year. Visit for more information.

The Virginia Hammil Simms Award will be presented in April.

Debra Jenkins, Founder

Chantal Robson

L.A. based choreographer Chantal Robson left Merrimack Hall on Wednesday, headed to Denver to work with up-and-coming pop star Ashton Grant, and we miss her so much already! Chantal spent a week with us in January another week in February, and has promised to return to Merrimack Hall in August or September and we can't wait! Chantal, and her brother Wade Robson, have become like family to us and we are so grateful to them both for what they've done for Merrimack Hall and for Huntsville's dance community.

Chantal worked with dancers of all ages when she was here in January, and through an open audition, selected 10 who were part of Ashton Grant's performance at Merrimack Hall's Evening of Dance. These young dancers were in their first music video, live on our stage, complete with scaffolding and fog! Chantal told the dancers how proud she was of them; they had approximately 15 hours to learn her choreography, rehearse and perfect it, and perform it with Ashton's live performance of her song "Misery Loves Company," which is about the amount of time spent on an average music video shoot. What a cool experience for these young performers!

This past week, she conducted a "How To Audition" workshop and walked dancers through the paces of what to expect when going on a dance audition. Chantal was so impressed with the talent of the dancers she met in Huntsville and felt that they are all prepared now to go on their first real dance audition!

Chantal and Wade both took a special interest in one young Huntsville dancer and they are both working on some incredible opportunities for her.....stay tuned for some exciting announcements about this young girl!

Chantal will all be announcing this week the winners of the five week-long scholarships that she will be awarding to Huntsville dancers. These scholarships are for classes at the famed Millenium Dance Complex in L.A., where the top choreographers, dancers and pop stars in the industry go for their dance training.

Merrimack Hall's goal is to put Huntsville's performers up close and personal with top working professionals like Chantal and Wade Robson. We know that Chantal and Wade will be returning later this year and are working on several other celebrity choreographers who will be teaching at Merrimack Hall this summer. Stay tuned for details!

Debra Jenkins, Founder

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Welcome to our blog!

Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center is eager to create a dialogue with the public and with our patrons. We hope that you will give us feedback and suggestions, as well as ask any questions you may have about our venue and programming. Let's get started!

We opened our doors in July of 2007, and have been amazed by the talent that has walked through them in the interim: Wade Robson, Billy Bob Thornton, Simon Kirke, Dionne Warwick, Menopause the Musical...and the list goes on. Every time we spotlight another guest artist we are inspired and energized to provide the best venue possible. And we're grateful and humbled every time we see a very young talent soaking up every word, note, or move taught in a master class by the best in the industry.

Our beginning is so much more meaningful when it can be shared with those we respect and value. We must say a heartfelt thank you to our patrons and to the wonderful performers that have shared their talent and knowledge with us.