Cumberland County Playhouse celebrates 50th anniversary

Smoke on the Mountain has been one of the most popular shows in the Playhouse's history.
Smoke on the Mountain has been one of the most popular shows in Playhouse history.

CROSSVILLE – Lights. Camera. Action. The Cumberland County Playhouse (CCP) is turning 50 this year.

To celebrate this benchmark milestone, the Playhouse will be hosting a series of events to honor the families, community members and professionals who have grown the theater to what it is today: Rural Tennessee’s only major, non-profit and professional performing arts resource and a top attraction in the state.

Highlights from the CCP’s 2015 golden anniversary season include:

  • T3 Education Tribute – June 19, 7 p.m., free

The T3 Performance Education Department students will present a concert tribute to the pioneers who built the foundation on which the Playhouse stands today.

  •  Mandy Barnett in Concert – July 10, 7:30 p.m., $25/$12.50

Spend a Friday night with Cumberland County’s very own country and jazz vocalist and her band of A-list Nashville musicians.

  • Birthday Party! – July 15, 4-6 p.m., free

Join the Cumberland County Playhouse in their lobby for cake, refreshments, music, guest speakers and plenty of surprises!

  • Tennessee, USA in concert – July 18, 2:30 p.m., $20/$10

The show that started it all, Paul Crabtree’s 1965 patriotic musical Tennessee, USA. Cast and crew members from all 13 past TUSA productions through 2010 are invited back to join the Playhouse for an afternoon of scenes and songs. The concert is sponsored by Elliot and Evelyne Kornreich, and longtime sponsor Stonehaus Winery will uncork the new champagne they’ve created for the Playhouse’s 50th anniversary. Other major sponsors include The Clayton Family Foundation, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Plateau Pediatrics, and CCP architects Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates.

  • The Perils of Pinocchio – Sept. 25-Oct. 31, $18/$9

Be a part of the magic that lit the fire in 1963. This new production of Paul Crabtree’s classic musical fantasy will feature kids, teens and members of the professional Playhouse acting company, along with amazing new special effects and a live orchestra.

“The Playhouse shares a great sense of community,” Producing Director Jim Crabtree said. “We are so very grateful to the people and leaders of Crossville and Cumberland County for 50 years of involvement and support.”

The Cumberland County Playhouse, 221 Tennessee Ave., Crossville, was founded in 1965 by community leaders and led by Broadway veterans Paul and Mary Crabtree. The Cumberland County Playhouse is the only rural major cultural institution (MCI) as designated by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the only non-profit professional performing arts resource in rural Tennessee. In a region vastly under-served with other arts opportunities, the Playhouse provides more than 350 performances and 1,200 classes in theater, dance and music annually. Recognized as a top attraction by the state tourism office, the CCP has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors each year on average since 1965, and is home to two indoor and two outdoor stages. Family roots in the Playhouse still hold strong; current board, supporters and volunteers represent many founding families, and the organization has been managed by two generations of Crabtrees, all serving more than five million visits since the 1965 opening.

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