From the 1928 construction of the new Orpheum to the construction of the Halloran Centre, generous Mid-Southerners have been at the heart of Main and Beale. With gifts large and small, through donations and patronage, the Orpheum Theatre Group has stood the test of time thanks to the people in its community.
Get to know some of our donors!
We sat down with Orpheum board member Suzanne Landers, Senior Lawyer at The Landers Firm to find out what he loves most about the theatre.
The Book of Mormon is the show you were most excited about this season, right?
It’s at the top of my list, even though I’ve seen it several times. It is such a brilliantly constructed and executed show. They literally have you at “Hello”. I’m also looking forward to Come From Away. It’s a stunner – so succinct yet powerful.
Were you a “theater kid” growing up?
I’ve performed in several shows - some well-known ones like Godspell, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Annie, and a bunch of small ones that no one will have ever heard of. One thing I love about the Orpheum is that there are programs for kids who want to be onstage but also for those who aren’t so interested in Broadway or in being a performer. Offering instruction in technical theatre – lighting and design, sound, and even devising work is just as important as producing great singers and dancers.
Do you have any standout memories from your years as a member of the Orpheum family?
The day the Executive Committee agreed to the daunting task of building the Halloran Centre is a day that stands out. What a turn in time that was, because we were setting out to conceive this incredible space for a multitude of uses outside of just what we’d been doing, while also adding totally new programming. It was a bit overwhelming and incredibly exciting.
And now, you’re seeing how large the impact was of the decision to build the HC.
Absolutely. The Orpheum and Halloran Centre are sort of hallowed places for me because of the number of people, both in Memphis and throughout the region, who come here. Sometimes I think that the citizens of Memphis don’t really realize what an incredible gem and gift the Orpheum is – one we almost lost to destruction, and one that is just as competitive and effective as the theaters across the country – including in New York. I want there to be something for everyone at the Orpheum Theatre Group, and we’re getting better and better at offering that.