Berges Success Story:
Metro Theater Company
Opening Doors to Self-Discovery
“Metro Theater Company (MTC) envisions a strong, vibrant, and diverse St. Louis where every person is valued and respected, and where all young people are empowered to reach their full human potential without barriers.”
Cathy and Jim Berges are champions of creating new theater productions that deal with today’s issues, often controversial and critical, to foster understanding and acceptance among young people. The Berges family’s encouragement and financial support over the years has proven invaluable and allowed MTC to expand our mission and serve this important niche.
Inspired by the intelligence and emotional wisdom of young people, MTC creates professional theater, fosters inclusive community, and nurtures meaningful learning through the arts.
New Permanent Location
Season 45 (2017-2018) marked Metro Theater Company’s first season in a new, permanent performance space – the Grandel Theatre in Grand Center, St. Louis. This new location wouldn’t have been possible without support from the Berges Family Foundation, their encouragement of other supporters, and their multi-year endowment.
With a permanent location, we have been able to anchor national partnerships, regional collaborations, and expand the mainstage season from one to two performances annually.
Games Dad Didn’t Play
One of our most notable works was last year’s production of Games Dad Didn’t Play about a boy named Lucas with an incarcerated dad. He and his mom move away and try to write a new chapter in their lives. He soon realizes the past cannot be rewritten or ignored.
This production, appropriate for children as young as second grade, realistically addressed a topic that is rarely discussed or understood, and garnered regional and national acclaim for doing so. Games Dad Didn’t Play impacted over 6,000 Missourians with great emotion in over 40 performances.
Bud, Not Buddy
Bud, Not Buddy was our second mainstage production of the 2017-2018 year. Bud, Not Buddy, was originally commissioned by the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC – we were the first regional theater to produce this award-winning, highly-acclaimed, “concert play” with an ensemble of eight actors and thirteen jazz musicians.
MTC formed a unique partnership with Jazz St. Louis, another benefactor of the Berges Family Foundation’s cultural arts endeavors, to bring our mutual audiences together and expose new audiences of youth and families to theater, jazz, and this powerful story. Bud, Not Buddy was attended by 88 different schools in 128 different zip codes, and captivated a multigenerational audience of nearly 8,000 through 24 performances.
“For most of my students, it was their first time at this type of performance. The performance really enhanced their learning experience. That’s why children attending Metro Theater Company productions is so important. The experiences of our students will allow them insight and inspiration in obtaining their goals. The students all agreed the realism of the characters and the music is what enhanced their performance experience.” Lift for Life
Regional, National & International Theater
Metro Theater Company presents both mainstage productions for the general public, and professional touring shows that travel to schools, community centers, and performance venues throughout the St. Louis region and around the country. Most of our productions are original works that have been seen by over two million people in 41 states, as well as Canada, Italy, Japan, and Taiwan.
The Berges family has been instrumental in our growth and recognition. Thanks to their support and donations from others, we will continue to be both artists and educators, nurturing community and our young people, and creating powerful theater to educate and foster understanding.
“Giving kids the experience of seeing not only a live performance but also letting them experience the live jazz music was an incredible opportunity we would not be able to replicate. Taking kids to the Grandel Theatre was icing on the cake!
The Metro Theater actors were excellent. They created the story of Bud, Not Buddy in a way that transported the audience to a challenging time in our history, and helped us see that with perseverance you can overcome. Thank you for a wonderful experience.” Robinson Elementary
Love Theater & Want to Help?
One of the best ways you can help is to attend our performances and share our mission with your children, loved ones, peers, co-workers, and your community. What is theater without our audience?
Our annual schedule is on our website … we look forward to bringing you the most exciting performances each and every year.
MTC can only survive with the help of our community through tax-deductible donations – approximately two-thirds of our operating budget each season is comprised of contributions. We accept online and phone-in credit card donations; planned giving, stocks and other securities, and employer-matched funding. We also raise funds from foundations, corporations, public agencies, and numerous individuals, and have performance sponsorships.
We have a strong volunteer corps and love to see the community get involved. If you wish to volunteer, go to our website for more information or contact us today. Together, we can “touch the heart, delight the senses, and stimulate the minds of our youth and community.”
The Berges Family Foundation supports the institutions and organizations that make Saint Louis a great place to live, visit, and invest.
- Berges Family Foundation Hires Kelly Pollock as Chief Executive OfficerJuly 13, 2022 - 3:06 pm
- The Missouri History Museum & The Future Lab: St. Louis’ Past and Present Inspiring a Better FutureDecember 9, 2021 - 11:15 am
- St. Louis Public Schools Foundation: Helping 20,000 Students Through COVID-19October 20, 2021 - 4:30 pm
- College Bound St. Louis – Holistic Support for Youth to Achieve a College DegreeSeptember 17, 2021 - 2:17 pm