Our History
A timeline of our organization's formation and listing of shows

Through Spring, Summer and Winter audiences have grown and changed as often as the seasons. We have moved in, moved out, smashed records and blown people away! When you've been around as long as we have you learn to take every step with humility and jot down a few notes of what you've accomplished along the way!


The 1960s

(1959-1960) Began as a working organization under the name Albuquerque Light Opera (ALO).

(1960) Incorporated with the State of New Mexico as Albuquerque Light Opera (ALO) on February 23.

(1962) The Inaugural Season: H.M.S. Pinafore • Kismet

(1963) Season: The Mikado • Can Can

(1964) Season: The Pirates of Penzance • Annie Get Your Gun

(1965) Season: Carousel • The Sound of Music • The Roar of the Greasepaint–The Smell of the Crowd

(1966) Chartered as a New Mexico 501(c)(3) corporation.
Season: Carnival • Guys and Dolls • Oliver!

(1967) Season: Once Upon a Mattress • Little Mary Sunshine • Oklahoma!
Performances held at Hiland High School.

(1968) Productions begin to be presented at Popejoy Hall and drew an audience of 8,000 new fans.
Season: Funny Girl • Once Upon a Mattress • The King and I • The Music Man

(1969) Season: Kismet • Peter Pan • The Boyfriend • The Unsinkable Molly Brown • West Side Story

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The 1970s

(1970) Season: Carousel • Desert Song • Guys and Dolls • Oliver! • The Sound of Music

(1971) The AMIGOS volunteer organization is formed by a theatre supports.
Season: Camelot • Destry Rides Again • Gypsy • My Fair Lady • The Wizard of Oz

(1972) Incorporated with the State of New Mexico as Albuquerque Civil Light Opera Association (ACLOA) on August 14.
Season: Annie Get Your Gun • Brigadoon • Fiddler on the Roof • Once Upon a Mattress • The King and I

(1973) Season: Carnival • Man of La Mancha • South Pacific • Sweet Charity

(1974) Season: 110 In The Shade • Damn Yankees • Gigi • Hello, Dolly!

(1975) Season: Applause • Kiss Me, Kate • The Most Happy Fella • The Sound of Music

(1976) Management staff developed. Gross income reaches $100,000.
Season: 1776 • Camelot • Promises, Promises • The Music Man

(1977) Construction completed on the new rehearsal, shop & office facility on Ellison NE.
Season: Cabaret • Jesus Christ Superstar • Mame • Oliver!

(1978) Season: Fiddler on the Roof • Funny Girl • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying • I Do! I Do! • Oklahoma!

(1979) Season: Company • Li'l Abner • Man of La Mancha • My Fair Lady • Sugar

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The 1980s

(1980) Season: Flower Drum Song • H.M.S. Pinafore • Pippin • The King and I • The Unsinkable Molly Brown

(1981) Season: Finian's Rainbow • Godspell • Guys and Dolls • Kismet • Show Boat

(1982) Season: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • Carousel • Stop the World – I Want to Get Off • The Sound of Music • West Side Story

(1983) Season: Anything Goes • Brigadoon • Grease • Hello, Dolly! • The Student Prince

(1984) First Executive Director hired.
Season: Gigi • Hans Christian Andersen • Paint Your Wagon • South Pacific • The Pirates of Penzance

(1985) Annie shatters all-time attendance records.
Season: Annie • Bye Bye Birdie • Gypsy • The Music Man • They're Playing Our Song

(1986) Season: 1776 • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas • Camelot • Damn Yankees • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

(1987) First Marketing Director hired. Season attendance tops 51,000.
Season: Fiddler on the Roof • I Do! I Do! • Kiss Me, Kate • Oliver! • Shenandoah • Two By Two

(1988) December production of Peter Pan breaks sales records. Director of Development hired.
Season: A Little Night Music • My Fair Lady • Oklahoma! • Peter Pan • Sweet Charity

(1989) Season: Cinderella • Dames at Sea • Little Shop of Horrors • Mame • Man of La Mancha

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The 1990s

(1990) Season: Annie Get Your Gun • Singin' in the Rain • Something's Afoot • The Mikado • The Wizard of Oz • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

(1991) Attendance nears 60,000. Income exceeds $750,000. Amigos grows to over 250 members.
Season: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • Carousel • Evita • Here's Love • Nunsense

(1992) Season: Grease • Into the Woods • Nunsense • Once Upon a Mattress • Peter Pan • The King and I

(1993) Presentation of the regional premiere of Kopit & Yeston's Phantom.
Season: Godspell • Nunsense • Phantom • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers • Sweeney Todd • The Sound of Music

(1994) Debut of the original children's musical Revenge of the Garbage Monsters. Budget is $900,000.
Season: Big River • Chicago • Revenge of the Garbage Monsters • South Pacific • The Fantasticks • The Music Man

(1995) Attendance records smashed! Due to renovations at Popejoy Hall, productions were staged in different venues - Albuquerque Academy Theatre, Kimo Theatre, Kiva Auditorium, and Rodey Theatre were all used during the season.
Season: Fiddler on the Roof • Forever Plaid • Revenge of the Garbage Monsters • Romance/Romance • The Pirates of Penzance • The Taffetas • West Side Story

(1996) Season subscriptions top 6,100. ACLOA begins splitting the season's productions between the Hiland complex and Popejoy Hall stages.
Season: 42nd Street • Baby • Brigadoon • Guys and Dolls • Oliver!

(1997) ACLOA collaborates with La CompaƱia Teatro de Alburquerque to produce an original bilingual musical, ...And Now Miguel; the performances are held at the Hiland and KiMo Theatres.
Season: Ain't Misbehavin' • ...And Now Miguel • Camelot • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying • Show Boat • La Cage Aux Folles

(1998) Season: Bells Are Ringing • Man of La Mancha • My Fair Lady • Nunsense • Nunsense Jamboree • Oklahoma!

(1999) The organization changed the name to Musical Theatre Southwest to better focus attention on the artistic product.
Season: Anything Goes • Follies • Hello, Dolly! • Jesus Christ Superstar • Kismet

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The 2000s

(2000) Season: Bye Bye Birdie • Funny Girl • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat • Mame • Swingtime Canteen • The Roar of the Greasepaint–The Smell of the Crowd

(2001) Season: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum • Gypsy • H.M.S. Pinafore • The King and I • The Who's Tommy • The Wizard of Oz

(2002) Bernalillo County takes partial ownership of the Hiland complex as New Mexico State funds are raised for renovations of the historic building. MTS remains on as artists in residence and operators of the complex.
Season: The All Night Strut • Fiddler on the Roof • Forever Plaid • Jekyll and Hyde • Peter Pan • Tapestry • The Sound of Music

(2003) MTS performed exclusively at the Hiland complex during it's "Home at the Hiland" season.
Season: Annie • Evita • Kiss Me, Kate • The 1940's Radio Hour • The Rocky Horror Show • She Loves Me

(2004) The Ana Chavira Theatre opens in the Hiland complex and MTS has it's first double season with both a Main Stage and Black Box season operating.
Season: Always...Patsy Cline • Bat Boy • Berlin To Broadway With Kurt Weill • Cabaret • Cinderella • When Pigs Fly • Ragtime • Seussical the Musical • South Pacific • The Rocky Horror Show

(2005) The final show of the season was performed at the Kiva Auditorium at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
Season: Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris • Grease • Candide • The Pirates of Penzance • A Man of No Importance • The Wiz • I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change • Disney's Beauty and the Beast

(2006) MTS downsizes operations to a new warehouse on Ross SE, as Bernalillo County takes over operation of the Hiland complex. Performances are held at Rodey Theatre on the UNM campus.
Season: H.M.S. Pinafore • Nunsense

(2007) Performances are held at the Route 66 Casino Theatre.
Season: West Side Story

(2008) MTS focuses operations on an all volunteer staff moving the offices/rehearsal space to a warehouse on Domingo NE and begins performances at The African American Performing Arts Center.
Season: Little Shop of Horrors • Scrooge the Musical

(2009) Season: Civil War • The Producers • The Secret Garden

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The 2010s

(2010) Fire on May 25th destroys the MTS warehouse and 50 years of costumes, props, drops and archives. Company sets up offices/rehearsal space at a temporary warehouse on Linn NE and in true theatre fashion "The Show Will Go On".
Season: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • Thoroughly Modern Millie • Willy Wonka

(2011) A Season of New and Classical Musical Theatre
Oklahoma! • Damn Yankees • Camelot

(2012) Construction on the warehouse is completed. The costumes, props, and sets are moved to the new warehouse called, The Center for Theatre, which includes a Black Box performance space. Legally Blonde and Jesus Christ Superstar are held at the new Center for Theatre Black Box.
Season: Miss Saigon • Legally Blonde • Footloose • Jesus Christ Superstar • Me and My Girl

(2013) Season: Romance: A Valentine's Cabaret • Sweet Charity • The Pajama Game • Sweeney ToddBarnum

(2014) History in the making: MTS debuts the New Mexico premiers of Titanic, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Shrek. This also marks the premier production of Titanic in a black box theatre.
Season: Valentine Cabaret • Into the Woods • Titanic the Musical • Kiss of the Spider Woman • Shrek the Musical

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