About Broadway Theatre League

Learn about our history

About Broadway Theatre League of Huntsville

The purpose of the Broadway Theatre League of Huntsville is to provide professional live theatre for citizens of the Tennessee Valley area. Broadway Theatre League also strives to offer a well-rounded educational and cultural program to students of the Tennessee Valley through the Student Outreach Program.

Fun Facts About BTL

As of March 2020, BTL has, during 60 seasons:

View our memorable show archive:

noteworthy BTL dates

Welcome to Broadway Theatre League’s 60th Season Celebration!

We are excited for our 60th celebration which is the direct result of the strength and determination of one woman, Louise Rodgers. To fulfill the mission that she created and nurtured for more than 33 years, it takes tremendous support from our community to present the best of Broadway in Huntsville, AL.

Commitment, Dedication, Loyalty, & Tradition!

These are all words that describe Broadway Theatre League’s relationship with the Tennessee Valley. Broadway Theatre League deeply cherishes our patrons and our staff’s dedication to ensure each patron has the best experience at every show throughout every season.

Commitment can be seen through our patrons. BTL has six season members who have been with us all 60 seasons, and there are many more season members that have been with us 20, 30, 40, and 50 years. It is this core support that allows BTL to grow and present season after season. We certainly could not have a show without all the support of the Von Braun Center and the IATSE Stagehands. They provide support and stand by us through every show. It hasn’t always been standing ovations; there have been periods of time in BTL’s history that we needed help. This help came from the community. Spencer Oil was our first corporate sponsor, demonstrating the viability of the broad corporate that BTL has today. In the early 1990’s Mr. Ron Evans from the VBC and Donn Jennings, DJ Promotions, stepped in and provided the crucial support that Broadway Theatre League needed. They both recognized the importance of BTL for the community and ensured that it would continue.

Dedication from volunteers! Volunteerism built Broadway Theatre League and still today over 500 volunteers annually commit thousands of hours. Wilarlie Barto served Broadway Theatre League for more than 40 years as a volunteer, a board member, front of house manager, and in the office. BTL has a very dedicated and deeply vested board of directors who, combined, have given more than 250 years to the organization as patrons and leaders. Special honor must be given to The Frost Family from Frost Printing, who has ensured that every playbill was at the Theater before the curtain went up for 60 seasons.

Loyalty from individuals and corporations provides crucial financial support to ensure that the curtain will go up for every show. Broadway shows are expensive! The lion’s share of all ticket sales goes back to the National Touring Broadway productions. BTL being here, providing hands-on patron care, annual student outreach, is all because of our community. We are deeply indebted to companies like Jerry Damson Automotive Group and Regions Bank for more than 20-year partnership with BTL and the many other companies who believe in the mission of BTL to entertain and educate our community.

Tradition – BTL is a tradition with families and friends. It is a place where families meet, friend’s catch-up, and memories are made.  We cannot thank you enough for making us a part of your life. Whether this is your 1st season or your 60th, we are deeply grateful for every single patron that comes through the Theatre doors.

Andrew Willmon, Executive Director, Broadway Theatre League

Founded in 1959 by the Business Professional Women’s Club, Broadway Theatre League of Huntsville Inc. began as a fundraising opportunity by presenting a national touring Broadway production. The women of the BPW’s Club took the opportunity and turned it into a cultural staple for the community.

Headed by Louise Rodgers, BTL grew and established a great following with patrons waiting years for better seating. Many great stars have made their way through Huntsville, such as Ann Sheridan, Joan Bennett, John Carradine, John Raitt, Robert Goulet, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, and many more.

In 1975, BTL moved to the brand new Von Braun Center Concert Hall. The facility allowed BTL to grow exponentially by presenting more than one performance of each season show and currently presents 5 or more performances.

In the early 1990’s, the reigns of BTL were handed over to the VBC for a couple of seasons after the retirement of Louise Rodgers. In 1996, BTL found new life with new leadership and a new board. A revived mission was set to entertain and educate the citizens of the Tennessee Valley.

Since 1996, BTL has grown into one of the largest non-profit arts organizations in the community. Annually, BTL presents a full-slate of Broadway touring shows, children’s theatre, and celebrities of stage and screen.

BTL’s continued longevity centers around presenting the best quality product, new and innovative educational programming, and continued community support. The Student Outreach programs reach 10,000 students from all walks of life for free educational theatrical productions. The past, present, and future of BTL center on our community.

We recently celebrated our 60th season. We would not be here today if it wasn’t for Louise Rodgers.

“She Was BTL”

The Louise Rodgers Story

Sometimes the best ideas come at the most unexpected of times and, given the proper care and attention, these small ideas can grow beyond our wildest hopes. That is the case with a simple idea for a small fundraiser that has resulted in the entertainment of approximately 1.4 million people in Huntsville over the last 60-plus years.

Local resident Louise Rodgers, who volunteered with numerous non-profit organizations, came up with the idea for a fundraiser sometime in the early part of 1958 that would become Huntsville’s Broadway Theatre League.  While watching the popular television program, “The $64,000 Question,” Louise saw an advertisement that the show’s host, Hal March, would be going on tour with the musical production of “Two for the Seesaw,” which had recently had a run on Broadway in New York City. Louise thought, “Why can’t this show come to Huntsville?” This proved to be the perfect thought at the perfect time.

Louise, the executive secretary of The Huntsville Business and Professional Women’s Club, had a sideline seat as the boom decade of 1950 transformed Huntsville from a town of some 16,000 at the start of the decade to 72,000 at its end. She knew a Broadway show would be a great attractant to the area’s growing masses. She took this idea to the president of the Huntsville Business and Professional Women’s Club. Lois Robertson recalled that Louise suggested inviting a Broadway Show to the city and selling advertisements to local businesses in the playbill to raise funds.

Read More >>

Click below to read about the history of Broadway Theatre League

Welcome to Broadway Theatre League’s 60th Season Celebration!

We are excited for our 60th celebration which is the direct result of the strength and determination of one woman, Louise Rodgers. To fulfill the mission that she created and nurtured for more than 33 years, it takes tremendous support from our community to present the best of Broadway in Huntsville, AL.

Commitment, Dedication, Loyalty, & Tradition!

These are all words that describe Broadway Theatre League’s relationship with the Tennessee Valley. Broadway Theatre League deeply cherishes our patrons and our staff’s dedication to ensure each patron has the best experience at every show throughout every season.

Commitment can be seen through our patrons. BTL has six season members who have been with us all 60 seasons, and there are many more season members that have been with us 20, 30, 40, and 50 years. It is this core support that allows BTL to grow and present season after season. We certainly could not have a show without all the support of the Von Braun Center and the IATSE Stagehands. They provide support and stand by us through every show. It hasn’t always been standing ovations; there have been periods of time in BTL’s history that we needed help. This help came from the community. Spencer Oil was our first corporate sponsor, demonstrating the viability of the broad corporate that BTL has today. In the early 1990’s Mr. Ron Evans from the VBC and Donn Jennings, DJ Promotions, stepped in and provided the crucial support that Broadway Theatre League needed. They both recognized the importance of BTL for the community and ensured that it would continue.

Dedication from volunteers! Volunteerism built Broadway Theatre League and still today over 500 volunteers annually commit thousands of hours. Wilarlie Barto served Broadway Theatre League for more than 40 years as a volunteer, a board member, front of house manager, and in the office. BTL has a very dedicated and deeply vested board of directors who, combined, have given more than 250 years to the organization as patrons and leaders. Special honor must be given to The Frost Family from Frost Printing, who has ensured that every playbill was at the Theater before the curtain went up for 60 seasons.

Loyalty from individuals and corporations provides crucial financial support to ensure that the curtain will go up for every show. Broadway shows are expensive! The lion’s share of all ticket sales goes back to the National Touring Broadway productions. BTL being here, providing hands-on patron care, annual student outreach, is all because of our community. We are deeply indebted to companies like Jerry Damson Automotive Group and Regions Bank for more than 20-year partnership with BTL and the many other companies who believe in the mission of BTL to entertain and educate our community.

Tradition – BTL is a tradition with families and friends. It is a place where families meet, friend’s catch-up, and memories are made.  We cannot thank you enough for making us a part of your life. Whether this is your 1st season or your 60th, we are deeply grateful for every single patron that comes through the Theatre doors.

Andrew Willmon, Executive Director, Broadway Theatre League

Headed by Louise Rodgers, BTL grew and established a great following with patrons waiting years for better seating. Many great stars have made their way through Huntsville, such as Ann Sheridan, Joan Bennett, John Carradine, John Raitt, Robert Goulet, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, and many more.

In 1975, BTL moved to the brand new Von Braun Center Concert Hall. The facility allowed BTL to grow exponentially by presenting more than one performance of each season show and currently presents 5 or more performances.

In the early 1990’s, the reigns of BTL were handed over to the VBC for a couple of seasons after the retirement of Louise Rodgers. In 1996, BTL found new life with new leadership and a new board. A revived mission was set to entertain and educate the citizens of the Tennessee Valley.

Since 1996, BTL has grown into one of the largest non-profit arts organizations in the community. Annually BTL presents a full-slate of Broadway touring shows, children’s theatre and celebrities of stage and screen.

BTL’s continued longevity centers around presenting the best quality product, new and innovative educational programming and continued community support. The Student Outreach programs reach 10,000 students from all walks of life for free educational theatrical productions. The past, present and the future of BTL centers on our community.

Founded in 1959 by the Business Professional Women’s Club, Broadway Theatre League of Huntsville Inc. began as a fundraising opportunity by presenting a national touring Broadway production. The women of the BPW’s Club took the opportunity and turned it into a cultural staple for the community.

Headed by Louise Rodgers, BTL grew and established a great following with patrons waiting years for better seating. Many great stars have made their way through Huntsville, such as Ann Sheridan, Joan Bennett, John Carradine, John Raitt, Robert Goulet, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, and many more.

In 1975, BTL moved to the brand new Von Braun Center Concert Hall. The facility allowed BTL to grow exponentially by presenting more than one performance of each season show and currently presents 5 or more performances.

In the early 1990’s, the reigns of BTL were handed over to the VBC for a couple of seasons after the retirement of Louise Rodgers. In 1996, BTL found new life with new leadership and a new board. A revived mission was set to entertain and educate the citizens of the Tennessee Valley.

Since 1996, BTL has grown into one of the largest non-profit arts organizations in the community. Annually, BTL presents a full-slate of Broadway touring shows, children’s theatre, and celebrities of stage and screen.

BTL’s continued longevity centers around presenting the best quality product, new and innovative educational programming, and continued community support. The Student Outreach programs reach 10,000 students from all walks of life for free educational theatrical productions. The past, present, and future of BTL center on our community.

We recently celebrated our 60th season. We would not be here today if it wasn’t for Louise Rodgers.

“She Was BTL”

The Louise Rodgers Story

Sometimes the best ideas come at the most unexpected of times and, given the proper care and attention, these small ideas can grow beyond our wildest hopes. That is the case with a simple idea for a small fundraiser that has resulted in the entertainment of approximately 1.4 million people in Huntsville over the last 60-plus years.

Local resident Louise Rodgers, who volunteered with numerous non-profit organizations, came up with the idea for a fundraiser sometime in the early part of 1958 that would become Huntsville’s Broadway Theatre League.  While watching the popular television program, “The $64,000 Question,” Louise saw an advertisement that the show’s host, Hal March, would be going on tour with the musical production of “Two for the Seesaw,” which had recently had a run on Broadway in New York City. Louise thought, “Why can’t this show come to Huntsville?” This proved to be the perfect thought at the perfect time.

Louise, the executive secretary of The Huntsville Business and Professional Women’s Club, had a sideline seat as the boom decade of 1950 transformed Huntsville from a town of some 16,000 at the start of the decade to 72,000 at its end. She knew a Broadway show would be a great attractant to the area’s growing masses. She took this idea to the president of the Huntsville Business and Professional Women’s Club. Lois Robertson recalled that Louise suggested inviting a Broadway Show to the city and selling advertisements to local businesses in the playbill to raise funds.

Read More >>