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New Stage Theatre, which Jacksonians selected as 2017’s Best Local Live Theater/Theatrical Group, is one of the groups that helped bring art to the forefront in the metro area, and it’s been around so long that most people in the area have at least heard of it, and most have attended plays there.

Jane Reid Petty founded New Stage as a nonprofit in 1965, and its first season began in winter 1966. The company produced 13 seasons in its first building, a repurposed church on Gallatin and Hooker streets, before moving to its current location in Belhaven in 1978.

In 2016, the theater began its 51st season, which featured plays such as “Our Town” and “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” along with this year’s winner for Best Stage Play, “Steel Magnolias.” Many southern women will remember the play’s 1989 movie adaptation, which starred actresses such as Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts and Sally Field. New Stage’s production opened Sept. 13, 2016, full of gossip, southern banter, and of course, big hair. New Stage’s next production, “Madagascar—A Musical Adventure,” opens Jan. 27 and runs through Feb. 5.—Amber Helsel

Address: 1100 Carlisle St. Jackson, MS 39202

Phone number: 601-948-3533

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