mac (formerly Midlands Arts Centre) is a non-profit arts centre situated in Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston, Birmingham, England. It was established in 1962 and is registered as an educational charity which host plays, concerts and films shows; and holds art exhibitions, music classes, and workshops for all ages.
The centre re-opened in May 2010 after a £15m facelift. It has four performance auditoria, rehearsal and media studios, a cinema and art gallery.
The idea for an arts centre in Cannon Hill Park was the result of a meeting between local residents; theatre writer and director John English, his wife, Mollie Randle and local politician Frank Price in the late 1950s. Eventually 8.6 acres of land in Cannon Hill Park was made available by Birmingham City Council in 1962 for this purpose. It also housed the Cannon Hill Puppet Theatre under John M. Blundall.
In 1965 director Mike Leigh went to work at the theatre and had the opportunity to start experimenting with the idea that writing and rehearsing could potentially be part of the same process. Between 1972 and 1987 it was the home of the Birmingham Youth Theatre, a company aimed at encouraging and nurturing talent amongst people aged 15 to 23 in the wider community. This company was founded by local teacher Derek Nicholls, who later became Director of the MAC. Success stories from the youth theatre include Adrian Lester and Andrew Tiernan.
The centre closed in April 2008 for a £14.8 million refurbishment. It reopened on 1 May 2010 with a weekend of events and activities to reintroduce people to the new and newly refurbished spaces.
- "Remember mac – 48 years of history". Retrieved 6 March 2013.
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