DATE: May 8, 2018
PR CONTACT: Jeanne Williams,
PR CONTACT PHONE: 978-654-7561
BOX OFFICE: 978-654-4678


Annual event benefits MRT’s educational programs

And John Levicki will be posthumously honored with the Tsongas Award

Lowell, MA—Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) is proud to announce that it is honoring longtime supporter Congresswoman Niki Tsongas at its 39th Anniversary Gala on June 2, 2018, with proceeds supporting MRT’s vital educational programs. Congresswoman Tsongas will be presented with the Donahue Award for Community Leadership, named for MRT founder Nancy L. Donahue, which honors an individual or organization that has contributed extraordinary effort, resources, and spirit to partnering with MRT as a leader in the Lowell community.

“It has been my honor to be a longtime supporter of MRT, in whatever way I could,” said Congresswoman Tsongas. “MRT has been a tenacious leader among Lowell cultural institutions, setting a standard of excellence in all that it does. I especially appreciate MRT’s commitment to our region’s young people, who are our future.”

Nancy L. Donahue, Honorary Gala Chair and Chair of the MRT Board of Trustees added, “Choosing Niki as our honoree was a very easy and unanimous decision. Niki and her late husband Paul were on board with the idea of a theatre in Lowell from the very first day and Niki has, for 40 years, served in many different roles: Board member, Board President, volunteer, contributor, advocate, subscriber. We will treasure her continuing support and honoring her is a small ‘thank you.’”

Congresswoman Tsongas has deep roots at MRT, serving in various roles. She was on the Board of Trustees from 1984 to 2005, served as Vice President from 1993 to 1994, and as President from 1995 to 1997.

To recognize her many contributions, MRT created the Tsongas Award in 1993, “to single out remarkable citizens who have provided distinctive leadership for both Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the larger community.” John Levicki, MRT’s assistant house manager who passed away in April, will be posthumously presented with the Tsongas Award at the Gala. In addition to volunteering as an usher and helping run the front of house at MRT, Levicki was very active in the Lowell cultural arts community, enjoying working and volunteering with the Summer Music Series at Boarding House Park and the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.

About MRT’s Education Programs

MRT’s educational programming features Student Matinees and Young Company and serves more than 6,000 children and youth in Lowell and the entire Merrimack Valley region. Schools are offered Student Matinees as weekday field trips, providing many students with their first exposure to professional theatre; nearly 2,000 K-12 students attended productions during the 2017-18 Season. Young Company is a professional theatre training program for high school students; it features an intensive three-week summer program, followed by year-long insider educational opportunities at the theatre. In addition, students may purchase discounted tickets and educators enjoy special discount days. To learn more, visit

About MRT’s 39th Anniversary Gala

The Gala is presented by the Friends of MRT and is open to the public. It will take place at UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center, 50 Warren Street, Lowell, MA, Saturday, June 2, at 6 pm. Nancy L. Donahue is Honorary Gala Chair; Gala Co-Chairs are Ann Kazer and Tom Larkin. The event will feature cocktails, seated dinner, silent and live auctions, and entertainment. Auction items include: a trip to NYC with a Carnegie Hall backstage tour and show; trips to Palm Spring and Nova Scotia; an original John Brickels sculpture created for MRT; and a backstage tour of Sesame Street. Entertainment will be provided by Charissa Bertels (My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend), Kristen Mengelkoch (Lost Laughs: The Slapstick Tragedy of Fatty Arbuckle, The Villains’ Supper Club), and The Real Cool Cats. The auctioneer is Julia Brothers. Tickets are $125 and sponsorships are available. Learn more about the Gala and purchase tickets online, at

MRT’s 39th Anniversary Gala Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor
Richard K. and Nancy L. Donahue Charitable Foundation

Platinum Sponsors
Judy and Geoff
Circle Health
Demoulas Foundation
Enterprise Bank
Stephen and Suzanne Irish
Lowell Five

Gold Sponsors
Frank and Belva Hopkins
Lowell Sun Charities
Washington Savings Bank

Silver Sponsors
Debra Grossman and Take Tyndall
University of Massachusetts Lowell

Bronze Sponsors
Clark Insurance
Donald Bedard and David Vaillancourt
Eastern Bank
Dan and Mary Frantz
Denise and John Glaser
Lori Hamilton
Phyllis and Terry Howard
Ann and Herb Kazer
Tom and Anne Larkin
Susan Mitchell and Jim Waldo
Sage Bank
O’Connor Studios – Jack and Terry O’Connor
Lincoln and Peg Pinsky
Carolyn Walsh and Jack Moynihan
William F. Wyman and Jeffrey S. Robinson

Wine Sponsor
Jorge Ordóñez Selections

Circle Health is the 2017-18 Season Sponsor. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Image Download

MRT’s 39th Anniversary Gala logo (and photos from past Galas) can be downloaded from MRT’s Flickr page.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has been Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre company since 1979 and is an integral part of Lowell’s identity as the cultural heart of the region. MRT’s mission is to share theatrical stories of human understanding that reflect and engage our community. A seven-show season runs from September through May in the intimate 279-seat Nancy L. Donahue Theatre. The company is known as a leader in producing new plays, especially world and regional premieres. MRT is one of 72 theatres nationwide (one of three in Massachusetts) with membership in LORT (the League of Resident Theatres).

Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre 
(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Box Office: 978-654-4678

Read about MRT’s current 2017-18 Season:

Read about MRT’s upcoming 2018-19 Season:

# # #