Historic theatre in Hillsboro under new ownership

Mark and Misty McGrady buy Myers Dinner Theatre


HILLSBORO — Mark and Misty McGrady are the new owners of Myers Dinner Theatre in Hillsboro. They recently purchased the theater from Donna and Richard Myers who have offered home-cooked meals and outstanding Broadway shows in the town of about 500 people since 2003.

Plans are underway to rechristen the venue as The Harmony Theater. Mark and Misty met on eHarmony, they were married in New Harmony, Indiana, the music club in Hillsboro was named the Hillsboro Harmony Club, and Misty was a member of a Sweet Adeline’s chorus in Nashville, Tennessee which sang in four-part harmony.

Mark is a native of Hillsboro while Misty grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. The couple recently moved to Indiana after residing together in Franklin, Tennessee since 2012.

Both Mark and Misty have appeared on the stage at Myers Dinner Theatre. Mark was in the ensemble with three of his children in “Annie Get Your Gun” in 2004 during the theater’s second season in Hillsboro. Misty appeared in both “The Sound of Music” and “Grease” in the 2023 season just completed at MDT.

“When Donna Myers approached us a year ago about the possibility of buying the theater, we knew that it would be a daunting task to operate a dinner theater in a small town in the face of rising costs,” Mark said. “We decided to proceed in the faith that those who love the theater will help us to preserve and improve upon what Richard and Donna started decades ago.”

Investing in and preserving the institutions of Hillsboro runs in the McGrady family. Mark’s brothers, Daniel and Tim, bought the Hillsboro Hardware about 10 years ago when it was in a difficult financial situation, and another brother, Gary, now manages the hardware operation as it has expanded its offerings.

Mark’s father was the president of the Hillsboro Community Booster Club in 1958 when another town institution, the annual Beef Bar-B-Q, was established.

“I hope that owning the theater in front of where the Bar-B-Q was held can be a catalyst to re-start that tradition,” Mark said.

The purchase was not finalized until Nov. 24, 2023, so the selection and licensing of shows and special events for the 2024 season was delayed. Eight main stage productions and a number of special events will be offered. The 2024 season will begin Feb. 9 with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” which was written for television in 1957 with Julie Andrews in the starring role.

“‘Cinderella’ is a perfect show to start our productions at the theater since Misty and I became engaged in Cinderella’s castle at Disney World, and the engagement ring was presented in a glass slipper. We will have the slipper on display during the show,” Mark said. “The musical premiered on television in 1957 which was the same year my parents moved to Hillsboro.”

Other offerings during the upcoming season include “Nunsense 2” (a follow-up to the first Nunsense musical that was presented in 2021 at MDT) and Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.” The season will conclude with the musical version of “Miracle on 34th Street” with the book and score by Meredith Willson, who wrote the classic, “The Music Man.”

The McGradys plan to continue offering home-style meals for which Richard and Donna Myers were justifiably famous. The recipes for broccoli salad and home-made rolls, among other menu items, have been passed on to the new owners.

Tickets to “Cinderella” and the other licensed shows are available for purchase online at www.myersdt.com.

Tickets to those shows as well as season tickets and flex passes may be obtained through the box office at 765-798-4902. As soon as the remaining two shows are licensed, tickets to those shows will be available as will special event tickets when scheduled.