The original Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild began in 1931 with the establishment of “Massachusetts Drama Day.” Four schools participated in the original competition, which was held at the old Huntington Chambers building in Copley Square. With that festival, the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild (MHSDG) was established. In the 1940s, the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association became the educational sponsor of the state event. The year 1954 marked the beginning of two important corporate partnerships with the Guild: The Boston Globe became our lead patron, and John Hancock Hall became one of the Festival’s sponsors. It was also in this year that the Festival was relocated to John Hancock Hall, where it has remained ever since. In 1989 the Guild’s horizons expanded with incorporation as a nonprofit organization. During the 1998-1999 school year, the Massachusetts Middle School Drama Festival, Inc. and the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild, Inc. merged. Since then the Guild has increased its membership to over 150 schools across the Commonwealth.
In 2010, the membership voted to rename the organization The Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild to better reflect our mission. The METG enjoys the continued support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Arts Lottery Councils from member schools’ cities and towns.
- In the past fifteen years, membership in the Guild has grown from 100 to 150 schools.
- In the past ten years, 350 different schools have participated in our Drama Festivals.
- In 2010, more than 3500 students from 145 schools participated in the Drama Festival.
- Since its inception in 1983, the playwriting contest has generated 590 student-written plays
- Since the establishment of the acting and set design scholarship program in 1992, sponsored, in part, through the generosity of the Boston Globe, the Guild has awarded $68,000 to 115 college-bound students.