The City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium (CoMMA) opened its doors officially on November 6, 1986, to a sold-out audience of the Broadway national tour of “The Tap Dance Kid.” Funded by a local bond referendum, Morganton’s then new performance place seated more than 1,000 with state the art technical complements. The lobby was designed to serve as an art and display gallery for the enjoyment and enlightenment of theatre and concert-goers.
Located on the College Street site where Grace Hospital had stood for more than 50 years, CoMMA set a standard early on as one of the best performing arts venues in the Southeast. MainStage Morganton has been the flagship performance series since Day One. It has consistently offered more than 20 international, national and regional artists and artist group in performance on the theatre’s 40-foot proscenium stage.
World premieres including “Senator Sam – A One-Man Play” and “The Legend of Frankie Silver” were presented at CoMMA. In 2004 artist Ben Long completed Morganton’s first piece of public art, a ceiling fresco located on the ceiling of the CoMMA Gallery, entitled “Sacred Dance & the Muses.”
Today, CoMMA continues to host a wide variety of concerts, plays, Broadway musicals, public meetings, worship services, and private gatherings in its service to the people of Morganton and Burke County.