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Boston: Theater

Boston is often considered New York’s sister city, and it boasts a theatre scene with as much talent and opportunity. If you’re craving shows fresh from Broadway, Broadway Across America brings new national tours to town each season. Boston staples like the American Repertory Theatre and Huntington Theatre Company offer new shows and fresh takes on revived productions, with many of their productions ultimately transferring to New York. Boston has several other large companies, including Speakeasy Stage, which produces Boston premieres, as well as a host of smaller organizations, like Company One and Actor’s Shakespeare Project.

But Boston’s theatre scene isn’t limited to professional equity companies. There are numerous small companies, like Turtle Lane Playhouse, exclusively producing musicals with some of the best area talent. And Boston is of course a college town as well: schools like Boston Conservatory and Emerson College have thriving conservatory-style theatre programs, and they present quality theatre featuring some of the best young actors around.

The Boston theatre scene is always presenting new and interesting works, and regardless of audience price point or experience level, Boston’s theaters are worth a trip. (Mindy Cimini)

Boston Theater: Theater Around Boston

Below are our Boston Theater recommendations, with information on location, admission, transportation/parking, theater history and other points of interest in Boston Art.

A.R.T. (American Repertory Theatre)

Located in Cambridge, A.R.T. was founded in 1980 by drama historian and critic Robert Brustein, longtime theater reviewer for The New Republic. A.R.T.’s main theater is on the Harvard campus, and adding to the company’s academic feel is the fact that it has its own school, the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training (a two-year program that teaches acting, dramaturgy, and special studies, and includes a three-month residency at the Moscow Art …more…

Actors’ Shakespeare Project

Since its first season of performances in 2004-2005, The Actors’ Shakespeare Project has become known for vivid productions of the Bard’s plays, ranging from acknowledged masterpieces on the order of The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, Macbeth, and Twelfth Night, to less frequently presented works such as King John, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Titus Andronicus.

Working as an ensemble of resident company members, ASP offers intimate productions and outreach programs in diverse venues including …more…

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre Information

Public Transportation: Excellent (a short walk from the Green Line at the Pleasant Street – Outbound Station or the Babcock Street – Inbound Station and bus 57 at Commonwealth Avenue/Pleasant Street)
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: Boston Playwrights’ Theatre produces 3-4 shows per year. Several visiting productions are also presented in the theatre
Ticket Prices: $15–$40 depending on show and seating selection. Student and Senior discounts are usually available
Subscriptions: The Playwrights’ …more…

Central Square Theater

Central Square Theater is a collaboration between two non-profit professional theater companies, The Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater (URT), with a combined track record of 50 years of creating theater and educational programming for the Greater Boston community.

URT was founded in 1978 and The Nora in 1988, but neither had a permanent home until July 2008, when both companies moved into the new, state-of-the-art Central Square Theater in …more…

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

(July 25 – August 12, 2012)

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Information

Public Transportation: Excellent (easily accessible by the Green and Red Subway Lines at the Park Street Station, and buses 43, 55, 191, 192, 193, and SL5 at Tremont Street/Avery Street)
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: Each year, one Shakespeare show is presented with multiple performances. Special Events/Performances include American Voices: a script-in-hand reading series; Shakespeare and the Law: a staged reading of that year’s …more…

Company One

A “fringe” company in residence at the Boston Center for the Arts, Company One focuses on developing and producing socially relevant plays that appeal to, represent, and include Boston’s diverse urban communities. Founded in 1998, the troupe has its roots in “The Island Project,” which began on Great Diamond Island off the coast of Portland, Maine and toured to New Haven and Boston.

Among the Company One productions that have been …more…

Huntington Theatre Company

The Huntington Theatre, founded in 1982 (just two years after the American Rep), is the other big kid on the block in Boston. It has a well-deserved reputation for not just taking on edgy work, but for having an older audience base.

In addition to offering generous ticket price discounts to college aged patrons, the theater also hosts College Nights for the matriculated crowd. Students who want to spread the word …more…

Lyric Stage Company of Boston

Founded in 1974 by Polly Hogan and Ron Ritchell, The Lyric Stage Company of Boston gave its first performances in a humble venue near Copley Square, later moving to a 100-seat theatre over a hardware store on Charles Street. In 1990, the company relocated to its current home in the YWCA building on Clarendon Street.

During its first two decades, Lyric Stage productions ranged from the musical revue Cole to classics by …more…

Merrimack Repertory Theatre

Since its founding in 1979, Merrimack Repertory Theatre has presented well over 200 productions, including 16 world premieres and 34 regional premieres.

The company annually offers an eclectic season of plays and musicals in Liberty Hall, its 308-seat theatre adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium in downtown Lowell. A representative sample of its productions over the course of its 30-years-plus history: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, Elmer Rice’s The Adding …more…

New Repertory Theatre

Now in its third decade, New Rep has established a reputation for productions of “thought-provoking shows centered on big ideas,” ranging from such plays as Waiting for Godot, The Pillowman,Topdog/Underdog; Quills, and A Girl’s War to such musicals asRagtime, The Threepenny Opera, and Sweeney Todd. For its efforts, the company has been awarded many Boston Area theatre awards, including 18 Elliot Norton Awards and 26 IRNE Awards.

New Rep is also committed to bringing new works to …more…

North Shore Music Theatre (Beverly, MA)

This 55-year-old, 1500-seat, in-the-round theatre, located about 25 miles outside of Boston in Beverly, Mass., found itself heavily in debt in recent years and shuttered in 2009. But Bill Hanney, owner of Theatre by the Sea in Rhode Island as well as the chain of 10 New England multiplexes known as Entertainment Cinemas, came to North Shore’s rescue by purchasing the theatre and revamping its business structure. NSMT reopened in …more…

Publick Theatre Boston

(The Publick Theatre was placed on indefinite hiatus in August 2011, following the departure of its artistic and producing directors. No further information is yet available, but there has been no firm indication, as of May 2012, that PTB is finished as a theatrical entity.) ...more...

Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston

This company was founded in the summer of 1969, as an outlet for talented high school and college students, by Robert J. Eagle, a Waltham Public Schools teacher and administrator. In 1984, the company hired its first Equity actor under a Guest Artist agreement. Now a year-round producing organization, Reagle operates under a Letter of Agreement with Actors’ Equity each summer and reverts to Guest Artist status for performances from …more…

Speakeasy Stage Company

Speakeasy specializes in Boston premiere productions of noteworthy new plays and musicals. The company was named the Pavilion Resident Theater for the Boston Center for the Arts in 2007, and it recently received the Theatre Hero Award from StageSource for its dedication to nurturing and supporting Boston area theater artists, and for its leadership and inspiration to the theater community of Greater Boston. Among its many award-winning productions have been …more…

Stoneham Theatre

The Stoneham Theatre makes its home in a renovated movie palace that was built in 1917. The marquee replicates the box-style marquee that was installed in 1930, and the rear stage wall still contains the original 1917 screen — a wooden surface painted black and silver.

The theater offers eight productions each year, and is known for its comprehensive youth education programs. Recent shows have included Perfect Harmony, written and directed by …more…

Wheelock Family Theatre

Founded in 1981 as a non-profit professional theatre, and located on the campus of Wheelock College, WFT offers intergenerational, multicultural productions that celebrate the diverse range of families found in the world today. The theater is especially dedicated to serving people of color, people with disabilities, and low-income families. Its criteria for play selection, as well as its casting policy, affordable ticket prices, education programs, and access provisions for people …more…