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Best Theatres In Cleveland: A Guide To The Top Local Theatres

A guide to the top venues in Cleveland, how to buy tickets, and more!

Best Theatres In Cleveland: A Guide To The Top Local Theatres

BroadwayWorld prides itself on our vast and expansive coverage of theatre in over 250 cities all over the world.

We know our readers love to take in theatre when they travel, be that just to another city, or abroad to another country.

To help them out, we're working with our local theatre experts to launch theatre guides in all our local cities!

Check out our list of some of the top venues to check out when visiting Cleveland below!


216-521-2540 or http://www.beckcenter.org
8 p.m. evenings, 3 p.m. matinees

Beck Center for the Arts is a non-profit organization that combines professional theater with arts education. Beck Center has a letter of agreement with Actors' Equity Association (Small Professional Theater). It hires actors from the Northeast Ohio region, including members of Actors' Equity. Theater offerings, done in two theatres, one a proscenium, the other a black box, center on musicals, comedies, dramas and classics. There is also a full-season of children's productions.


440-941-0458 or http://www.blankcanvastheatre.com/
Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm

Blank Canvas Theatre is dedicated to inspiring a new love for those who are new to theatre, while providing another quality venue for those who already love the arts. Their annual season is diverse, designed to attract many different types of theatre-goers with comedies, dramas and musicals. BC is located on the second floor of a converted manufacturing building that now serves as an arts community.


216-371-3000 or http://www.cainpark.com
Thursday-Saturday 7 pm, Sunday 2 pm

Cain Park, a City of Cleveland Heights municipally owned and operated summer performing arts park is entering its 81st season in 2019. It is located on Superior Road between Lee and South Taylor roads. Musical theatre productions are performed in the intimate Alma outdoor covered theatre during early summer. Both equity and non-equity actors appear on stage.


216-584-6808 or https://www.clevelandmusicaltheatre.org/

Under the banner "Musical Theatre for the Next Generation," CMT, presently offers a summer equity production, intensives and masterclasses. Play casts include professional Broadway and local equity performers. The company is in residence at Cuyahoga Community College-Eastern Campus's Simon Rose Mandel Theatre in Highland Hills, but operates out of New York City.

Cleveland Play House

216-241-6000 or go to http://www.playhousesquare.org
7:30 Wednesday-Saturday, 2:30 Saturday and Sunday

Cleveland Play House, founded in 1915 and recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was America's first professional regional theatre. Its mission is to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. CPH has three performance spaces located in Playhouse Square...The Allen, a proscenium theatre and The Outcalt and The Helen, black box facilities. Performing Fall, Winter and Spring, CPH usually does 7 main stage productions, plus sponsors the New Ground Festival. It is affiliated with the Case Western Reserve MFA Program and does extensive school outreach.


216-631-2727 or go on line to http://www.cptonline.org/
6415 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland

The anchor of the Gordon Square Arts district, Cleveland Public Theatre's mission is to raise consciousness and nurture compassion through groundbreaking performances and life-changing education programs. CPT develops new, adventurous work, and encourages Northeastern Ohio artists-particularly those whose work is inventive, intelligent, and socially conscious. Its education programs engage in devising new works that speak to contemporary issues, and empower participants to work for positive change in the community.


convergence-continuum.org or 216-687-0074
Thursday-Saturday @ 8
The Liminis Theatre, 2438 Scranton Road Cleveland
Located in the Tremont area, the con-con was founded in 2000. The theater's mission is to produce alternative/experimental theatre work by living playwrights and new plays by local playwrights. Referred to as "Cleveland's up-close, personal and intimate theatre," productions often include gay-themed works.


216-932-3396 or http://www.dobama.org
7:30 Thursdays, 8:00 Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 Sundays
Fresh from receiving The Kathryn V. Lamkey Award for Actors' Equity Association for their work in equality, diversity and inclusion, Dobama is marking its 60 years of doing provocative, Off-Broadway-type work. Staging is done in its new black box theatre. The full-equity theater performs six full-production offerings, plus the Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival, now in its 41st year, Dobama Emerging Actors Program, and Playwrights' Gym, a professional playwriting unit.


216-321-2930 or http://www.ensemble-theatre.com
Fridays and Saturdays @ 8, Sundays @ 2

With the purpose of producing American classics, Ensemble Theatre was founded in 1979. It is dedicated to the production of works that celebrate the human spirit drawn from the rich canon of modern American classics and contemporary plays. Located in the former Coventry School, the theatre's facility consists of a 98-150 seat Main Stage theater, and a 40-seat black box. They do six mainstage shows, children's theatre and sponsor the Columbi New Play Festival.


http://www.greatlakestheater.org or 216-241-6000
Wednesday-Saturday @ 7:30, Saturdays @ 1:30, Sundays @ 3

Great Lakes Theater is a professional classic theater company. Founded in 1962, Great Lakes is housed in the recently refurbished Hanna Theatre in the Playhouse Square area. The fall/winter/spring season usually consists of two Shakespeare plays, a mystery, two musicals and a yearly staging of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Operating with a cross-country strategic alliance, since 2011 GLT has joined with Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival to collaboratively produce productions, using a common resident company.


interplaycleveland.com or 216-393-PLAY
(Play readings at Dobama are free, but reservations are required. Presentations at the Maltz Museum are fee-based)

Founded in 2011 by Cleveland playwright Faye Sholiton, Interplay Jewish Theatre produces free staged readings of outstanding plays that view the contemporary world through a Jewish lens. Professional actors and directors bring to life some of the most compelling drama - and raucous comedy - written by today's most gifted writers.


(216-795-707) or www.karamuhouse.org
(Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday)

Created in 1915, Karamu is the oldest African-American theatre in the United States. Founded with the idea of holding high standards of excellence in the arts, its name is Swahili and means "Place of enjoyment in the Center of the Community." Plays are performed in the newly refurbished Jelliffe and arena theatres. Offerings are musicals, comedies and dramas with African-American and universal sensibilities. Alumni of Karamu include Langston Hughes, Ruby Dee, Robert Guillaume, Ron O'Neal and Vanessa Bell-Calloway.


440-525-7134 or http://lakelandcc.edu/academic/arts/theatre/index.asp

Producing two musicals a year, Lakeland Civic Theatre is housed on the campus of Lakeland Community College. It is noted for its staging of Stephen Sondheim scripts.



Mercury Theatre Company, which performs at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, exists "to create extraordinary theatrical experiences, and to advance theatre as a means of educating, challenging and inspiring the community and its young people through family-friendly programing of rarely seen and premier works, innovative staging, and through its educational outreach and My First Musical program." Its mostly summer offerings include at least four musicals.


216-961-6391 or nearwestheatre.org

Based in the Gordon Square Arts District, Near West has a unique identity as a grass roots, intergenerational theatre with an emphasis on serving youth. The theatre's mission is to build loving relationships and engage diverse people in strengthening their sense of identity, passion, and purpose, individually and in community, through transformational theatre arts experiences. They stage large cast multi-generational musicals.


330-671-4563 or http://www.nonetoofragile.com
Thursday, Friday and Saturday @ 8, select Sundays @2 and select Mondays at 8

The multi-award winning none-too-fragile is committed to producing theatre of the highest quality by choosing material that stands out as thought-provoking and challenging work. It produces six plays a season in its intimate thrust theatre space attached to a restaurant. They are noted for telling "kick-ass stories."


216-241-6000 or go to http://www.playhousesquare.org/

Playhouse Square is a theater district located in downtown Cleveland. It is the largest performing arts center in the United States outside of New York City. Constructed in a span of 19 months in the early 1920s, the movie theaters were subsequently closed down, but were revived as performance theatres through a grassroots effort. Their renovation and reopening helped usher in a new era of downtown revitalization. The ten-theatre complex is home to both the Key Bank Broadway and Huntington Broadway series. Broadway shows, due to Cleveland having the largest subscribers to Broadway tours, run three or more weeks, covering the entire calendar year.


Creative Space at Waterloo Arts in North Collinwood

With a mission supporting dramatists by fostering diverse talents, this is Cleveland's only theater devoted to exclusively producing locally written works.


http://www.porthousetheatre.com or 330-929-4416 or 330-672-3884

Located on the grounds of the beautiful Blossom Center, Porthouse Theatre, founded in 1968, is Northeast Ohio's premiere professional summer outdoor theatre. Producing mostly popular musicals, Kent State University has developed an educational program that provides professional-level training to student theatre artists and local professional performers, that simultaneously provide high caliber cultural experiences for audiences.



Begun in 2012, Seat of the Pants is a band of storytellers who bring theatrical productions to varied locations around Northeast Ohio. The choice to roam allows them "to focus their resources on telling tales, truthfully and beautifully, while sharing compelling narratives in unique spaces and vibrant communities and develop an aesthetic rooted in imaginative staging and human connection."


http://www.MusicalTheaterProject.org or 216-529-9411 for tickets and information

TMPT productions are staged in review format with narration in a variety of venues,with the goal of fostering a deep appreciation of the American musical, and the social and cultural history surrounding it.


Ticket Information: 216-282-9424 or go to theatreinthecircle.com
Shows: Thursday, Friday and Saturday @ 7:30, Saturday and Sunday @ 2

Theatre in the Circle is the only resident-driven professional theater company in a retirement community in the United States (It is located in Judson Manor in the University Circle neighborhood). They craft opportunities for shared and personal experiences through relatable and resonating words and music.

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From This Author Roy Berko