Information on:

Theatre Harrisburg

513 Hurlock Street
717-232-5501

About Us : 

During the mid-1920s, a nationwide craze called the “Little Theatre Movement” swept the country when Americans, unsatisfied with the caliber of commercial dramatic offerings, banded together to produce quality amateur theatre.  So on a cold night in February 1926, Harrisburg Community Theatre had its genesis in the basement of the Harrisburg Public Library.  Mrs. Robert Peters, president of the Women’s University Club, asked nine other women to join her in exploring the idea of a local, volunteer-based theatre that would produce quality plays.  Not only did the ladies explore the issue that night, they took action.  Adele Eichler became the first director of HCT and its first play, THE DOVER ROAD, was produced later that year at the old Majestic Theatre in downtown Harrisburg.

While many of HCT’s early productions during the 1920s through the early 1930s were at the Majestic, not all were.  Some performances were held at the old City Hall building on Walnut Street (then the Boys’ Technical High School) and some were held in the newly-build William Penn High School.  In 1932, HCT started to rent the Jewish Community Center, then located at 1110 North Third Street, and the JCC remained the Theatre’s home for more than 17 years.

Finally, in 1950, 24 years after HCT’s inception, ground was broken for what would become the Theatre’s permanent home at Sixth & Hurlock Streets in uptown Harrisburg.  A new era began with HARVEY which opened the1951-52 season and was the first play to be produced at the new facility where performance space, dressing rooms, set construction shop and offices were finally all housed under one roof.

For the next 48 years, and through several major renovations, Harrisburg community Theatre called the building at the corner of Sixth & Hurlock Streets its performance home.  During that same period, professional staff was also added to manage, guide and support the Theatre’s artistic mission – a full-time artistic director, managing director, set designer and costume designer all became part of the team.

In 1997, Harrisburg Community Theatre became the first local performing arts organization to make a formal commitment as a resident company at the new Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts on Market Street in downtown Harrisburg.  Along with this new status and change of performance venue came a new name, and in the summer of 1999 HCT became known as Theatre Harrisburg.  The final Mainstage production at the uptown facility was MAN OF LA MANCHA, and the first Theatre Harrisburg production at Whitaker Center’s Sunoco Performance Theatre was THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP in September 1999.

This change of venue also necessitated yet another renovation to the Hurlock Street facility.  Permanent seating was removed and a large rehearsal space was created to simulate the stage dimensions at Whitaker Center.  A loading dock was also added to facilitate the transportation of sets and costumes from uptown to downtown.  In 2005 the building was renamed The Jay and Nancy Krevsky Production Center; it remains the location for Theatre Harrisburg administrative offices, rehearsals, set construction, prop storage and costume creation and storage.

Beginning with the 2007-2008 season, Theatre Harrisburg began presenting its non-musical Mainstage productions at the Krevsky Production Center again.  With highly flexible seating and staging capabilities, this intimate space allows for new performance opportunities including the Theatre’s first production in-the-round.

Throughout its more than eight-decade history, there is one aspect of Theatre Harrisburg’s operation that has never changed – volunteers are the backbone of its success.  In addition to its professional staff, it relies upon the support of hundreds of talented, dedicated community volunteers – onstage, back stage, in the office, front of house, constructing sets – to present the high quality theatrical experiences that local audiences have come to expect.  It is truly is a place where community takes center stage! 



Reviews

Stephanie Fritsch

Rating:
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Theater Harrisburg is probably the best place to go for a live theater in the Harrisburg Area ever. If you do not go to this place you are missing a great opportunity for a cultural experience that you'll never forget. The next time I go I hope i have a cute date that goes with me.

Nancy Critz

Rating:
Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017
I am not affiliated with the troupe or the theater or anything, I am just someone who was looking for something fun to do with my family. We decided to go to the Whitaker Center to see A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum by the Theater Harrisburg company. Now, I have seen lots of plays and musicals from high schools to community theater, to road shows to bigger venues like Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and of course Broadway. I don't really try to compare the different levels of productions to each other because they aren't the same. Still, sometimes they are pretty bad, and you find yourself applauding just because you feel so bad for the actors who are trying so hard, but just aren't being successful. This was an excellent production from a smaller community group! I was sort of expecting some Waiting For Guffman moments, but it really wasn't like that at all. The actors we're well-rehearsed, practiced, articulate, and could sing well (even the more difficult Sondheim stuff.) The casting was very good. Some actors we're better than others (this is especially noticeable when actors are on stage, but not speaking.) Some had excellent comedic timing, some less so, but none were actually bad. The orchestra was fine as well The biggest disappointment of the night was the audience. Those of us there were engaged and having a great time. But there weren't enough of us! It was sad to me that folks don't more fully support their local theater. It only gets better with more support. So spend what you would on a nice dinner or movie instead on your own community. I am trying to help spread the word that these was a fine local show, and the folks involved are doing a great job. I only moved to Harrisburg recently and only love here part-time, but I look forward to seeing more from them!

Queen B Whitlock

Rating:
Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018
Great theatre to see a play or work with the crew. Affordable and laid back. The crew is like family to all who visit.

Mark Alexander-Gray

Rating:
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Great place to see some of the best local actors and singers.

Dan Hassell

Rating:
Friday, June 15, 2018
Live theatre in a basic venue.

Theatre Harrisburg is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media