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Lantern Theater Company

Contemporary dramatic works presented with a fresh, non-elitist flair


The Experience

Where the theater now stands was once the courtyard site of Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite experiments. Later, the adjunct to St. Stephen’s Church was home to USO performances, and the building more recently housed the Arden Theater Company. For over a decade, the Lantern Company has filled these historic walls with adaptations of the “classics” — past, present and future.

Three staff directors present their respective interpretations of modern playwrights like Pinter, Stoppard and Shepherd, interpreted for a more-inclusive public. Most recently, the Lantern Company has produced such classics as William Shakespeare’s Othello and Taming of the Shrew, as well as modern classics like Master Harold and the Boys.


Begun in 1994 by actors/directors Charles McMahon and Michael Brophy, Lantern was created to serve a burgeoning theater-going population in Philadelphia with modern and classical works made accessible for a wider audience. Lantern also conducts educational workshops for school groups in conjunction with its public presentations. Today the company has received numerous Barrymore Awards and nominations for its work.

Other Information

(120-seat theater)

Insider Tip

Inside St. Stephen’s Church next door there are authentic Tiffany stained-glass windows. You can also view the original pew belonging to the theatrical Barrymore family, after whom Philadelphia’s version of the Tony Award is named.

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