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Pictured: Merriam Theater

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Theater

In the last quarter century, Philadelphia has witnessed a huge growth of professional theater activity, and more than 125 productions now originate in Philadelphia in a season. Philadelphia has become a vibrant, diverse and distinctive theater town.

More than 20 professional theater companies produce an enormous variety of events for all tastes and ages through a season running year-round. We have a particularly strong range of mid-sized companies that perform a wide repertory from avant-garde to musicals, from recent hit plays to original scripts, from classics to children’s theater. Numerous smaller theaters specialize in adventuresome work culminating each September during the Fringe Festival.

Featured Listings

  • 2017 Fringe Festival

    City-wide celebration of though-provoking progressive performing arts

    “The Adults” by New Paradise Laboratories

    September 7-24, 2017
    For fans of new and experimental theater, the Fringe Festival presented by FringeArts features hundreds of must-see performances each September.

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  • Independence After Hours

    A sneak peek at Philadelphia’s history

    The Independence After Hours tour through Historic Philadelphia is filled with Colonial characters and gives an exclusive opportunity to explore inside of Independence Hall at night.

    Through October 21, 2017 (select dates)
    Prepare yourself for a V.I.P. night…Colonial style! Enjoy a delicious, three-course meal at historic City Tavern before heading out on an evening of adventure at Independence Hall.

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  • Prince Theater

    Contemporary performance space for live entertainment and film

    The sign outside Prince Theater in Philadelphia.

    Home to the Philadelphia Film Society, the Prince Theater is a contemporary performing arts venue in the heart of Center City featuring live performances and film screenings.

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  • Bastille Day Festival
    at Eastern State Penitentiary

    Wigs are welcome at this day-long reenactment of the French Revolution

    Eastern State Penitentiary

    July 15, 2017
    Grab a pitchfork and storm the walls! Whether you’re a revolutionary or a royalist, there’s something for you in this celebration of all things French at Bastille Day at the Eastern State Penitentiary.

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  • Hedgerow Theatre

    Challenging theater in an 1840s gristmill

    Hedgerow offers the opportunity to watch emerging actors grow under the mentoring experience of veteran actors and directors.

    Hedgerow offers the opportunity to watch emerging actors grow under the mentoring experience of veteran actors and directors.

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  • Philadelphia International Children’s Festival

    A family-friendly theatrical extravaganza in University City

    Performances of all sorts take place each year at the Philadelphia International Children’s Festival, which draws in productions from around the world.

    May 18-20, 2017
    Philadelphia International Children’s Festival brings professional theater from across the globe, created specifically for children, to the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania.

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  • The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre

    Vivid and emotional stories by William Shakespeare

    Always contemporary, always relevant, the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s productions create the vitality of the play and reflect modern day hopes and fears.

    Always contemporary, always relevant, the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s productions create the vitality of the play and reflect modern day hopes and fears.

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  • ComedySportz

    Philly’s longest-running comedy show

    ComedySportz is a totally improvised and interactive show with fans shouting out suggestions and even joining the players on the field.

    ComedySportz, Philadelphia’s longest-running comedy show, is improv comedy played as a sport, an interactive show with fans shouting out suggestions and even joining the “players” on the “field.”

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  • First Person Arts Festival

    The only festival of its kind dedicated to personal stories from everyday people

    Poet Sonia Sanchez

    November 7-19, 2016
    The only festival of its kind in the world, the 15th annual First Person Arts Festival is a celebration of people and the stories they have to share. Artists and everyday individuals from across the country take part in the annual event, sharing their personal experiences on stage.

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  • Pennsylvania Ballet

    More than 50 years of breathtaking performances

    Company Member Caralin Curcio in Jorma Elo’s Pulcinella.

    Captivating and inspiring, The Pennsylvania Ballet ranks as one of America’s foremost regional ballet companies. Each new season brings a combination of classical performances, world premieres and timeless traditions, including the beloved holiday performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.

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  • Juneteenth Festival

    Annual festival in Historic Germantown celebrating African American freedom

    Germantown is an apt place to celebrate the end of slavery.

    June 17
    Historic Germantown celebrates Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, with its seventh annual Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 17.

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  • The Rotunda

    Performance space and community gathering place

    The Rotunda hosts live music, movie screenings, yoga classes, theater projects and art exhibits.

    Built as a house of worship in 1911, The Rotunda is now a smoke-free and drink-free space for world, soul, hip-hop, rock, jazz and experimental music. When bands aren’t playing, the socially conscious venue hosts movie screenings, yoga classes, theater projects and art exhibits.

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  • FringeArts

    Permanent home for progressive performing arts on the Delaware River Waterfront

    The permanent home of FringeArts on the Delaware River Waterfront.

    FringeArts, formerly known as the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, now has a permanent home for the arts on the Delaware River Waterfront.

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  • Wayne Art Center

    The Main Line’s first art center

    The Wayne Art Center comes complete with state-of-the-art studios, galleries and a gallery shop.

    Established as the first art center on the Main Line, the Wayne Art Center comes complete with state-of-the-art studios, galleries and a gallery shop.

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  • Hiway Theater

    Historic home of independent cinema in the center of Jenkintown

    The Hiway Theater has been a community destination in Jenkintown for more than 100 years.

    For more than 100 years, the Hiway Theater has been a cultural fixture in the center of Jenkintown.

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