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Pittsburgh has a long and vibrant theatrical history. It is reported that as early as 1765, plays, comedies and concerts were held at Fort Pitt. We’ve come a long way since those days, but Pittsburghers still love a theatrical production, and the proliferation of theatrical venues is a testament to that. Below is a list of some of the theaters in our area offering entertainment.
Arcade Comedy Theater
Debuting in 2013, the Arcade Comedy Theater is a nonprofit, 75-seat venue. It stages improv, sketch comedy, variety acts, and more. Located at 811 Liberty Avenue, it provides a fun, affordable alternative to the usual theater experience. It even has a pinball machine in the lobby.
The Bendum Center is one the city’s premiere theater and concert halls. The site of the former Stanley Theater, it reopened as the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts in 1987 and is the home of the Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. It is an icon in the cultural district at 7th Street.
Bricolage Adventurous Theater
Located in the cultural district at 937 Liberty Avenue, the Bricolage prides itself on putting the adventure in theater by immersing artists and audiences in experiences that foster heightened involvement with the audience.
One of the oldest venues in the cultural district, the Byham Theater opened in on 6th Street as the Gayety Theater, a vaudeville house. In 1988, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust purchased the Fulton Theater, as it was known since the 1930s, and refurbished the venue. It was reopened and renamed as the Byham in 1995. It hosts various performances from the Pittsburgh Musical Theater to the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater.
Cabaret at Theater Square
Located between the O’Reilly Theater and Katz Plaza on Penn Avenue in the heart of the cultural district, the Cabaret at Theater Square hosts musical and live productions in an intimate setting. It also offers outstanding food and drinks.
Founded in 1975 as the City Players, the City Theatre specializes in new play development and dedicates a full season to new work at its South Side theater, the former Bingham United Methodist Church in the South Side Flats.
Established in 1984, Comtra provides year-round live performances that feature volunteer actors from the community at its Cranberry location at 20540 Route 19.
A former adult movie theater, the Harris Theater at 809 Liberty Avenue was redeveloped by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and reopened in 1995 to show art films programmed by Pittsburgh Filmmakers.
Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts
Heinz Hall is Pittsburgh’s grandest cultural venue. Located at 600 Penn Avenue in the Cultural District, Heinz Hall is the home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, and hosts the Pittsburgh Broadway Series as well as national touring attractions.
The Kean Theatre is located on the campus of St. Barnabas in The Washington Place in Gibsonia. It hosts theatrical performances, concerts, and talent shows. It is open to the public and proceeds benefit the St. Barnabas Free Care Fund.
Kelly Strayhorn Theater
The Kelly Strayhorn Theater was named for two Pittsburgh talents: entertainer Gene Kelley and composer Billy Strayhorn. Located in East Liberty at 5941 Penn Avenue, The KST hosts innovative works in dance, theater, music, and live art.
The Legacy Theatre
Located in Allison Park in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, the Legacy Theatre is a part of the campus of Cumberland Woods Village, a UPMC Senior Community. Throughout the year, it stages concerts, theatrical productions, and seminars.
Little Lake Theatre
Since 1949, the Little Lake Theatre has been staging quality plays at its theatre in Canonsburg at 500 Lakeside Drive, and has been touted as a community treasure.
McKeesport Little Theater
Since 1960, the McKeesport Little Theater has been entertaining patrons at their venue at 1614 Coursin Street in the Mon-Valley. Each year, more than 5,000 attendees take in a show at this little theater with big ambitions.
Located in Jennerstown in the Laurel Highlands, Mountain Playhouse is Pennsylvania’s oldest professional stock theater and performs in a restored 1805 gristmill. Each summer, the theater brings Broadway-caliber talent to Southwestern Pennsylvania.
New Hazlett Theater
The old joke advises that to get to Carnegie Hall, you’ve got to practice. Unless you take in a performance at the New Hazlett Theater, which was the first Carnegie Hall. The New Hazlett Theater, located at 6 Allegheny Square on the North Side, is a nonprofit theater that presents a variety of performance art disciplines.
The Oaks Theater
A multi-purpose venue, The Oaks Theatre features live comedies, entertainment, movies, and events. Originally opened in 1938 as a movie theater in Oakmont, the theater was renovated in 2015.
Home to the Pittsburgh Public Theater, The O’Reilly is located in the hub of the Pittsburgh Cultural District at 621 Penn Avenue. The O’Reilly is a unique three-quarter thrust stage, which means the audience surrounds the stage on three sides, making for an intimate setting.
The Palace Theatre
Located in Greensburg, The Palace Theatre was once the Manos Theatre, a vaudeville movie house. In the 1990s, renovations began on the old building, and today it hosts stage productions and concerts.
PICT: Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre
A relative newcomer on the cultural scene, the PICT nevertheless has made its mark producing top-quality entertainment by presenting classics and the modern classics of Irish and world theater. Productions are presented at one of two theaters inside the Stephen Foster Memorial on Forbes Avenue in Oakland.
Affiliated with Point Park University, the Pittsburgh Playhouse is a three-theater performing arts venue located in Oakland. In 2017, the playhouse will move into a new home in downtown Pittsburgh on Forbes Avenue.
Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company
Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company was founded in 2003 to develop and showcase the works of local playwrights. It is located at 937 Liberty Avenue.
Red Barn Theatre
For more than five decades, audiences have enjoyed live performances at the Red Barn Theatre on Route 288 in Ellwood City. A new production is staged for each month of the summer.
South Park Theatre
Established in 1995, the South Park Theatre is located inside South Park at the corner of Brownsville Road and Corrigan Drive, and it also has an outdoor venue. It stages adult and children’s productions. [clear]
The State Theater Center for the Arts
The State Theater Center opened on East Main Street in 1922 as a “picture palace” and vaudeville house, but was converted in 1989 into a theater which brings professional performances to Uniontown.
The Strand Theater
Italian immigrants Gioachino and Rosalia Sapienza opened The Strand Theater in Zelienople in 1914. Two-thirds of the building was a theater and the other third was the Sapienza’s Fruit Market. The theatre closed in 1980 but in 2001, the Strand Theater Initiative was launched, which renovated the building. The Strand Theater reopened in 2007. Stage productions, movies and live entertainment enliven the newly refurbished theater.