It used to be that all of the biggest East Coast Theater venue scenes were all in New York, seeing how the area has been home to many of the most prominent musical theater productions in the nation, if not the world. However, the growth of touring productions has made it to where more places around the East Coast that are offering prominent musical theater shows.
More venues around the area are hosting a number of productions including many premieres as well as assorted revivals and classic productions. These venues are expected to become more important to the musical theater world as additional shows come to these places in the future. In addition, these have been offering many features that go beyond the performances to bring more people into the world of musical theater and to experience it for all that it has to offer. Here are some of the most interesting theater venues to check out the next time you find yourself on the east coast.
Paper Mill Playhouse (New Jersey East Coast Theater)
Located in the town of Millburn, the Paper Mill has become especially popular in the theater scene for offering plenty of experiences and opportunities for newcomers in the theater scene. This is especially true considering how the hit Broadway productions “You Can’t Take It With You” and “Newsies” both started at the Paper Mill.
What’s more is that the Paper Mill has been leading the east coast theater industry with sensory-friendly performances of various shows. These are designed for people with autism and other developmental disabilities who may be uncomfortable with traditional performances. These types of shows are designed to bring in people and families that may not be all that used to musical theater performances too see what they are like and how they are run.
Yale Repertory Theatre (New Haven)
The famed Yale Repertory Theatre, also known as the “Rep”, has grown to become a prominent place for musical east coast theater as well as traditional stage plays. The Binger Center for New Theatre has particularly become important in recent time for working on new concepts and developments for the theater world. This of course, is with the intention of finding new concepts and ideas to bring to theater fans around the world.
Of the more than 90 productions the Rep has created, 10 have received Tony awards after moving on to Broadway, and 4 have earned Pulitzer Prizes for outstanding writing. In 1991, the Rep earned a Tony award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.
American Repertory Theater (Cambridge)
The American Repertory Theater has developed a great reputation in recent time for being a theater home to many great productions in Massachusetts. The immense success of “Finding Neverland” at this theater in Cambridge certainly got many peoples’ attention. Of course, this was established as a part of Harvard’s art program years ago so it should be of no surprise that a place such as this would be dedicated to offering prominent theater productions on the east coast.
Alliance Theatre (Atlanta)
Best known for its premieres of many major theatrical productions like the “Color Purple” and “Aida”, the Alliance Theatre has particularly not only brought out many big shows in recent time but has also encouraged participation in the theater world. This is thanks in part to the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. This is a major competition that has proven itself to be very important in recent time.
This competition from the theater world is held as young writers are encouraged to submit their musical theater concepts. This in turn helps in the creation of brand new ideas and theater shows as one show from the competition is produced each year by the theater group. This is a popular part of the group that shows that it is interested in promoting the world of theater and is invested in the ongoing evolution of the theater world.
Apollo Theater (Chicago)
The Apollo Theater in Chicago has become a noteworthy place in recent years for its various musicals. Much of what makes the Apollo Theater such a popular place in Chicago comes from the theater focusing on family-friendly productions. This includes not only the development of prominent musical productions but also from some improvisational activities.
These are especially accompanied with classes for those who are interested in getting into the field of improvisational performance. People can learn from classes here about how improvisational musical theater works and how to build one’s skills in this appealing field. The courses have been heralded for being easy to understand and for bringing in more people into this exciting and thrilling world of performance.
If there is one point about these theater venues that can be said it is that they are focused on not only offering more east coast theater productions but also with helping to advance the world of musical theater to make it more prominent and unique in many forms. The impacts that are being made by these many theater production companies are being felt on Broadway and beyond.