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The Best Theatres in Philadelphia

Picture of Riley Londres
Riley Londres
Updated: 12 December 2015
Philadelphia is a hip city with lot of art and culture to take in, one of the best ways to experience this city is through its theatre companies and troupes. Each one offers something different and original, while also sticking to the classics in their own unique way.

Arden Theatre Co.

The Arden Theatre Company is a theatre that seeks to bring great stories to life. Throughout the years they have presented a wide range of shows from classic to fiction, musical to drama. The theatre is notably kid-friendly, with past children’s theatre performances including plays like Frog and Toad, The BFG and The Jungle Book that will bring a smile to even parents’ faces. Of course, there’s also plenty of adult fare, with shows Sweeney Todd, Assassins, or A Raisin in the Sun. (Sondheim is frequently performed here, and was even honored with an award by the Arden in 2015).

Arden Theatre Company, 40 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (215) 922-8900

1812 Productions
Our Show of Shows | ©Mark Garvin

1812 Productions

This group of players performs exclusively comedy shows that attempt to highlight the feeling so community, history and humanity. The company specializes in original works that are sure to make the audience laugh, whether with dark comedy, slapstick or farce. The performances take place at both the Arden Theatre and Plays and Players, two intimate settings that enhance the comedic effect of the show and bring the audience closer to the action.

1812 Productions, 2329 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19148 (215) 592-9560

Lantern Theater Company
Courtesy of Lantern Theater Company

Lantern Theater Company

The Lantern Theater Company is the perfect place to go when looking for a more serious approach to theatre. The company strives to explore the human spirit and specializes in classics, modern and original plays, as it attempts to bring classic ideas into the modern world. Some of the notable plays that have been performed in the past include Arcadia, The Screwtape Letters and Romeo and Juliet.

Lantern Theatre Company, 923 Ludlow St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 829-0395

Wilma Theater

The Wilma is a unique theatre that presents bold original productions and offers a wide range of viewpoints. The small theatre seeks to ‘creating living adventurous art and reflect on the complexities of contemporary lives.’ In doing so they have also created modern adaptation of classic plays such as Antigone and Hamlet, as well as several plays by well-known playwright Tom Stoppard. The sets and costumes are simple, letting the audience immerse themselves in the show and become lost in their imaginations.

Wilma Theater, 265 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 893-9456

Philly Improv Theater

Philly Improv Theater functions as both a comedy and sketch training center and a performance venue for comedy, sketch, standup, and more. At the same time, they produce monthly shows at nearby theatres, have also participated in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and many of their performers, students and instructors have brought their improv and sketch stylings to festivals all over the country, including San Francisco Sketchfest and the Del Close Marathon. Swing by every single night except Monday to catch a variety show, sketch groups, improv shows, or any combination of all three.

By Riley Londres