Center Stage (theater)

Center Stage (theater)

Center Stage is the state theater of Maryland and Baltimore's largest professional producing theater. Center Stage was founded in 1963 as a regional playhouse.

Center Stage houses two performing spaces, the 541-seat Pearlstone and the smaller Head Theater, both in its home in the Mount Vernon Cultural District of Baltimore, Maryland.

The 2008–09 mainstage season

*"The Matchmaker"
*"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
*"Caroline, or Change"
*"Fabulation or, the Re-education of Undine"
*"'Tis Pity She's a Whore"
*"The Understudy"


Launched in 1963 by a group of local theater supporters, CENTERSTAGE soon became a leader in America's regional theater movement, with the goal of producing first-rate professional theater for local audiences. Along with theaters like The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Arena Stage in Washington, and Alley Theatre in Houston, CENTERSTAGE helped Americans realize that it was no longer necessary to make a trip to New York to see professional caliber productions.In 1974, CENTERSTAGE faced a potentially disastrous arson fire that burned its North Avenue home to the ground. With the help of local civic leaders, the theater continued its season at a local college, and used the disaster to launch a major public relations and capitol campaign to keep the organization alive. In retrospect, what could have been the tragic end of CENTERSTAGE ended up as a huge opportunity, when the theater moved into a brand new, award-winning space carved out of an abandoned Jesuit college. Since that time, it has become Baltimore's leading professional theater, welcoming more than 100,000 people each season to its historic home in Mount Vernon.


Under the Artistic Direction of Irene Lewis, who took over from Stan Wojewodski in the 1991–92 Season, CENTERSTAGE presents a six-play Mainstage Season, as well as a new play development series called First Look, in two intimate auditoriums: the 541-seat Pearlstone Theater and the smaller, flexible-layout Head Theater. CENTERSTAGE attracts some of America's finest directors, designers, and actors, including many Tony Award winners.Time Magazine has called the theater "an unsung regional of the first rank", and the Wall Street Journal recently heralded CENTERSTAGE as "a model of what regional theater can and should be." With a firm commitment to artistry and a populist sensibility, CENTERSTAGE's production values are high, but its prices are low. Subscriptions to the full six-play Mainstage season start at $60, and single tickets cost as little as $10. The theater even offers Pay-Your-Age, Day of Performance, Senior, Student, and Pay-What-You-Can performances, when theatergoers can set their own prices. Almost unheard of among professional non-profit theaters, CENTERSTAGE's 2006-07 season continued a 30-year record of break-even or better operating budgets. Under the leadership of Irene Lewis, Managing Director Debbie Chinn, and Board President Lynn Deering, CENTERSTAGE offers smart, bold, imaginative works and extensive community engagement to ensure its position as Baltimore's preeminent theater company.

how-Related Events and On-Going Series


A dramaturg hosts these lively post-show discussions following every non-Preview Thursday evening performance of each Mainstage play. Free for ticket holders. [ Information on Afterthoughts]

Child's Play

Children ages 4 to 10 can enjoy "playcare"—on-site supervised babysitting—with theater-related activities while parents attend select Saturday matinee performances. The cost is $15 per child; pre-registration is required. [ More Information on Child's Play]

College Night

$15 tickets and a lively post-show party with free food, discounted beer and wine, and raffle prizes from area restaurants, bars, art venues, and sporting events—exclusively for college students. [ More Information on College Night]

"'Kickin' It with the 'Rentssponsored by M & T Banks "'

CENTERSTAGE celebrates parents and children coming together through theater with a pre-show dinner, a chat with the artists, and a seat for the show—all for only $8. (Seats are limited; some restrictions apply.) [ More Information on Kickin' It with the 'Rents]

Friday Night Live

Every Friday night, CENTERSTAGE transforms our lobbies into Club CENTERSTAGE, with live entertainment, happy hour drink prices, and food samplings from local restaurants. [ More Information Friday Night Live] Meet the Actors

Want the cast's view of life at CENTERSTAGE? Join CENTERSTAGE staff in a Q&A with our actors after one Friday evening performance of each show. [ More Information on Meet the Actors]

Night Out

Join theater-loving members of the GLBT communities for a pre-show cocktail hour, featuring complimentary light hors d’oeuvres on Preview Tuesday evenings. Bar tips benefit local charities. $5 cover charge; free for subscribers. Doors open at 6:30 pm. [ More Information on Night Out]

ee also

*Theater in Maryland


External links

* [ Center Stage official website]

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