The Dayton Playhouse has been an active community theatre since 1959. At that time, we were known as Dayton Community Theatre and we provided family entertainment for our patrons at Longfellow School on Salem Avenue.
Dayton Children’s Theatre was formed in 1962 and continued to grow and flourish through the years. Later, this program became known as Dayton Playhouse Youtheatre. The program provided an educational and performance opportunity to Dayton area children and teens.
In 1966, our organization moved into the historic State Theatre in downtown Dayton. While located in the State Theatre, a second adult group was formed known as Dayton Repertory Theatre, thus filling a need for our actors and audiences interested in experiencing a wider variety of theatrical works. This group went on to win statewide honors in performance excellence.
After the demolition of the State Theatre in 1970, our groups were moved to a bowling alley on East Third Street, which the City of Dayton had converted into a theatre for our use. The intimate setting was home to our organization for many years and saw our two adult groups combine and become known as The Dayton Playhouse.
In the summer of 1987, the City of Dayton completed work on our new venue located off Siebenthaler Avenue. This permanent facility is the pride and joy of the many actors and technicians who volunteer hundreds of hours each year to bring live theatre to our Dayton audiences.
As you can see, the Dayton Playhouse has not only survived through hard times, it has gotten stronger. The Dayton Playhouse stayed alive during a difficult time recently, as the bridge near Riverside and Siebenthaler was being replaced. The project took six years to complete and affected our patron base, but through the perseverance of our suppoertive patrons, we survived and stand better than ever.
In 1991, a tradition was started that is possibly the most identifiable and successful tradition in our history – FutureFest. FutureFest is an annual playwrighting festival that has helped launch the careers of almost 90 playwrights. This summer festival makes us the only theatre in the area to operate on a 12-month schedule. Theatre critic and regular adjudicator Mr. Peter Filichia has called FutureFest “the best deal around for budding playwrights!”
We are proud of the training ground we provide. The Dayton Playhouse ensures its actors and technicians have an avenue to not only explore their talents, but to improve and mold their craft. We consistently have directors and technicians at the helm who are not only skilled but are trained in our craft. Actor Rob Lowe made his acting debut on our very stage.
The Dayton Playhouse “Experience” is obviously based on TRADITION. A TRADITION that, as we move into the Future, will not be forgotten. We encourage you to become part of this TRADITION!