Open Stage of Harrisburg is in it's 29th Season! The professional regional theatre was founded in 1983 by Donald Alsedek (Artistic Director), Marianne Fischer (Managing Director), and Anne Alsedek (Studio/School Director) as a response to the 1982 Mayor's Task Force for the Arts for Harrisburg Report, which cited a need for theatre of a higher quality in the area. With a strategic planning grant from the Greater Harrisburg Foundation, Open Stage was founded. The theatre has been located in the Walnut Street Parking Garage, in the heart of downtown Harrisburg, since 1992.
Open Stage presents plays that appeal to audiences who enjoy challenges beyond mainstream theatre offerings. Recent seasons have included such productions as THE FANTASTICKS by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS by Mark Brown, John Patrick Shanley's DOUBT, and BETRAYAL by Harold Pinter. CLICK HERE TO SEE A COMPLETE PRODUCTION HISTORY.
Beginning in 2000 the theatre initiated its program of annual productions for student and adult audiences of Wendy Kesselman's adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning play, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK. Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL was added to that program in 2001. Both productions are presented at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in downtown Harrisburg.
Open Stage was commissioned to create and present an original "drama of the community" piece based on the stories and experiences of immigrant and refugee women in Central PA. Titled STORY CIRCLE, the piece played to capacity audiences.
In June 2012, Open Stage Education Director Anne Alsedek compiled a new piece of theatre, STORIES FROM HOME: Market 2 Market. The play explored and celebrated Harrisburg city and its history, characters and tales. 2013
In addition, the theatre continued to support a thriving, growing and extensive education program, including Studio/School programs, Drama Residency and Outreach programs in schools, the daytime Student Matinee Series, and audience educational activities, including study guides and the Series F Talkback Matinees. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE STUDIO/SCHOOL.
In 2001, Open Stage of Harrisburg partnered with the Capital Area Intermediate Unit to create the Capital Area School for the Arts (CASA), the Capital Region's arts magnet school. CASA offers intensive instruction in visual art, dance, music, theatre, and film and video to qualified high school students in the CAIU. Located in the heart of downtown Harrisburg, the school uses the city as its "classroom", affording its students access to the numerous resources located downtown, and utilizing a yearly theme based on the urban environment.