What is your favorite theatre company on the First Coast? Whether it be a large, well-known company or a smaller, lesser known group, there are so many amazing theatre companies to choose from. In this blog post, we’ll share a little about each of them so you can discover (or rediscover) all the excellent opportunities to enjoy the wonderful theatre we have here on the First Coast.
5 & Dime – https://www.the5anddime.org/
A group of artists and friends came together with a common goal: To make a change in the Jacksonville Cultural Arts Community. From this, The 5 & Dime, A Theatre Company, was born. It started with a simple question, “Why not us?” And so we offer this: “Why not YOU?”
The 5 & Dime opens doors to and for all artists of all disciplines whose passion, skill, drive, and enthusiasm need a place to call home. We hope to facilitate diverse opportunities and a supportive environment to feature flourishing talent and collaboration. So, with a renewed hope in what is possible – from people just like you – we boldly set forth on this venture… come along, won’t you?
Alhambra Theatre & Dining – https://www.alhambrajax.com/
Since July of 1967, the Alhambra Theatre has been a place where friends and families can come together to enjoy a Broadway-quality show and a delightful meal.
Through the years, our theater has dazzled generations of guests and even a few celebrities. If these walls could talk, they would have some fun tales to share.
Today, the Alhambra stands proudly as the nation’s oldest continuously-operating dinner theater. With the improvements current owner Craig Smith has directed coupled with the quality performances and occasional stars previous owner Tod Booth directs, the Alhambra is as vibrant as ever after more than a half century in operation.
All Beaches Experimental Theatre (ABET) – https://www.abetjax.com/
ABET’s mission is to bring the excitement of live theatre to diverse audiences. There is an emphasis on new and original plays and neglected classics, and on developing new talent. We seek diversity in all aspects. Many roles are race/gender neutral. We invite everyone to get involved – volunteer, buy a subscription, make a donation, audition for a play, or take a drama workshop for adults or children.
ABET is a not-for-profit theatre, registered with the State of Florida as a tax exempt charitable organization #CH14275. We receive generous grants and support from: City of Jacksonville, Community Foundation in Jacksonville, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Tom and Jean Nehl Fund of The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, The Robin Shepherd Group… and many other donors and subscribers.
Amelia Community Theatre – https://www.ameliacommunitytheatre.org/
Amelia Community Theatre has been staging artistic performances on Amelia Island since 1981. Today, we continue to believe our region’s volunteers, donors, and theatergoers greatly benefit from their involvements at our quality performing arts campus, where they participate in creating and watching live theatre and special events. ACT’s goal is to provide our audiences and volunteers an artistic and emotional experience they won’t forget. We invite you to read about our upcoming performances and buy your tickets today.
Amelia Musical Playhouse – https://ameliamusicalplayhouse.com/
This Amelia Island theatre stages a variety of musicals, plays and revues throughout the year produced by a community of dedicated and talented volunteers.
Our company of members, directors, musicians, and crews grows every day. We are a 100% volunteer organization. We welcome new members in all aspects of production. We feel very fortunate to live in a community with such enthusiasm for live theatre.
Apex Theatre Studio – https://www.apextheatrejax.com/
In 2013, a group of passionate and experienced theatre educators recognized the need to provide a training ground for young theatre artists who wanted to take their training to a higher level. Six years later, Apex Theatre Studio Inc. (a 501c3) has established itself as the premiere training facility for young artists working at an intermediate to advanced level. Through a series of engaging classes, performance opportunities, and impactful interactions, Apex students refine their craft while establishing a rapport with nationally recognized artists.
BABS’LAB is a place for experimentation, training, and performance. It is a place where the community comes together to witness work that uplifts, breaks barriers, and crosses lines.
What happens here reflects the artistic sensibility of Barbara Colaciello. She believes there’s nothing more powerful than being in the present moment with one another, our minds and hearts open, actively listening and sharing. Through both our indoor and outdoor events, she offers this experience to the community.
BABS’LAB regularly hosts performing artists who want to workshop original material. Other events at BABS’LAB include: readings, dinners, improv jams, listening parties, film screenings, concerts, and private parties. We’re always coming up with new ways to use the space and engage the community.
Basecamp Theatre Company – http://www.basecamptheatreco.com/
Basecamp Theatre Company is the result of many conversations between Co-Founders Zach Rivera and Isa Martinez. After noticing they share a passion with local artists and organizations for bold new works, they set out (fresh out of college) to help fill that space and produce new theatrical works that stimulate, challenge, and give back to the community. Learn more below!
Our mission is to create a space for theatre artists, young and old, to experiment, collaborate, and create new works. We hope to diversify the Northeast Florida theatre scene and stimulate collaboration between existing theatre organizations. Through use of classes for all types of individuals and developmental labs and workshops for local playwrights Basecamp will stimulate the local arts economy. It is our firm belief that Jacksonville, FL could be the next arts hub.
Blue Fire – https://www.bluefiretheatre.org/
Blue Fire theatre was created in July 2018 to expand the love of theatre in Nassau County and the surrounding area. Theatre is a shared experience and we felt strongly that the time had come to share this art form beyond the island to a more expansive part of the county. We passionately believe theatre plays an essential role in not only entertainment, but developing conversation, strengthening emotional thinking, and connecting with our community.
We feel that by producing theatre experiences that tell powerful, uplifting, funny and heartwarming stories, we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. Which is to bring human beings together in a collective moment that reminds us we are, at the core just that, human beings.
Blue Fire Theatre extends an invitation to everyone in our community to harness the transformative power of theatre to explore the here and now – and together, broaden our world’s and more importantly our community’s compassion, understanding and hope.
Clamour Theatre Company – http://www.clamourtheatre.org/
Our mission is to inspire and nurture a love of theatre in northeast Florida, to bring professional productions into Clay County on a regular basis, and to contribute to the cultural and economic growth of our community. We will produce live theatrical productions of both new and classic works of the highest quality, and we will work to support and train aspiring theatre artists of all ages, genders, races and ethnicities.
A Classic Theatre – https://www.aclassictheatre.org/
A Classic Theatre takes pride in producing a wide range of offerings that fit its mission of producing classic, historic, contemporary and original works. Our goal is to entertain, inspire critical thinking and engage our audience through the performing arts.
Founded In May of 2005 by Jean Rahner, ACT made its debut on the arts scene with a staged reading of Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss. Fully staged productions followed being presented in every conceivable venue. As the organization grew, original works and plays featuring the history of St. Augustine were included each season.
Although ACT never had a permanent home during that time, it spent several seasons at The Pioneer Barn and Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center. Currently, thanks to the generosity of The City of St. Augustine and The St. Johns Cultural Council, we are now fortunate to have a home at The Waterworks Building.
As A Classic Theatre looks forward to the future with renewed vigor as it continues to seek out and embrace new playwrights and produce classic and contemporary plays with a fresh voice.
Greenlight Theatre Company – https://www.greenlighttheatreco.com/
Greenlight Theatre Company offers both Broadway-quality productions and entertainment for industry professionals and youths in the Jacksonville area. GTC creates a space that promotes inclusivity, creativity, and professionalism within the arts community. Jacksonville has an incredible, untapped community of artists, ranging from musicians, actors, painters, sculptors, drag performers and much more. GTC is a place where all those trades could be showcased.
Greenlight Theatre Company’s mission is to engage, educate, and inspire our community through high-quality, inclusive productions, classes, and other programming.
The Island Theater – https://www.theislandtheater.com/
We harness the power of theater to create positive social change through theatrical education and by engaging audiences with performances that make them think thoughtfully, laugh longer, and feel more. The Island Theater takes you on an artistic adventure and guarantees an emotional experience with a captivating performances. Make sure to get your tickets in advance. We can’t wait to welcome you to The Island Theater.
Limelight Theatre – https://limelight-theatre.org/
Established in 1992, Limelight Theatre is the only year-round community theatre located in St. Augustine, Florida.
Co-founded by Anne Kraft and Jean Rahner, the Limelight Theatre staged its first production on August 28, 1992, in the Monson Bayfront Inn. It provided entertainment at this location for almost two years. In 1994, Limelight achieved non-profit status as a 501(c)3 organization, and continued to offer productions for a number of years at a wide variety of local venues, including a small rented building on U.S. 1.
In 2001, through a generous grant from the Joukowsky Family Foundation, the Limelight purchased a 10,000 square foot building at 11 Old Mission Avenue in uptown St. Augustine, and converted it to a 125-seat theater, thus moving into its first permanent home.
The building needed significant improvements, and in 2006, the Limelight applied for and received a Cultural Facilities Grant of $398,000 from the State of Florida. The money was used for capital improvements including a new roof, new air-conditioning, heating, sound and lighting systems, lobby and restroom renovations, and a black box space that seats 75-90, called the Koger-Gamache Studio Theatre.
In addition to staging eight live shows during each season, Limelight offers year-round theatre education for ages 4 to adult.
Live Ink Theatre – http://liveinktheatre.com/
Our Voices. Your Imagination. Quality staged readings of thought provoking plays, prose and poetry in Fernandina Beach and Northeast Florida.
Lumen Repertory Theatre of Greater Jacksonville – https://www.lumenrep.org/
Lumen Repertory Theatre of Greater Jacksonville is Northeast Florida’s first regional, resident, repertory theatre company and a nonprofit professional Actors’ Equity affiliated organization.
OUR MISSION – Lumen Rep is committed to: collaborating with established professional artists and technicians, cultivating emerging professional talent, and creating a sustainable vision for our region’s cultural fabric.
Orange Park Community Theatre – https://www.opct.info/
The Orange Park Community Theatre was established in May 1969 by the Orange Park Women’s Club. The first show staged by the community theater was “The Night of January 16th”. The show was performed in the Clay County Courthouse in Green Cove Springs. Their second show, “The Armored Dove” was performed in the Orange Park High School Cafetorium. In February 1970 local Industrialist J. Louis Reynolds offered the theater building from Reynolds Industrial Park ,which used to be a Naval Station. The Orange Park Community Theater continued to call this home through 1981, when the final production at this location, “Everybody Loves Opal” was staged. After this facility was no longer available, OPCT worked toward raising funding to build a permanent facility. In February 1982 OPCT signed a lease with Clay County for approximately 1 acre of land, with the intention to continue fund raising to build a permanent facility on this property continuing to perform in local facilities including the Orange Park Lions Club, the Orange Park Public Library, Lakeside Elementary and Naval Air Station Jacksonville. In 1986 OPCT became aware that a chapel facility, which had once been the St. Marys Catholic Church, owned by Mrs. Virginia Mims was scheduled for demolition. Mrs. Mims agreed to donate the facility to OPCT. In Jan 1987 a fund-raising event was held and in April 1987 “The Move” ,to 2900 Moody Avenue took place. The first perfomance in this facility was “Murder Among Friends”….and it has remained the home of OPCT since that time.
Players by the Sea – https://www.playersbythesea.org/
For over 50 years, Players by the Sea Theatre has enriched the community through excellence in live and innovative theatre. Players by the Sea presents productions that are engaging, thought–provoking, emotionally stimulating and entertaining through the extraordinary support and dedication from community volunteers – actors, directors, designers, backstage crews, carpenters, visual artists, etc. Players by the Sea is an artistic home for anyone who wants to engage with the community through interactive and incredible storytelling.
OUR MISSION: Players by the Sea enriches the community through excellence in theatre.
SET Studios Showcase Educational Theatre – https://www.setstudiosjax.com/
We are an award-winning children’s theatre company in Jacksonville that specializes in the education of music, dance, and theatre for kids ages 4-17. We provide a variety of classes and workshops throughout the year, as well as, an upcoming season of spectacular youth productions. Our mission at SET Studios is to develop, encourage, and enhance theatre education through creativity, teamwork, humility, and performance.
Stage Aurora – https://www.stageaurora.org/
Our mission is ‘to enlighten the mind by way of the Arts through faith-based works and the African-American experience’.
We have produced 200+ productions since our founding years. Among the productions are Pulitzer Prize Winners Driving Miss Daisy, To Kill A Mockingbird, Fences, The Piano Lesson,and the Tony Award Winners The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, The Wiz, and A Raisin in the Sun. Other classics include Crowns, Miss Evers’ Boys, Mama, I Want to Sing, Disney’s High School Musical, and a community favorite Darryl Reuben Hall’s Frat House.Critics have praised our works as Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun ‘was both splendid and captivating’, Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity“All color and life and unbelievable, this is a miraculous spectacle of Biblical and artistic proportions”; Tom Stolz’s Mahaliaas ‘an exceptional masterpiece’, and Darryl Reuben Hall’s Frat House “impressively choreographed, energetic, and lots of fun, 5-Stars!
Sources of funding have included, but not limited to, Actors’ Equity Association, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Queens Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, matching gift support from Open Society Institute, Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, City of Jacksonville, Harlem Community Development Corporation, Jacksonville Children’s Commission, Florida Humanities Council, PNC Bank, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, IMS Engineers, Jaguars Foundation, and the Delores Weaver Fund.
Our Children Outreach continues with the Annual Performing Arts Summer Institute, Aurora Lecture Series, 100 Youth Voices, and the Schools Matinee Series.
Theatre Jacksonville – https://www.theatrejax.com/
OUR MISSION: Theatre Jacksonville is a volunteer based community theatre whose mission is to enrich lives and broaden cultural understanding through community participation in theatre arts.
This mission supports inclusion and the development of diversity in the Company’s artistic, volunteer, audience and donor bases. This goal is achieved through presenting plays and programs of noted artistic excellence, supporting volunteers and students with exceptional training and educational opportunities, and allowing for the development of unique and/or original performance projects and events by Florida artists.