Berkeley Playhouse was founded in 2007 by Artistic Director, Elizabeth McKoy, a professional theatre actor, director, and teacher for over 20 years. Berkeley Playhouse produces theatre that is “intelligent, relevant, and soul-stirring.” We bring together performers and audience members of all ages. We strive to provide experiences that fully engage performers and audiences.
Berkeley Playhouse is also a growing conservatory for theatre arts. We provide classes and performance training in acting, singing, dancing, and technical theatre. Children and adults in our conservatory receive training from the best Bay Area teaching artists – many of them directors or performers in our professional shows.
Berkeley Playhouse performance is a new type of theatre experience for many theatre-goers. Audience members are encouraged to become involved with the production on a number of levels–even before the show begins. Lobby installations invite interaction that engage all senses – touch, feel, sight, sound, art, writing, movement…This pre-show engagement deepens the audience enjoyment and understanding of the performance. Audiences are inspired to think critically, act creatively, reflect imaginatively and connect more deeply with the worlds they are about to experience. In this way a Berkeley Playhouse production redefines the way an audience experiences the theatre. Once inside the theatre, audience members enjoy casting that is non-traditional, multicultural, and multi-generational. And interpretations of new works and familiar classics are alive with fresh energy and new perspectives.
Berkeley Playhouse is a program of the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. The Julia Morgan Center was built in 1910, and is a community treasure. The 328-seat theatre provides an intimate space for patrons of our shows that feels like “home.”
Our Two Divisions
- Four high-quality mainstage productions each season, most running for six weekends
- A new works program that infuses new life into the family music theatre repertory
- Outreach programs to schools and community organizations
- Conservatory of Theatre Arts
- Intro and skills-based classes in acting, singing, dancing & technical theatre for all ages
- Beginning and Intermediate performance-based classes – theatrelabs – for all ages
- High-quality, ticketed youth productions for Grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12
- Internships in our professional shows, where talented young actors get to learn alongside professionals