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How To Get Involved In Baltimore’s Theater Community

July 21, 2014 7:00 AM

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There are various ways that patrons can be supportive and get involved in Baltimore’s theater community. Some of the ways in which to be supportive are to frequent the venue, purchase a subscription for yourself or someone else as a gift, expose a young person to the theater, make a donation, volunteer and encourage other people to support the venue. Here is a listing of theaters in the Baltimore area where one can quench his/her thirst for the performing arts.
Center Stage Theater Baltimore (Credit, Vickie Lawson)

Center Stage Theater Baltimore (Credit, Vickie Lawson)

Center Stage 
700 N. Calvert St.
Baltimore, Md. 21202
(410) 986-4000
www.centerstage.org

Center Stage is known for its exciting shows and edgy themes that cause audiences to stop, think and spark conversation. Located in downtown Baltimore, the theater is now in its 52nd year and works to challenge the traditional concept of theatrical performances. With Kwame Kwei-Armah as artistic director, classical and contemporary productions are entertaining, thought-provoking and educational. Individuals looking to volunteer should click here. If you don’t have time to volunteer but would like support the Center Stage and watch some great plays, think about becoming a member and get a season pass to all of the great shows going on at the theater.

(AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa)

(AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa)

Arena Players, Inc.
801 McCulloh St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
(410) 728-6500
www.arenaplayersinc.com

The Arena Players is the oldest-standing African-American community theater in the country, having had its beginnings in 1953. According to the website, the mission is to educate, entertain and serve the Baltimore community. The organization is committed to serving the Baltimore community through the perpetual support of volunteers. The Arena Players encourages anyone, young or old, with an interest in the performing arts to participate in its various programs including auditioning for plays. The Arena Players also offers a summer program for youth.

Vagabond Players
806 S. Broadway
Baltimore, Md. 21231
(410) 563-9135
www.vagabondplayers.org

Located in Southeast Baltimore, the Vagabond Players is the oldest little theater in the area. The first production for this theater, now in its 98th year, was in 1916. The theater is noted for producing plays by H.L. Mencken as well as its annual Baltimore playwrights’ festival. According to new board member, Chelsey, there are lots of different ways to get involved in Baltimore’s theater community. She said the Vagabond Players is a non-profit organization and its workers are volunteers. Patrons can make a tax deductible contribution at various levels – the Angel Level for $50 or the Anniversary Angel Level for $99. Interested supporters can also buy a seat for $150 and have it engraved with a plate containing the name of a loved one or family member.

Related: Best Small Theater Companies In Baltimore

The Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore (Credit, Vickie Lawson)

The Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore (Credit, Vickie Lawson)

The Hippodrome Theatre
France-Merrick Performing Arts Center
12 N. Eutaw St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
(410) 837-7400
www.france-merrickpac.com

The Hippodrome theater is housed in a former dilapidated movie theater. In 2004 it underwent restorations and renovations and is now one of the premier theatres in the Baltimore area. The fall season will start in September with a performance of “Once,” followed by an “I Love Lucy Live on Stage” performance in October. To catch these great shows for free and to also help out in the process, get in touch with the volunteer department of The Hippodrome. Also, The Hippodrome Foundation is a great way to get involved and not just bring great performances to the Baltimore area, but to also provide theater education and access to The Hippodrome to children in the area.

Everyman TheatreEveryman Theatre
315 W. Fayette St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
(410) 752-2208
www.everymantheatre.org

The mission of Everyman is to engage, inspire and transform the audience. Newly relocated, performances here are affordable and feature the best of the Baltimore acting community. The repertoire of shows usually appeals to a diverse audience and allows the audience to make connections with the actors on stage. Young people interested in theater can apply for an internship at Everyman. It has special internships designed for both college and high school students. Everyman encourages people to get involved with their activities but also goes a step further to enter the community. Every year, Everyman holds Touch Tours and Readings for the Blind in partnership with The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. It offers touch tours of its sets for people without sight. Volunteer ushers are always welcome, and you can sign up here.

Related: Best Indie Movie Theaters In Baltimore

Vickie Lawson is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.

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