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Park Playhouse

Performing Arts

Founded in 1989, Park Playhouse has been producing free, outdoor summer theatre in Albany’s Washington Park for over 21 years. Original Executive Producer Dr. Mimi Scott and Original Artistic Director Venustiano Borromeo worked to expand the program rapidly in it’s infancy. After just a few short years, Park Playhouse was attracting audiences of thousands, and the City of Albany transformed the hillside opposite the Lakehouse stage into a stepped amphitheatre allowing comfortable seating for over 2,000. In 1995, with the direction of Mayor Gerald D. Jennings and then-Producing Artistic Director Venustiano Borromeo, the Park Playhouse II Youth Theatre Training Program was created to help train the area’s next generation of theatre artists. That program has grown by leaps and bounds through the dedication of Director of Education Shirley Arensberg. In 2006, in an effort to bring theatrical training to young students in the Albany area, the Park Playhouse Kids after-school program was created.

In 2010, Park Playhouse hired Owen M. Smith, himself a graduate of Park Playhouse II, to come on board as the new Producing Artistic Director of the company. In coming seasons, the company will be expanding its summer seasons to include multiple productions from a wide variety of genres, and will be offering a new, year-round program titled Park Playhouse in Concert. The company remains proud of its rich history and looks to an even brighter future in years to come.

Capacity And Seating Type (Stadium, Folding Chair, Balcony)

Stadium Seating

Park Playhouse does 3 productions annually. Park Playhouse, Park Playhouse II, and Park Playhouse Kids.

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Identify And Describe The Management Organization

Park Playhouse augments the quality of life for a diverse audience in the Capital District by producing FREE musicals and plays in an outdoor setting, and providing arts education programs to young people in the community. By providing free admission at our productions, we make theatre an all-inclusive art form, accessible to people from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds. Our education programs teach valuable life lessons about collaboration and teamwork, while helping to train the area’s next generation of theatre artists. Park Playhouse takes a leadership role in enhancing the cultural landscape of New York’s Capital Region.

Suggested Further Reading

Albany Architecture: A Guide to the City by Diana Waite