Theatre Forward is an association of institutional nonprofit theatres located in 19 cities across the country. Our theatres share many characteristics: independently determined programming, seasons of nine months or more, multiple stages, a full time professional staff and a record of artistic excellence.
Theatre Forward, formerly National Corporate Theatre Fund, was created in 1977 by our 10 founding member theatres. Founding theatres each have a representative who serves on our Board of Directors, pay annual dues and receive annual philanthropic support for general operations. Beginning in 2006, an additional nine comparable theatres were brought on by the founding theatres to expand Theatre Forward’s reach in education and other initiatives. Theatre Forward is not currently considering new theatre members at this time.
Denotes Founding Theatres*
Les Waters, Artistic Director
Jennifer Bielstein, Managing Director
Actors Theatre of Louisville is one of America’s most consistently innovative professional theatre companies and the flagship arts organization in Louisville, Kentucky. The theatre annually presents nearly 400 performances and delivers a broad range of programming, including classics and contemporary work through the Brown-Forman Series, holiday plays, a series of free theatrical events produced by the Apprentice/Intern Company, and the renowned Humana Festival of New American Plays—which has introduced nearly 450 plays into the American theatre repertoire. In addition, Actors Theatre provides arts experiences to more than 17,000 students across the region each year through its Education Department, and boasts the nation’s most prestigious continuing pre-professional resident training company.
Gregory Boyd, Artistic Director
Dean R. Gladden, Managing Director
Founded in 1946, the Alley provides audiences with the highest quality theatre, offering a wide variety of work including new plays, classics, new musical theatre. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Gregory Boyd and Managing Director Dean Gladden, the Alley is committed to moving forward to increase its reach into the community, further its collaboration with the best theatre artists working today, and encourage and cultivate the new voices, new work, new artists of the American theatre. Home to a resident company of actors, designers, and artisans, the Alley has earned a national and international reputation for artistic achievement including the Regional Theater Tony Award in 1996. A newly renovated building, following a $59 million dollar capital campaign, will open in October 2015.
Susan Booth, Artistic Director
Founded in 1968, the Alliance Theatre is the leading producing theatre in the Southeast, reaching more than 150,000 patrons annually, including more than 50,000 students through performances, acting classes, drama camps, and in-school initiatives. The Alliance Theatre received the Regional Theatre Tony Award ® in recognition of sustained excellence in programming, education, and community engagement and is known for its role in developing important new work with a strong track record of Broadway, touring, and subsequent productions, including recent productions The Color Purple, Bring It On: The Musical, and Tuck Everlasting. The Alliance also nurtures the careers of playwrights through programs like the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, producing a premiere for the competition winner as part of the regular season, and the Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab, which provides development resources for three projects each year.
San Francisco, CA
Carey Perloff, Artistic Director
Founded in 1967, American Conservatory Theater nurtures the art of live theater through dynamic productions of both classic and new work, intensive actor training in its award-winning Conservatory, and an ongoing engagement with its community through arts-education programs and public events. In addition to its flagship Geary Theater in the heart of Union Square, the company recently opened its second space, the modern and intimate Strand Theater, in the Central Market District.
Diane Paulus, Artistic Director
Dedicated to expanding the boundaries of theater, the A.R.T. at Harvard University is a leading force in the American theater, producing ground-breaking work in Cambridge, Boston, and beyond. Since its inception in 1980, the A.R.T. has been honored with many distinguished awards, including Tony Awards for All the Way (2014), Pippin (2013) and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (2012); a Pulitzer Prize for ‘Night Mother (1983); a Jujamcyn Prize for outstanding contribution to the development of creative talent; the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater; and numerous Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards.
Molly Smith, Artistic Director
Edgar Dobie, Executive Producer
Founded in 1950, Arena Stage is a pioneer of the regional theater movement. It is the first regional theater to transfer a production to Broadway, the first invited by the U.S. State Department to tour behind the Iron Curtain, and the first to receive the Regional Theater Tony Award. The focus is on American artists and it produces all that is passionate, exuberant, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit. It explores issues from the past, present and future that reflect America’s diversity and challenges.
Los Angeles, CA
Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director
Stephen D. Rountree, Managing Director
Founded in 1967, Center Theatre Group is Los Angeles’ preeminent non-profit theatre company. With three stages – the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas Theatre –they reach over 20,000 young people through their education programs and present the highest quality and broadest range of theatre: groundbreaking new works, explosive productions of the classics and hit Broadway plays and musicals.
Laura Kepley, Artistic Director
Kevin Moore, Managing Director
Recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, Cleveland Play House (CPH) is America’s first professional regional theatre. Since its founding in 1915, CPH has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. More than 12 million people have attended over 1,600 CPH productions, including more than 100 world and/or American premieres. Today, Cleveland Play House performs in three state-of-the art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.
Kevin Moriaty, Artistic Director
Jeffrey Woodward, Managing Director
Founded in 1959, Dallas Theater Center (DTC) performs to an audience of more than 110,000 North Texas residents annually. DTC is a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and presents its mainstage season at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre. DTC also presents at its original home, the Kalita Humphreys Theater, the only freestanding theater designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. DTC engages, entertains and inspires a diverse community by creating experiences that stimulate new ways of thinking and living by consistently producing plays,educational programs and community initiatives that are of the highest quality and reach the broadest possible constituency. In addition to bold productions of classic and contemporary plays and musicals, DTC produces at least two new works per season.
Kent Thompson, Producing Artistic Director
Charles Varin, Managing Director
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is the largest non-profit theatre organization in the nation, presenting Broadway tours and producing theatre, cabaret, musicals, and innovative, multimedia plays. Last season the DCPA entertained nearly 800,000 visitors through 43 productions, 816 performances and 138 events.
Robert Falls, Artistic Director
Roche Schulfer, Executive Director
Founded in 1925, Goodman Theatre is an artistic and community institution dedicated to the art of theater and to civic engagement in the issues of the contemporary world. The Goodman has transformed over the past 35 years into a world class theater and premier Chicago cultural institution distinguished by the quality and scope of its programming and its culturally and aesthetically diverse creative leadership; artistic priorities include new plays, reimagined classics, culturally specific works, musical theater and international collaborations. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, achievements include the Goodman’s state-of-the-art two-theater complex in the heart of the downtown Theatre District. Over the past three decades, the Goodman has generated more than 150 world or American premieres, and nearly 30 new-work commissions.
Joseph Haj, Artistic Director
Founded in 1963, the Guthrie Theater is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. It presents both classical literature and new work from diverse cultures. The Guthrie illuminates the common humanity connecting Minnesota to the peoples of the world.
Darko Tresnjak, Artistic Director
Michael Stotts, Managing Director
Founded in 1963, Hartford Stage aims to enlighten, entertain, and educate by creating theatrical works of the highest caliber that have a transformative impact on our field, our audiences and our community. Hartford Stage produces innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals, including 72 world and American premieres, as well as offering a distinguished education program, which reaches more than 20,000 students annually. It presented the world premiere of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
New Haven, CT
Gordon Edelstein, Artistic Director
Joshua Borenstein, Managing Director
Founded in 1965, Long Wharf aims to create theatre of the highest quality that inspires reflection and discourse about each of us and the world in which we live. Its acclaimed productions include the Pulitzer Prize winning Wit, The Shadow Box, and The Gin Game. Recent New York transfers include The Glass Menagerie, My Name is Asher Lev, and Satchmo at the Waldorf.
New York, NY
Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director
Barry Grove, Executive Producer
Founded in 1970, Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) is committed to the creation of new plays and musicals through an intensive Artistic Development Program that offers commissions, script evaluation, dramaturgical support, readings and workshops. Using the work on its stages, MTC’s Education Program promotes active participation in the art though in-class instruction, student and family matinees, teacher training, internships and Internet-based distance learning. In constantly seeking new ways to innovate, MTC keeps theatre alive and relevant. MTC’s many laurels include 19 Tony Awards, 6 Pulitzer Prizes, 48 Obies and 32 Drama Desk Awards.
San Diego, CA
Barry Edelstein, Artistic Director
Michael Murphy, Managing Director
Founded in 1935, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 plays and musicals on its three stages, including its highly-regarded Shakespeare festival. It aims to create theatrical experiences of the highest professional standards, ensure diversity and balance in programming, providing an environment for the growth and education of theatre professionals, audiences and the community at large.
Braden Abraham, Acting Artistic Director
Jeffrey Herrmann, Managing Director
Seattle Repertory Theatre creates productions and programs that surprise, entertain, challenge and uplift our community through a shared act of imagination. Winner of the 1990 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre, Seattle Rep is the premier theatre in the Pacific Northwest, with a national reputation for artistic excellence and high-caliber professional productions. Each year, the Rep presents an eight-play subscription season, new play readings and workshops, and education programs that reach more than 110,000 audience members, including 5,000 Washington students and teachers served through special matinees and interactive workshops. We also add to the modern canon by commissioning and premiering new plays by nationally renowned playwrights like Robert Schenkkan and Samuel D. Hunter, as well as local writers whose work we help to find a national audience, such as Cheryl L. West and Elizabeth Heffron.
Curt Columbus, Artistic Director
Founded in 1963 and named the State Theater of Rhode Island in 2014, Trinity Repertory Company features one of the last long-standing resident acting companies in the United States. Trinity Rep presents a balance of world premiere, contemporary, and classic works for an estimated annual audience of 120,000.
Bernard Havard, President & Producing Artistic Director
Mark D. Sylvester, Managing Director
Founded in 1809, The Walnut Street Theatre is America’s oldest theatre. It is the official State Theatre of Pennsylvania and a National Historic Landmark. With more than 50,000 season ticket holders, the Walnut is also the most subscribed theatre in the world. It aims to sustain the tradition of professional theatre and contribute to its future and viability and vitality.