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Lincoln Community Playhouse History

Lincoln Community Playhouse has been an integral part of the arts community since 1946. On July 3, 1946, The Circlet Theatre stage its first production in the Lindell Hotel in downtown Lincoln. In 1947, The Circlet Theatre merged with Lincoln Community Theatre to form Lincoln Circlet Community Theatre. The merged theatre group staged its first production on February 21, 1947 at Lincoln’s Municipal Pool Bathhouse. Less than a decade later, Lincoln Circlet Community Theatre changed its name to Lincoln Community Playhouse and moved to the newly purchased Tifereth Israel Synagogue where it staged its first production on November 3, 1954.

The Playhouse purchased its current located at 2500 S. 56th St. and opened with its first production on February 4, 1972. A building addition, the Gallery Theatre, was completed in 1976 and in 1980 the Children’s Theatre was opened (now known as the Studio Theatre).

In February 2012, the Playhouse kicked off a comprehensive outreach program, A Playhouse for Everyone. A Playhouse for Everyone provides opportunities for those who have limited access to theatre to participate in and see live theatre at the Playhouse, from children through seniors. A Playhouse for Everyone includes free shows for Title I schools, RadioActive Players senior theatre group, and The Penguin Project, theatre for special needs children and peer mentors.

Between 2018-2019, a major renovation was completed with an updated lighting system plus several other electrical upgrades; updated sound system; new seats and installation of hearing assistance in the Oliver T. Joy Mainstage; and new seats, platforms and installation of hearing assistance in the Studio Theatre.