Youngstown, OH — The Youngstown Playhouse has announced its 2021 Season and virtual fall theatre classes.

Board President Dr. John Cox stated, “I believe adversity can create opportunity. Although our stages are dark during the COVID-19 public health crisis, there is an incredible amount of work occurring behind the scenes. We are using this time to improve all aspects of the theatre and to position the organization for long-term, sustainable growth as we anticipate our forthcoming 100th Anniversary Season in 2024.”

“We look forward to welcoming back audiences with an exciting lineup of 5 productions complemented by smaller, to-be-announced special events. As a doctor, I am firmly committed to ensuring the well-being of our audiences, staff, and volunteers. The timing and nature of our re-opening will be informed by scientific and government recommendations. Art is essential—and safety is our priority as we prepare for our 2021 Opening Night.”

Performances of the 2021 Season will take place at 600 Playhouse Lane, Youngstown, OH. Flex Pass Memberships are valid for 4 performances within the 2021 Season. Memberships start at $50 and are available online at Discounts are available for seniors, students, and military.

Tentatively slated to start in May 2021, specific production dates for the 97th Season will be announced at a later date pending government and scientific recommendations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 Season will include The Color Purple, Marjorie Prime, The Producers, The Gone Away Place, and Elf: The Musical.

The Color Purple
Based upon the novel by Alice Walker
Book by Marsha Norman
Music & Lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, & Stephen Bray
Directed by Trevail Maurice
May 2021 | Mainstage
Winner of the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, The Color Purple is an epic musical chronicling the inspiring story of Celie, a young Black woman who overcomes astonishing challenges while living in the American South. Based upon Alice Walker’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel and the 1985 film, The Color Purple features a joyous score replete with jazz, ragtime, gospel, and the blues. The Playhouse is proud to open the 2021 Season with this magnificent story of hope, love, and life under the direction of Trevail Maurice, director of the 2019 smash-hit, Dreamgirls.

Marjorie Prime
By Jordan Harrison
Director to be announced
July 2021 | Moyer Room Griffith/Adler Series

It is the age of artificial intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie—a jumble of disparate, fading memories—has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance? In this clever and captivating new play, Jordan Harrison explores the complicated nature of familial relationships, the mysteries of human identity, and the limits—if any—of what technology can replace.

The Producers
Book by Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan
Music & Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Directed by David Jendre
September 2021 | Mainstage

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, this madcap staging of the infamous Mel Brooks movie follows the hysterical antics of Broadway producer Max Bialystock and his reluctant apprentice Leo Bloom. When they realize that they can get richer by producing a flop than a hit, they set out to find the worst script, worst director, and worst actors for a production of “Springtime for Hitler”…which disastrously turns out to be a smashing success.

The Gone Away Place
Youth Theatre Production
Based upon the novel by Christopher Barzak
Directed by Jim Canacci
October 2021 | Mainstage

Based upon the book by local novelist and YSU professor Christopher Barzak, The Gone Away Place will return to the Playhouse mainstage following its postponement due to COVID-19. Yearbook editor Ellie survives a slew of tornadoes that rage through her hometown, devastating her Ohio high school and killing dozens of people in her community. She is haunted by the ghosts of her best friends and by the living, too: all those left behind must cope with the “gone away” pieces in their lives. A chance encounter with one ghost leads Ellie to discover a way to free the spirits who have been lingering since the storm, and she learns that she’s not the only one seeing the ghosts—it’s a town-wide epidemic.

Elf: The Musical
Adult & Youth Theatre Production
Book by Thomas Meehann & Bob Martin
Music by Matthew Sklar
Lyrics by Chad Beguelin
Director to be announced
December 2021 | Mainstage

Based on the cherished 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell, Elf is a modern-day holiday classic guaranteed to make everyone embrace their inner elf. After all, “the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Elf follows the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

The Youngstown Playhouse Youth Theatre has transitioned to remote programming so that it may educate and engage virtually until it can safely resume in-person classes and public performances. These online classes are suitable for ages 5-18 and will examine all aspects of theatre, including performing, directing, and design. The six-week fall session will run via Zoom on Saturday mornings from September 19—October 24, 2020. Class seating is limited and will be issued on a first come, first served basis. To register, visit Registration is due by September 18, 2020.

Imagination Creation: K-3rd Grade (Ages 5-8) with AnnMarie Lowerre at 10am
This introductory class will explore all aspects of the theatre world. Each week, students will learn about a new avenue of theatre to inspire their future creative pursuits and a broad interest in the performing arts. Participants will write, design, and perform short plays as the culmination of the session.

Creating On and Off Stage: 4th-7th Grade (Ages 9-12) with Mackenzie Leskovec at 11am
There is so much to explore, both on and off the stage! This class will provide a comprehensive look at all aspects of theatre, including acting, directing, and technical design (such as costumes and scenery). Students will develop a well-rounded understanding of theatre by sharing their creativity in each area on a weekly basis.

The World of a Play: 8th-12th Grade (Ages 13-18) with Jeanine Rees at 12pm
Where does the magic of theatre come from? How does a play go from words on a page to a rich, honest, and realistic live performance experience? This class is a discussion- and creation-based class that will help answer those questions and bring understanding of theatre to the next level. Students will acquire the tools necessary to build the world of a play via collaboration, critical thinking, and script/character analysis.

The Youngstown Playhouse is pleased to welcome back Briarfield as Box Office Sponsor of its 2021

The Youngstown Playhouse is a nonprofit community theatre with a mission to present quality theatre arts performances, provide educational initiatives, and establish and maintain community partnerships while supporting and participating in the revitalization of the city of Youngstown. Since our inception in 1924, The Youngstown Playhouse has sustained a legacy of quality live performance theater in Northeast Ohio by staging innovative, unique, and accessible theatrical performances of both classic and modern productions. Located in Youngstown’s Glenwood Avenue Corridor, the Playhouse annually serves over 8,000 audience members of all ages with a full season of 10 musicals and plays complemented by workshops, readings, and concerts in its mainstage theatre (400 seats) and intimate blackbox space, The Moyer Room (75 seats). The vibrant Playhouse Youth Theatre program serves nearly 150 participants annually through classes, workshops, and fully staged productions attended by over 1,000 students.

For more information, visit