Hershey Area Playhouse Announces 20th Anniversary Season

HERSHEY, Pa., July 19, 2018 – Hershey Area Playhouse is celebrating its 10th and 20th anniversaries simultaneously during the 2019 season! Hershey Area Playhouse will celebrate its 20th season in 2019, as well as its 10th season in its permanent home in the Playhouse Barn.


To celebrate its anniversary, the Artistic Committee and Board of Directors decided to let directors, both veterans of the Playhouse and new directors to the Playhouse, propose ideas they would love to see staged on the show. Sixteen directors presented over thirty shows to the Artistic Committee and we are pleased to announce the following shows were chosen for our anniversary season!


The Playhouse will kick off its 20th season on February 7-10 and 14-17, 2019, with Dearly Departed directed by Lois Heagy. Written by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones, this play is set in the Baptist backwoods of the Bible Belt. The beleaguered Turpin family proves that living and dying in the South are seldom tidy and always hilarious. Despite their earnest efforts to pull themselves together for their father’s funeral, the Turpin’s other problems keep overshadowing the solemn occasion Amidst the chaos, the Turpins turn for comfort to their friends and neighbors, an eccentric community of misfits who just manage to pull together and help each other through their hours of need, and finally, the funeral.


From April 4-7 and 11-14, 2019 the Playhouse will present its spring production, The Glass Menagerie which will be directed by Lewis Silverman. Tennessee Williams’s autobiographical “memory play” looks at the Wingfield family—frustrated writer Tom, his nagging mother, Amanda, who is often lost in memories of her Southern-belle past, and his painfully shy sister, Laura—and the effect a visit from a “gentleman caller” for Laura has on all their lives.


For a limited run the Dark Night Series production Spring Awakening, directed by Nic Ecker, will run from May 16-19, 2019. Based on Frank Wedekind’s groundbreaking and controversial play (once banned in Germany), Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s brilliant rock score and searingly emotional book take the story of sexual awakening, youth revolt, and self-discovery into a new century. It’s 1891, and grown-ups hold all the cards. Headstrong Melchior and naive Wendla stumble into each other’s arms, passionate and curious, while anxious Moritz struggles to live up to the stringent expectations of society. With only each other for guidance, this group of young men and women travel the fraught and rocky path of adolescence, discovering their bodies, their minds, and themselves along the way. An electric, vibrant celebration of youth and rebellion, Spring Awakening fuses issues of morality, sexuality, and rock and roll into a story that packs a powerful emotional punch.


Disney’s The Little Mermaid takes the stage as the Playhouse’s summer musical. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney's The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. Ariel, King Triton's youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above, bargaining with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems, and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends, Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea. Directed by Matt Spencer this show will run from July 18-21 and July 25-28, 2019.


The Playhouse’s Theatre Academy is working toward bringing a children’s show to the Playhouse in August 2019 as a part of our Dark Night Series. This show will be announced at a later date with all show information, as well as performance dates and times.


October will see our second main stage musical of the season with The Mystery of Edwin Drood directed and choreographed by Eric S. Mansilla. The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a hilarious, interactive whodunit mystery musical that allows the audience to enter the action and become the ultimate detectives. The show is based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel of the same name. In the small town of Chesterham, England, the young and charming Edwin Drood has been mysteriously murdered. But by whom? His leering romantic rival, John Jasper? The infamous purveyor of opium and vice, Princess Puffer? The mysterious Landless twins, newly arrived from Ceylon? Or someone else even more dastardly and villainous? The Mystery of Edwin Drood runs from October 3-6 and October 10-13, 2019.


Rounding out the Playhouse’s anniversary season will be our Christmas show, The Homecoming directed by Marcie Warner. Christopher Sergel adapted the stage script from the novel written by Earl Hamner, Jr. which will run December 5-8 and 12-15, 2019. Known on television as The Waltons, the family called Spencer, lives in the mountains of Virginia during the Great Depression. With his father having to take the only available job a long way from home, Clay-Boy is stuck with unusual responsibility for his brothers and sisters. Just reaching manhood, Clay-Boy has a secret yearning that's quite extraordinary for the practical, earth-bound community in which he lives. He wants to write! His father, who thinks differently, tells him he must prepare to become a responsible man and to build a home and raise a family. Clay-Boy could explode with frustration at his inability to communicate with this man that he admires most. He is also worried because his father is already long overdue in getting home. In the climax, the father makes it—just as they are in despair about him. He brings a special gift for his son, a gift that reveals unexpected understanding and the strength of a loving family.


All performances will take place at Hershey Area Playhouse, 830 Cherry Drive, Hershey, Pa. Show times are 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Discounted season tickets are available by purchasing at least four shows; individual tickets are also available. Dark Night Series tickets are not included in season tickets. For tickets and more information, please visit




Hershey Area Playhouse ( is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing residents of the community with an opportunity to participate in the creation and production of a theatrical experience. Since its inception in 1999, Hershey Area Playhouse has staged dozens of productions at numerous venues around the Hershey area. In April 2007, the Playhouse opened its new permanent home, Hershey Area Playhouse at Country Meadows.