The Theatre Scene in Ithaca

One of the often overlooked attractions in the Ithaca area are the live theatrical productions offered throughout the year. Ithaca has a number of excellent theatre companies made up of extremely talented artists. In this article, we focus on three of the most respected and well-known theatrical companies in Ithaca: The State Theatre of Ithaca, Kitchen Theatre Company, and The Hangar Theatre Company. If you need more information on Ithaca's theatre scene, feel free to contact us at your convenience.

The State Theatre of Ithaca

  • Address: 107 W State St, Ithaca, NY
  • Season: September through June
  • Business hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Saturday, 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

The State Theatre of Ithaca is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting Ithaca residents and visitors with top-quality entertainment in a unique historic theatrical environment. (The organization refers to the State Theatre as the community's "largest living room.")

The State Theatre of Ithaca hosts over 75 events from September through June each year. Besides theatrical productions, events include dance performances, dramatic readings, classic movies, and comedy shows.

One of the most interesting things about The State Theatre of Ithaca is the building it's located in. Originally constructed in 1915, it was a Studebaker dealership and maintenance garage. In 1928, the building was converted into a cinema and vaudeville palace, with Moorish Revival and Renaissance Revival architecture being prominently featured in the renovation. Over the years, the structure changed hands a number of times until The State Theatre of Ithaca purchased it in 2009. The building is the sole remaining historic theatre in downtown Ithaca. 

Kitchen Theatre Company

  • Address: 417 W State St, Ithaca, NY
  • Season: Year round
  • Office hours: Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Kitchen Theatre Company is a non-profit, premier off-Broadway professional theater company founded in 1991. The organization is dedicated to producing new and familiar plays, developing talented new artists, and providing the community with top-quality entertainment. Since its inception, the company has produced over 200 plays, 34 of which were world premiers. Kitchen Theatre Company normally produces up to ten plays a year. Reviews consistently mention the quality of the productions and the actors' performances.

Located in downtown Ithaca, Kitchen Theatre Company features up close and personal seating, limited to 99 guests. The building also includes a gallery and hospitality bar.

Kitchen Theatre Company is an integral part of the Ithaca community. It has a long-standing relationship with Ithaca College, and a number of the college's graduates are employed by the company. In addition, the company offers a number of community programs designed to make theater-going more accessible and inclusive. These programs include name-your-price-tickets for preview performances and for tickets purchased an hour before a performance.

The Hangar Theatre Company

  • Address: 801 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca, NY
  • Season: Year round
  • Business hours: Monday through Friday, 12:00 p.m. untill 4:00 p.m.

The Hangar Theatre is arguably Ithaca's most popular and well-known theatre. The theatre is home to The Hangar Theatre Company. This non-profit professional regional theatre has been a fixture in the Ithaca area for close to fifty years. The company offers a variety of dramas, comedies, musicals, and original works throughout the year.

Folks at The Hangar Theatre also offer excellent educational programs. During summer months, they have KIDDSTUFF, a series of kid's theatrical productions (usually, five productions a year) based on children's books and intended for younger audiences. Other educational activities include a summer camp for kids in grades 3-12 and a week-long camp where kids in grades 4-6 create and put on an original musical production.

The Hangar Theatre is located along the shores of Cayuga Lake in an old airport hangar that was originally part of Ithaca Municipal Airport. Besides the indoor stage, an outdoor performance space is also used when the weather permits.