Chester Playhouse Theatre
Since 1938 friends, families, and visitors to our community have gathered at 22 Pleasant Street in Chester to experience art and culture: to laugh, sing and reflect. In 1938, the attraction was to enjoy films at the Kenerik Theatre. Starting in 1963, the Chester Jesters produced annual summer theatre productions. They were followed by The Leading Wind Theatre which presented puppet shows beginning in 1975. Then after a dormant period, The Chester Theatre Council brought the Playhouse to life again with its first summer festival in 1987. Community support and leadership have since kept this jewel alive and thriving as an important arts venue.
As well, we have established the Playhouse as a venue for community outreach through presentations by local school drama groups, Nova Dance Studios, The Chester Drama Society, and a winter play reading series. The Playhouse also sponsors many other community groups as a venue for benefits and fundraising. We have established a very successful after-school acting program for youth aged 4-18 and have had a summer theatre school for the past 18 years.
In June of 2021, a fire struck the Playhouse; however, we carried on bringing world-class entertainment to the community with our Playhouse Without Walls program. Working with various venues around the area and operating out of 5 Pleasant St, we were able to present 23 events in the latter half of 2021. Our Playhouse Without Walls continued through 2022 and part of 2023, with a return to our beloved building in the Summer of 2023.