Ephrata Performing Arts Center

December 11, 2021

This blog will tell you everything you need to know about the Ephrata Performing Arts Center, one of the BEST things to do while you're visiting Ephrata!

Ephrata Performing Arts Center, Historic Smithton Inn Are you looking for some live theater during your stay in Ephrata, PA?

Look no further! We have the perfect place for you. One of our favorite spots in town is the Ephrata Performing Arts Center, and it’s only a 3-minute drive away from the Historic Smithton Inn! This great local theater has a long history of hosting musicals and plays, and you don’t want to miss it while you’re in town. Read on to learn all you need to know about the theater, then start planning your visit. Make sure you also look at our "Things to Do" page on our website for even more local recommendations.

This Blog is all about the Ephrata Performing Arts Center

10 Things You Need to Know About the Ephrata Performing Arts Center


1 - What Is the Ephrata Performing Arts Center?

The Ephrata Performing Arts Center is the ideal location for a night of live entertainment. The story of this famous, local theater began in 1953, Broadway producer John Cameron started producing summer plays and musicals in the pavilion.  The tradition became known as “Playhouse in the Park.” The theater became a non-profit organization in 1979, and got its current name in 1980.

The theater is a must-see in the area for drama lovers and entertainment seekers. 

2 - What Type of Events and Performances Will You Find at EPAC?

The Ephrata Performing Arts Center offers a wide variety of shows, so you’re sure to find something that piques your interest. In the past, the theater has produced plays and musicals like “West Side Story”, “Hello Dolly!”, “Hairspray”, “Sweeney Todd”, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Wizard of Oz”, and many more Broadway hits. One patron of the theater once said: “It may not be Broadway, but you can see it from here!” 

3 - What Are Show Times & Pricing at EPAC?

Wednesday and Thursday shows begin at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m., and Saturday matinee shows at 2 p.m. Adults tickets cost $32, senior tickets cost $28, and student tickets cost $25.

4 - What's the 2023 Schedule?

The 2022 season features three plays, three musicals, and one youth production.

  • [March 16 - March 25, 2023]: How I Learned to Drive
  • [April 27 - May 16, 2023]: Passion (Musical)
  • [June 15 - June 24, 2023]: The Little Dog Laughed
  • [July 27 - August 12, 2023]:  The Prom (Musical)
  • [September 7 - September 16, 2023]: Clybourne Park
  • [October 12 - October 28, 2023]: A Little Night Music (Musical)
  • [December 8 - December 30, 2023]:  Phantom of the Opera (Young Performer's Production)

5 - What Renovations Have Been Made to the Ephrata Performing Arts Center?

Source: Primary Choice Electric

Between a flood in 2020 and a fire in 2021, the Ephrata Performing Arts Center Ephrata PA turned lemons into lemonade by making wonderful upgrades to the facility.  The lobby has been completely reimagined with a cozy-hip design.  Technical improvements were made to the sound and light systems as well.

Some important renovations over the years:

  • The facility is climate controlled so it's comfortable no matter how hot or cold it is outside.
  • Being located so close to Claire Brothers / Atomic Sound / Rock Lititz has its advantages!  Over the years, those companies have generously supported EPAC with state of the art sound & lighting systems you wouldn't usually find at a small community theater!

6 - Has Anyone Famous Performed at EPAC?

Groff and Fernandez
Source: EPAC Facebook Page

Yes, there are some very well known names who have performed at the Ephrata Performing Arts Center!

In 1953, Broadway producer John Cameron came to Ephrata to begin producing summer stock in the pavilion, which was later renamed the Legion Star Playhouse. Cameron brought in big names from New York to perform in his plays, including Roy Scheider, Robert DeNiro, Betty White and Ann B. Davis.

More recently the artistic director Ed Fernandez has cast Tony-nominated actor Jonathan Groff, along with such other performers as the versatile and charming Elisio Roman and Catherine Walker, who are all currently lighting up both stage and screen.  In fact, Jonathan Groff has come back to EPAC numerous times to support EPAC fundraisers and performers.

7 - How Do I Find the Ephrata Performing Arts Center?

mapEPAC is less than a mile from the Historic Smithton Inn.  It's an easy drive and has ample parking in their well-lit parking lot.

Address:  320 Cocalico St, Ephrata, PA

8 - Which are the Best Nearby Restaurants?

Source: Rebecca Gallagher

There are a number of coffee shops and pizza places in Ephrata, but we're guessing you're looking for a sit-down restaurant or place to have cocktails & appetizers before a show.  With that in mind, here are our recommendations:

  • Olde Lincoln House Tavern | 1398 W Main St, Ephrata | Website
  • Nona Rosa Traditional Italian Kitchen | 363 S 7th St, Akron | Website
  • Weathered Vineyards Ephrata | 900a W. Main Street, Ephrata | Website
  • Black Forest Brewery | 301 W Main St, Ephrata | Website
  • Hillside Public House | 333 N State St, Ephrata | Website
  • The Log Cabin Restaurant | 11 Lehoy Forest Dr, Leola | Website
  • Gibraltar Restaurant | 488 Royer Dr #101, Lancaster | Website
  • Kyma Seafood / Johnny's Steak House | 1640 N Reading Rd, Stevens


9 - Are There More Things to Do While You're in Ephrata?

historic buildings
Source: Ephrata Cloister Facebook Page

Ephrata has a rich history dating back to the early 1700s when German and Swiss immigrants were coming to Pennsylvania to find religious freedom.  Ephrata is perfectly situated for touring all of Lancaster County, but here are a few specific things to do in conjunction with catching a show at the Ephrata Performing Arts Center.


10 - Stay at the Historic Smithton Inn


colonial mansion
Historic Smithton Inn B&B

Three words that describe the Historic Smithton Inn are: comfort, elegance, and pamper! Our beautiful and historic B&B is the perfect countryside retreat for travelers looking to unwind in a scenic environment. After a fun night out at the Ephrata Performing Arts Center, treat yourself to a relaxing evening in one of our cozy rooms and dream the night away!

Ephrata Performing Arts Center, Historic Smithton InnTake a look at the Red Rose Room, for example. This beautiful room provides peace, serenity, and lots of comfort! You and your significant other will love to take a hot shower after the show, slip into complimentary robes, and snuggle by the fireplace. Then, after a good night’s rest, wake up to a delicious, homemade breakfast! We serve a collection of Colombian coffee and tea, fresh, signature juice blends and mouth-watering muffins, bread, French Toasts, baked eggs, and more!

Click Here to Book Your Trip

This Blog is all about the Ephrata Performing Arts Center

If you like this blog post, here are some other related posts you might enjoy: