Where to See Live Theater in & Around Lancaster

December 20, 2019

You don’t have to visit New York, Paris, or LA to experience some of the best nightlife in the world. Lancaster County has a wide variety of live theater playing every night of the week. From musicals that will have you swaying and singing along in your seat, to dramas that may make you shed a tear, to murder mysteries that will keep you on the edge of your seat all night long, Lancaster Country has something for everyone. There are stages, performing arts centers, and amphitheaters dotted all around the county so we’ve decided to highlight a couple of our all-time favorites.  

Ephrata Performing Arts Center 

Just outside of Lancaster in the charming town of Ephrata lies one of the best theaters in all of Pennsylvania. Over the next year, the theater is bringing favorites like Matilda the Musical and Frozen Jr. to the stage alongside a wide variety of unique productions. Follow along with coming of age plays, murder mysteries, musical comedies, and tragic dramas as the stories unfold before your very eyes. Spend the night in this beautifully renovated theater in the heart of Ephrata.   

The Trust Performing Arts Center

Step inside The Trust Performing Arts Center in downtown Lancaster and step back in time to the early 1900’s. The old bank floor has been converted to a performing arts center but all of the architectural stylings have been perfectly preserved. Listen to classical music as you gaze upon the Beaux-Arts style interior of The Great Hall complete with an intricate honeycomb ceiling, pillars, and skylights. This intimate stage fosters a special connection between audience and artist in a way that most theaters simply cannot do.   

Fulton Theatre

Lancaster has such a culturally rich theater scene and a large part of that has to do with Fulton Theatre in historic downtown Lancaster. Reportedly the oldest working theater in America, the theater presence would simply not be the same in Lancaster without this long standing gem. Imagine an opera house out of a movie with private balcony seats, intricate architectural details across every banister, pillar, and ceiling, and red velvet galore and you’ve got the iconic Fulton Theatre. On any night of the week you’ll find an award winning play on the stage from Kinky Boots to Murder on the Orient Express or a play from the Family Series where child friendly tales come to life.   

Sight and Sound

The Sight and Sound theater isn’t only the #1 theater attraction in Lancaster County, but the overall #1 attraction in the county. People travel from all over to watch the Bible come to life on stage. Immerse yourself in your favorite stories from the Bible as the energetic cast pulls you in with their curved stage, incredible sets, and live animals. Watch the classic Old Testament story of Queen Esther in a way you’ve never seen, heard, or felt before.   

Dutch Apple Dinner Theater

For over 30 years, the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater has been delighting guests with incredible food and top-notch entertainment. This season you can catch comedies Grumpy Old Men and the Savanna Sipping Company to classics The Little Mermaid and Saturday Night Fever. Come hungry and ready for some entertainment that will simply blow you away.   

Gretna Theatre 

If you are planning a vacation to Lancaster during the gorgeous summer months, a trip to Mt. Gretna Playhouse is an absolute must. As America’s oldest summer theater since 1927, this historic outdoor theater is boasting with character. Watch one of your favorite musicals like Honkey Tonk Angels, The Last Five Years, or Matilda in a truly unique setting! The 2020 line-up has just been released and ticket sales will start sometime in the next couple months. Tickets often sell out early and seats fill up fast so plan ahead and keep an eye out.   Winters in Lancaster County don’t seem to be as harsh as the rest of the world. Maybe it’s because of the great dinner spots in town or the friendly faces abound. Maybe it’s because when the sun goes down, theaters all over the county come to life. Pick a different theater or a different play for every night you are in town and you’ll have a getaway that you won’t soon forget.    Ready to celebrate the holidays? Book a stay at the Historic Smithton Inn, a charming & modern bed and breakfast in Ephrata, PA.