Boston’s Best Small Theatre Companies

November 23, 2010 5:32 AM

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If you’re not in the mood for a Broadway blockbuster, but want a more intimate theatre experience, Boston has a ton of options. Wether you want a play the whole family can enjoy, or an evening of high quality drama, here are four small theatre companies worth checking out. – Bill Ritchotte
111theatre Bostons Best Small Theatre Companies


11:11 Theatre Company

The Factory Theatre
791 Tremont St.
Boston, MA

Being small does not necessarily mean having small ideas. The 11:11 produces original works by resident playwrights as well as classic adaptations. Prices are low, and if you’re interested in getting involved, they offer several opportunities to participate throughout the season.

badhabit Bostons Best Small Theatre Companies


Bad Habit Productions

Durell Theatre YMCA
820 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA

A not-for-profit theatre that thrives on the unique over the expected. The troupe relies on collaboration with Boston theatre veterans to put the “unity” back in community theatre. Plus, if you’re looking for Improv and comedy, check out their “Comedy on Tap”, monthly comedy nights at local bars every third Sunday; visit the website for locations.

guerilla Bostons Best Small Theatre Companies


Guerilla Opera

Zack Box Theatre at The Boston Conservatory
8 The Fenway
Boston, MA

Progressive and Accessible opera. Can’t be done you say? Well Guerilla Opera begs to differ, and when you see one of their fully-staged productions, you will too. Be prepared; this is not classical opera. This is modern work with modern sensibilities. You will be rocked and rolled (in a good way).

art Bostons Best Small Theatre Companies


American Repertory Theater

64 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA

How can a theatre company with a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize be a small theatre company? It can’t. The A.R.T. is capital “B” Big, but because it exists outside the Theatre District all the way in the land of Cambridge, it can be overlooked. Whatever you do, don’t overlook the A.R.T. Whether it’s disco Shakespeare or a world premiere original dramatic piece, the American Repertory Theatre is a treasure. Put it on your calendar right now. No, I mean it, right now. Go.

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  • Cheryl Singleton

    Mr. Ritchotte, the a.r.t. can hardly be overlooked. Its advertising budget combined with the number of articles written about it during Diane Paulus’ tenure has kept it firmly in the minds of the public. If you wish to write about the a.r.t. separately, please do so. However if you are going to give tribute to small theater companies please do just that. There are many small theater companies deserving of praise and extra attention in the media to help bring audiences to their doors, companies of actors, writers, designers and directors working hard at their craft but without the budgets of the large theaters. Should you need guidance in finding out more about the smaller companies in the greater Boston area, I am sure that can help you.

    Cheryl Singleton
    Board Vice President, StageSource

  • Christine Toohey

    I completely agree with Ms. Singleton. It is absurd that the A.R.T., which hires actors from New York and is one of the biggest regional theatres in Boston, should be included on a list intended to celebrate small theatre companies.

    I suggest acquainting yourself with the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston, a member-driven organization of 19 small theatres in Boston.

    Or to see performances by a number of Boston’s small theatres, attend Company One’s upcoming Fringe Wars competition, which will present short one-acts written and produced by local fringe theatre companies. or

  • Del Richmond

    How can you leave out the Lyric – a great small theatre.

  • Paul

    Boston’s only musical children’s theatre is located in Saugus, just minutes
    from Downtown and an easy commute from Haymarket Station. There is a
    direct bus to Cliftondale Square, Saugus. The North Shore Musical Children’s
    Theatre is located at 466Central St., and presents Fairy Tale Classic Musicals
    on monthly Sundays. Military Families are always free. To learn more call

  • Bilby

    Perhaps the problem is that four is just too small a number for “Boston’s Best Small Theatre Companies”. I would cetainly include SpeakEasy Stage as well.

  • Cyrano

    I would also include the Lyric Stage Company and New Repertory Theater. And if ART is a “small” theater, why not the Huntington. And I suggest Mr. Richotte see more theater. There is a huge world of theater companies.

  • Cyrano

    And while I am at it. Maybe you shouldn’t have let Joyce Kulhawik go for this obviously young ill informed writer. The “Theater District” really doesn’t exist any more and Boston is no longer a try out town. Ms. Kulhawik, would have known this and would have written a significantly better list.

  • Cuchulain

    Orfeo Theatre Company. Amazingly talented actors, multiple Norton awards for the past couple of years, and their 2009 production of ‘Look Back in Anger’ still resonates.

    Plus, they still produce original work (unfortunately rare these days) and even develop new scripts with public readings at Mr. Dooley’s (rarer still).

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    check out the site for quality music, music videos, lice concerts, movies downloads

  • jbpr

    Publlck Theatre Boston needs to be in the mix too.

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