Inside the new Playhouse on the Square

Posted by Holly Whitfield | March 23rd 2010 3505 0

Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, Tenn.

Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, Tenn.

There’s been a lot of movement in the Memphis theatre community lately. The old Circuit Playhouse was taken over by Theatreworks and renamed the Evergreen Playhouse. Circuit Playhouse moved to Overton Square. Most notably, Memphis’s only professional, resident theatre, Playhouse on the Square, moved into its new building at the corner of Union and Cooper.

Inside the new Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, Tenn.

Inside the new Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, Tenn.

The new, 347-seat theater opened in January. It’s a far cry from Playhouse’s old digs – there are 100 more seats, but the setting is way more intimate (none of the seats are more than 30 feet from the stage). I didn’t realize until my tour guide, Andrew, pointed it out, but all of the theater’s concrete and wood details improve the acoustics in the room.

The stage is larger and it’s got all sorts of hidden components (trap doors, an orchestra pit, and 29 fly lines). Meaning, when Peter Pan plays later this year, Peter will actually be able to fly.

Main lobby, Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, Tenn.

Main lobby, Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, Tenn.

The new theater also is home to rehearsal space, costume and set shops and the company’s offices. One room that’s used for dance rehearsals (Ballet Memphis uses the space) has a spring-loaded floor. There’s also a spacious lobby with a bar, and a cafe that will one day be fully functional. On the roof, there’s a sound-proofed roof garden that can be rented out for parties.

Playhouse on the Square is home to a a professional resident company of actors, designers and technical workers.

Currently, Playhouse is showing “Frost/Nixon”, a show about the televised interviews between journalist David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.

Go There:

Playhouse on the Square

66 S. Cooper

Memphis, TN 38104

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Show Comments


  1. Nice. Thanks for the interior pics. Very exciting for both Midtown and the entire metro area.

  2. Jere Douglas says:

    WOW, that’s wonderful progress for Playhouse on the Square. A lot of us got our start there back in the day. Thank You Memphis!

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  4. […] cheating a bit with this one – I took it last week when I visited Playhouse on the Square’s new space. My Sunday wasn’t really very photogenic. Leave a comment | Trackback No comments […]

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