Playhouse Merced enriches, engages and entertains the diverse communities of Merced and the Central Valley by providing exceptional live theater and arts education rooted in strong community involvement.
Founded in 1994 as the Merced Center for the Performing Arts, Playhouse Merced has grown over the years into the area's premier theatre organization, presenting a Mainstage season of at least a dozen shows and special events annually. Additionally, the youth Conservatory offers after-school instruction in theatre, voice and dance, provides educational opportunities through outreach to outlying communities and presents acclaimed theatre summer camps for young people.
Playhouse Merced is one of Merced County's "Top Ten Attractions," with over 20,000 visitors annually, with upwards of 40% of those visitors from out of town.
Playhouse Merced boasts a budget, staff and theatrical offerings that are more in line with a city of 200,000 - 300,000, than with the 75,000 that make up the city of Merced.
Producing since 1994, Playhouse Merced offers musicals, dramas, comedies, classics and children's theatre offerings, all created with an attention to detail and professionalism, by a mixture of professional staff, community actors and volunteers and visiting artists.
The performing arts promote CULTURAL TOURISM, which is a key component in the economic development of any metropolitan area. Arts and culture contribute to the identity and cohesion of a community, help to increase literacy, break down social barriers and help foster economic development