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Great Lakes Theatre Festival


Great Lakes Theatre Festival

The Exterior of the New Hanna Theatre

(courtesy of GLTF)
Great Lakes Theatre Festival

"A Christmas Carol"

(courtesy of GLTF)

Great Lakes Theatre Festival is a permanent theater compnay, based at Cleveland's Playhouse Square. GLTF began in the 1950s as a Shakesperean troupe, but has expanded to add works from other classic playwrights. They produce five unique productions each season.


Great Lakes Theater Festival began in 1961, the brain-child of Antioch College English professor, Arthur Lithgow (the father of actor, John Lithgow). The original name was the Great Lakes Shakespearean Festival and performances were held at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium.

The repertory expanded in 1965 to include non-Shakespearean works and the troupe moved to the Ohio Theater at Playhouse Square in 1982 and to the Hanna Theatre at Playhouse Square in 2008.

Hanna Theatre Renovation:

All of the GLTF performances are held at the newly-renovated Hanna Theatre on E. 13th Street, except for the annual production of "A Christmas Carol," which is held across the street at the Ohio Theater. The Hanna Theater seats 550.

2013/2014 Season:

The 2013/2014 season will include:

  • "Richard III" by William Shakespeare - September 27 to November 3
  • "Sweeney Todd" with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim - October 4 - November 2
  • "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens - November 30 - December 22
  • "Deathtrap" by Ira Levin - February 21 - March 16
  • "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare - April 4 - 19


Getting Tickets to Great Lakes Theatre Festival Performances:

Ticket to Great Lakes Theatre Festival performances are available via the GLTF Web site or by calling 216 241-6000.

Notable Alumnae of the Great Lakes Theatre Festival:

Among the many talented actors that have appeared in GLTF productions over the years are Tom Hanks, John Lithgow, Hal Holbrook, Jean Stapleton, Olympia Dukakis, Celeste Holm, and Piper Laurie.

Hotels near the Hanna Theatre:

Out-of-towners can stay at the Wyndham Hotel Playhouse Square (check rates), located right across the street from the theaters, or the Ritz Carlton (check rates) and the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel at Public Square (check rates).

Contact Information:

Great Lakes Theatre Festival
1501 Euclid Avenue, Suite 130
Cleveland, OH 44115
216 241-5490

(updated 2-3-13)

2008/2009 Season:

The Great Lakes Theatre Festival's 2008/2009 season will feature "MacBeth" by Shakespeare, "Into the Woods" by Stephen Sondheim, "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, "A Comedy of Errors" by Shakespeare, and "The Seagull" by Chekhov. All except for "A Christmas Carol" will be produced in the new Hanna Theatre.

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