Founded in 1994, Lantern Theater Company is committed to an authentic and intimate exploration of the human spirit in its choice of classics, modern, and original works. The Lantern seeks to be a vibrant, contributing member of its community, exposing audiences to great theater, inviting participation in dialogue and discussion, educating audience members about artistic and social issues, and employing theatrical language and techniques to enrich learning in the classroom. The Lantern reaches a loyal and growing audience of over 18,000 each season through three core programs: Mainstage Productions that are smart, fun, engaging, and connected to the modern world; Lantern Theater Company: In Conversation, its audience enrichment program that offers an insider’s look at each production with Lantern artists and guest scholars; and Illumination, its innovative and award-winning education program that engages local students and adults in the world of theater and nurtures their artistic expression through in-school residencies, student matinee performances, and teaching artist training for after-school programs.
Philadelphia Weeklynamed the Lantern “Best Theater Company” in 2008, describing the company’s selection of plays as “impressively diverse in genre and style.” The Lantern has received 71 Barrymore Award nominations, winning 15 times including the 2009 Barrymore Award for Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service. Lantern Theater Company has been in residence at St. Stephen’s Theater at 10th & Ludlow Streets in Center City Philadelphia since 1996, managing the performance space and developing it into an affordable multi-purpose performing arts venue.