The CHARLES PLAYHOUSE has had a long and varied history in Boston’s Theatre District since its beginnings. The venue was originally designed and built in 1839 as the Fifth Universalist Church, by renowned architect Asher Benjamin. In 1864 it became the first synagogue in Boston, home of congregation Ohabei Shalom, before its transformation during Prohibition into a speakeasy called “The Lido Venice.” In the 1940s, during the heyday of Boston’s PostWorld War II nightclub scene, the upstairs (mainstage) was converted into a fashionable nightclub, “Storyland,” while downstairs was transformed with hot jazz by artists such as Fats Waller and Earl Fatha Hines.
The venue became the Charles Playhouse in 1958, when the building was named home to The Actors Company, a group of Boston University graduates who included among their performers, Olympia Dukakis. The Charles Playhouse name originated from The Actors Company’s first home, located at the Charles Street Playhouse at 54 Charles Street, at the base of Beacon Hill. Boston drama critic Elliot Norton wrote that the venue’s rich history gave it “the proper sinned-in atmosphere to become a great theater.” The Charles Playhouse quickly moved to the forefront of America’s regional theater movement, premiering works by Brecht, O’Neill, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams and featured performances by many stars-to-be including Al Pacino, Jill Clayburgh and Jane Alexander. The Charles Playhouse was home to the longest play in American History, the hilarious whodunnit, Shear Madness, for over 40 years, and is home to the critically acclaimed Blue Man Group, currently celebrating 25 years in Boston. The venue is owned and operated by Broadway In Boston.
- Selects this section on the seating chart: Orchestra,
- Selects this section on the seating chart: Balcony,
- Selects this section on the seating chart: Accessible Seating,
11AM, SUNDAY, AUGUST 20, 2023: SENSORY FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE BOSTON
Full details about this performance can be found HERE.
The Charles Playhouse is accessible via a wheelchair lift system for patrons with mobility issues. The House Staff is also available at all times to assist patrons with access needs. Please note that the lift does not reach the balcony level.
Wheelchair locations are available for Blue Man Group performances. Guests with accessibility questions should email CharlesADA@broadwayinboston.com or call (617) 426-6912.
Wheelchair accessible restrooms are located on the ground level in the lounge.
Patrons can be dropped off and picked up in front of the theatre, but there is currently no handicapped accessible parking. Walking distance to the theatre varies based on where you’re parked and can range between one and two blocks.
Charles Playhouse (“Theater”) is committed to creating a safe, comfortable and enjoyable entertainment experience for all of our patrons. Guests have a right to expect an environment where:
- Guests will be treated in a consistent, professional and courteous manner by all Theater personnel.
- Guests will assist in creating a safe and enjoyable environment by reporting inappropriate behavior to an Usher or Security Officer.
- Guests will comply with requests from venue staff and security regarding facility operations and emergency response procedures.
- Guests will sit only in their ticketed seats and show their tickets when requested.
- Guests will consume alcoholic beverages in a responsible manner and in compliance with law.
- Guests who engage in fighting, throwing objects, using foul/abusive language or gestures, attempting to enter restricted areas or engaging in other behavior detrimental to the experience of other guests will be immediately ejected from the venue.
- Guests will not interfere with the event or performers in any way.
- Guests will not smoke anywhere inside the Theater at any time.
- Guests will wear a shirt, shoes and lower garments at all times.
Your ticket is a revocable license exclusively valid for the event listed on the ticket and is additionally subject to the full terms and conditions found at www.ticketmaster.com and additional terms that are listed on or incorporated into the back of the ticket. Theater Management reserves the right to revoke this license without refund for non-compliance with any Ticketmaster and/or Theater terms and policies.
Theater staff may intervene where necessary to help ensure that the above expectations are met, and guests are encouraged to report any inappropriate behavior to the nearest usher, security guard, or staff member. Guests who choose not to adhere to these provisions may be subject to ejection without refund and, to the extent their conduct constitutes a violation of law, may be subject to arrest and prosecution.
All persons and bags are subject to search. Sharp objects, weapons and illegal contraband are not permitted into the venue. For your own safety, and that of all of our patrons, guests may be required to undergo electronic security screening at the entrances to the Theater.
The items listed below, and any additional items that Theater management determines could potentially distract from the audience’s safety and enjoyment, are prohibited items which will not be allowed inside the venue. The Theater reserves the right to eject or bar entry to patrons who have such prohibited items in their possession.
- CAMERAS WITH EXTERNAL FLASH OR INTERCHANGEABLE LENSES (NO PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION)
- TRIPODS/ MONOPODS
- LASER POINTERS
- ILLEGAL DRUGS/SUBSTANCES
- CHEMICAL WEAPONS, including mace and pepper spray
- NOISE MAKING DEVICES
- OPTICAL ILLUSIONS
- SIGNS/ FLAGS/ BANNERS
- OUTSIDE FOOD OR BEVERAGE, INCLUDING ALCOHOL
- OVERSIZED BAGS
- BEACH BALLS OR PROJECTILES
- SKATEBOARDS/SCOOTERS/ROLLER BLADES
- CANS OR BOTTLES
- PETS (SERVICE ANIMALS EXEMPT)
The Charles Playhouse is happy to validate parking at the 200 Stuart Street Garage. Validation is $10.00 for up to 5 hours after 4pm during the week and on weekends. See a member of the Charles Playhouse staff to receive your validation sticker. Please note that validation is unavailable when reserving a spot in advance.