A look into the history of the Bucks County Playhouse

ByAmanda Brady via Localish logo
Friday, September 23, 2022
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See the history of New Hope's Bucks County Playhouse, where actors like Grace Kelly, Robert Redford and Liza Minelli got their start.

NEW HOPE, Pa. -- The Bucks County Playhouse first opened its doors in 1939 in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

The former grist mill was a haven for Broadway actors who were looking to escape the heat of the New York City theatres that lacked air conditioning.

The summer stock theatre was the starting point for many great actors, such as Liza Minelli, Robert Redford and Grace Kelly.

In the 1970s, when Broadway upgraded to central air, the rise of the Summer Stock Theatre movement was no more and theatres were starting to shutter their doors.

Bucks County Playhouse remained in action until 2010, when it declared bankruptcy and was about to shutter its doors.

Broadway producer Jed Bernstein saw the potential in the theatre and with the help of the Bridge Street Foundation was able to turn the theatre around.

Today the theatre is still pulling big names and putting on popular shows and at the same time providing opportunities for budding directors and actors.