America's Oldest · Founded 1808

Walnut Street Theatre Announces Its 209th Anniversary Season!

March 24, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Walnut Street Theatre, America’s oldest theatre and a National Historic Landmark, is pleased to announce its landmark 209th season of live entertainment and its 35th season as a not-for-profit producing theatre company. The line-up includes three dazzling musicals, the exciting 2016 Tony Award-winning Best Play, and a hit revival filled with behind-the-scenes comic chaos. As a self-producing regional theatre, the Walnut has become not only the most popular theatre company in Philadelphia, but also the most subscribed theatre company in the world.

Producing Artistic Director Bernard Havard is proud to announce the 2017-2018 Mainstage season noting, “We wouldn’t be Philadelphia’s most popular theatre company without our loyal audiences. I’m looking forward to sharing shows selected just for them, Broadway hits with real heart. I’m thrilled to announce our 209th Anniversary Season, which is one of the biggest seasons we’ve ever had. We’ll showcase Philadelphia’s sensational artistic talent, both on stage and behind-the-scenes, in Tony-Award-winning plays and musicals. Our productions are created right here in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection. They are incredible professional productions that can only be seen in Philadelphia at America’s oldest theatre.”

Audiences will be treated to Stephen Sondheim’s hilarious Broadway musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; Broadway’s dream-come-true musical Annie; the 2016 Tony Award-winning Best Play, The Humans; and the rip-roaring backstage comedy, Noises Off. Next season ends a spectacular musical that will have audiences dancing in the aisles, Mamma Mia!


The Walnut opens its 209th season with Stephen Sondheim’s classic Tony Award-winning Best Musical A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. One of the funniest Broadway shows ever written; it’s a nonstop laugh-fest in which Pseudolus, a crafty slave,

struggles to win the hand of a beautiful, but slow-witted, courtesan named Philia for his young master, Hero, in exchange for freedom. The plot twists and turns with cases of mistaken identity, slamming doors and a bevy of beautiful showgirls. This unforgettable, hysterical musical comedy will have you laughing all the way to the Forum with "something for everyone, a comedy tonight!" (September 5 – October 22)

Leapin’ Lizards! Celebrate the holiday season with one of the world’s best-loved musicals! ANNIE is a spunky orphan in 1930s New York City determined to find her parents. In one fun-filled adventure after another, ANNIE foils Miss Hannigan’s evil schemes, befriends President Roosevelt and finds a new home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace and a lovable mutt named Sandy. This Tony Award-winning Best Musical for the entire family features some of the greatest musical theatre hits ever written including “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” plus the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.” ANNIE will fill audience’s hearts with joy! (November 7 – January 7)

The season will continue with the winner of over twenty 2016 Best Play Awards, including the Tony Award, THE HUMANS. After a sleepless night, Erik Blake has brought his family from Pennsylvania to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter’s new apartment in lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the crumbling pre-war duplex, mysterious things start to go bump in the night and family tensions reach a boiling point. The angst, anguish and amity of the American middle class are first coaxed - then shoved - into the light in this sidesplitting, hopeful and heartbreaking new play. Entertainment Weekly raves THE HUMANS is “hilarious and unforgettable - the best play of the year!” (January 16 – March 4)

Next up, audiences should brace themselves for comic chaos with the rip-roaring play within a play, NOISES OFF. The Opening Night performance of the farce Nothing On is just hours away, and as the cast stumbles through their final dress rehearsal, things couldn't be going any worse. With lines being forgotten, love triangles unraveling and sardines flying everywhere, it’s complete pandemonium… and we haven’t even reached intermission! Can the cast pull their act together on the stage even if they can't behind the scenes? Full of amazing surprises and glorious humor, you will relish every delicious moment of this classic comedy that The New York Times exclaims, “voyages to the outer limits of hilarity!” (March 13 – April 29)

Finally, put on some platform shoes, a feather boa and get ready for one of the most popular musicals of all time, MAMMA MIA! On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings 3 men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. This sensational production contains ABBA's greatest hits, including Super Trouper,” “Lay All Your Love On Me,” “Dancing Queen,” “Waterlooand more! Over 60 million people all around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make MAMMA MIA! the ultimate feel-good musical! (May 15 – July 15)


The only way to guarantee the best seats is to subscribe. Subscriptions are available now for as little as $99 a season – up to a 75% savings off regular ticket prices!

Individual tickets do not go on sale until August 13, 2017. All show titles, dates and subscription prices are subject to change. For information on season subscriptions, call the Walnut at 215-574-3550 ext. 6 (10AM – 10PM) or visit our website at