Sharadin Bigler Theatre
The Sharadin Bigler Theatre, one of the oldest theaters in Lancaster County, is an intimate, newly renovated theater located within the pastoral and beautiful surroundings of the Ephrata Community Park. It is operated by the Ephrata Performing Arts Center (EPAC) and provides theatrical entertainment for all ages.
The Ephrata Performing Arts Center has been producing and performing high quality productions for the community of Central Pennsylvania for the last 25 years. The Eicher family, who acquired the land in 1734, originally owned the property where the Playhouse is located. In 1912, the Borough of Ephrata took over ownership and designated that it be used as a public park. The original Eicher Barn was torn down and a pavilion was erected on its foundation. The pavilion was used as a dance hall and roller rink.
During the Great Depression, the building fell into disrepair but in 1935, the American Legion obtained the building and restored it. In 1953, a producer from New York named John Cameron began producing star packages under the title of "Legion Star Playhouse". The Playhouse has become an integral part of Ephrata's heritage and holds the position of one of the longest continuously running summer theaters in the country. After John Cameron's departure from Ephrata in 1972, a group of citizens began to present and produce plays to preserve the tradition of the "Playhouse in the Park". The group evolved and was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1979. The Ephrata Performing Arts Center has been producing some of the finest theater productions in the area ever since.
In 2001, EPAC began a capital campaign to renovate the "Playhouse" with air conditioning, indoor restrooms, rehearsal halls, and offices. They raised over 1.7 million dollars with the Borough of Ephrata committing $300,000 and issuing a general obligation note for $700,000 for the 2.4 million dollar project. EPAC's 2004 season was the first in the newly renovated theater.
For more information concerning the playhouse, productions and season ticket purchases please visit their website or call 717-733-7966.