On the surface, L.A. might seem to be all about movies and TV. Look beyond the glitz and glamour, however, and you’ll find a wide range of community theaters in Los Angeles. Whether you’re trying to break into the entertainment business in California, or you simply want to fit in some theater around your day job, these friendly — and high-caliber — theater groups have you covered.
As a bonus, we’re also including a selection of semi-professional and professional theaters in Los Angeles. (Jump to this section)
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Community Theater Groups in Los Angeles, California
Community theaters come and go — to save you the hassle of searching through hundreds of websites, we did it for you! All of these Los Angeles community theaters are active and welcoming new actors and singers.
1. Long Beach Playhouse
The Long Beach Playhouse has two theaters: the Mainstage Theatre and the Studio Theatre. In addition to a range of plays and musicals, this group hosts adult and youth theater workshops and the annual New Works Festival. Past seasons have included plays such as Noises Off, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Tempest, as well as musicals like Company, Hair, and Assassins.
2. Costa Mesa Playhouse
Enjoy an intimate Los Angeles community theater experience at the Costa Mesa Playhouse. With just 73 seats, this small space keeps you close to the audience. It’s a fantastic setting for plays and musicals like The Who’s Tommy, The 39 Steps, Violet, and A Streetcar Named Desire.
3. Westminster Community Playhouse
The Westminster Community Playhouse has a long tradition of local theater in the Los Angeles area — it’s been welcoming actors and audiences since 1961. All performances take place in the playhouse itself, a small black box theater with fewer than 150 seats. This group produces both plays and musicals; past seasons have included everything from South Pacific and The Wedding Singer to The Laramie Project and Lend Me a Tenor.
4. West Valley Playhouse
If you’re interested in auditioning for classic plays, check out the West Valley Playhouse. Recent seasons have included Twelve Angry Jurors, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Pygmalion, and Twelfth Night. This L.A.-based community theater also produces the occasional musical.
5. Chino Community Theatre
The Chino Community Theatre puts on six or seven productions a year, making it one of the more active local theater groups in Los Angeles. The majority of shows are plays; 2019 included Edward Albee’s Marriage Play and Baby With the Bathwater. About twice per year, you can audition for musicals like Mamma Mia, Young Frankenstein, or Next to Normal.
6. Torrance Theatre Company
The Torrance Theatre Company produces an average of six shows per year; usually, the season includes 1-2 musicals and 4-5 plays. Past productions include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Sister Act, Silent Sky, and Charley’s Aunt.
7. Cornerstone Theater Company
Cornerstone Theater Company is nurturing the future of the American theater landscape. Each cycle of plays consists of original, commissioned, and adapted works, each oriented around a theme. The Justice Cycle, for example, examined the role of laws in creating and disrupting communities. Cornerstone is currently producing the Change Series, which dives into the sea changes happening in L.A., the United States, and around the world. Follow the group’s Facebook page for audition notifications, performances, and educational workshops.
8. No Square Theatre
No Square Theatre does a wonderful job of engaging with the community, hosting watch parties, open mic nights, and concerts between productions. Speaking of productions — they trend toward large-cast musicals such as Cry-Baby, Matilda, Heathers, Annie, and Monty Python’s Spamalot. If you’re new to community theater, check out the group’s helpful audition tips or attend one of the theater workshops and classes. This community theater maintains an active YouTube channel, so you can get a sense of the vibe.
9. Act Out Theatre Company
The Act Out Theatre Company hosts three large-scale musicals or plays every year. Most shows are open to actors and singers aged 6th grade to adult. This community theater group prides itself on a true sense of community; it actively encourages diversity, all while offering free theater and arts classes to youth in the Long Beach area.
10. Whittier Community Theatre
The Whittier Community Theatre has been active in the Los Angeles metro area since 1922 — it’s one of the oldest community theaters in the western United States. Each season consists of four shows: three plays and an early-fall musical. Past productions include Steel Magnolias, Young Frankenstein, Leading Ladies, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. If you love to play for a larger house, this is a great group; it performs in the 396-seat Center Theatre. Skip the website (it’s a ghost town) and go straight to Facebook for updates and audition information.
11. Surf City Theatre Company
The Surf City Theatre Company is everything you want out of a community theater — it’s warm and welcoming, with a distinct Los Angeles flair. This theater group, which performs on the second floor of the Surf City Community Center, sticks mostly to plays. Recent offerings include Rumors, Making God Laugh, The Deadly Game, and Mousetrap.
12. Newport Theatre Arts Center
With its charming, 90-seat venue, the Newport Theatre Arts Center is a hub for community theater in Newport Beach. Productions range from plays like Lend Me a Tenor and Proof to musicals such as The Spitfire Grill and Oklahoma!.
13. Modjeska Playhouse
The Modjeska Playhouse is a relative newcomer to the Los Angeles community theater scene. Since it opened in 2007, this small but scrappy group has put up indie plays and musicals such as Baggage, Swiped the Musical, and A Series of Unscripted Events.
Semi-Professional and Professional Theaters in Los Angeles
Looking for even more theater auditions in Los Angeles? There are plenty of semi-professional and professional theaters in the area that work with local actors. We’ve narrowed our selection to those who accept non-Equity actors.
Inland Valley Repertory Theatre
Center Stage Theater
Glendale Centre Theatre
Center Theatre Group
Sacred Fools Theater Company
The Eclectic Company Theatre
Did we miss one of your favorite community theaters in Los Angeles? Let us know, and we’ll add it to the list!