History of the Playhouse

The Putnam County Playhouse was organized in late 1961 by a group of people in Greencastle, Indiana. Their purpose was outlined in their philosophy, and the motto of the group was, “To provide the people of the county and the surrounding area with the opportunity to participate in and enjoy live theatre.” For the first seasons, the plays and musicals were presented in various venues around the town of Greencastle. Photos from many of our productions are available in the Photo Album under the “Community” tab above. Not all shows are represented in the Photo Album. If you have a photo to share, please email a .jpeg with proper identification and participants by clicking HERE. For a COMPLETE list of our productions from the first season, check out the Attendance History link under the “About” tab.

Under the leadership of then president James Poor, PCPH accepted the gift of a parcel of property from Mrs. Hazel Day Longden. For more Information on Hazel Day Longden click HERE. The land contained two barn buildings. For the seasons of 1981 and 1982, plays and musicals were presented on an outdoor stage with bleacher seating. By 1983, the funds had been raised to convert the larger structure, a barn built in 1918, into an intimate 220-seat theatre.The Hazel Day Longden Barn Theatre had its grand opening on June 4, 1983. Past performers presented a program of scenes and songs that had been produced by PCP in its early years.The Putnam County Playhouse is active from June thru September each year. It presents two musicals and two plays during those sixteen weeks. Every other year, a children’s workshop play is also produced.In 1993, extensive work was done on the physical plant. A fly area was added and a new workshop and costume loft were constructed. The following year, a moderate cooling system was added and posts in the auditorium were removed. In April 2000, aluminum siding was added to the barn. Most recently, the seating system was completely replaced and the theater now seats 198 people.

During our 50th anniversary year in 2011, the Banner-Graphic published a 5-part history of the Putnam County Playhouse. Click on the links below to read the articles:

Part One: “Only the beginning: Putnam County Playhouse in the ’60s

Part Two: “Playhouse navigates bumps in the road in the 1970s

Part Three: “Playhouse is reborn in a barn

Part Four: “Putnam County Playhouse enters 21st century on a roll

Part Five: “Playhouse 50 years old, growing even stronger