Board of Directors
The Ghent Playhouse
The Ghent Playhouse is non profit volunteer run community theater. Now in its 45th year, the Ghent Playhouse is a fully-functioning, handicap accessible, jewel of a theater in Ghent NY. The Theater is equipped with new comfortable seating, modern accessible restrooms and air conditioning! The historic building also contains a set shop, dressing rooms, kitchenette, costume storage and sophisticated lighting and sound systems. Drawing talent from all around the Hudson Valley and beyond, the playhouse now presents five diverse productions each year.
Join us this season and see for yourself.
In July of 1892 the Ghent Town Board purchased land from John H Rivenburgh and his wife Sara for $100. In September of 1893, $1,000 was borrowed from the State Bank of Chatham for the purpose of financing the constructing of the first Ghent Town Hall. By February 24th, 1894 the Town Board had moved into the new structure and called it the “Town House.” In 1910 the Electric Light Company of Chatham installed the first eclectic lights in the building at a budget “not to exceed $20.” At the 1915 September town board meeting, the board agreed to build a large addition on to the back of the building to house a stage. The new stage was used for community dances, Ghent Band performances and in 1933 even vaudeville shows rented the space such as “Gibbs Vaudeville Show.” In 1976 to celebrate the Bicentennial the town board authorized the purchase of two oak trees, the committee planted them on either side of the building with a commemorative plaque in front; both the trees and the plaque remain today. By late 1980s the town had outgrown the small and outdated wooden building, at which time housed both the Post Office as well as the town offices. In 1987 the town vacated the building, moving their offices up 66 into the larger former Ghent school - leaving the town hall empty.
Meanwhile, in 1974 a group of young actors formed the Columbia Civic Players, a nomadic theater group that would perform wherever and whenever space was available - in auditoriums, churches and even local restaurants! In 1987 the "players" leased the former Ghent town hall and renamed it The Ghent Playhouse. Following several years of reconstruction and renovations, the first show, "Carnival," opened in January 1989 in the new theater. In 2001 the building was officially purchased from the town and after a successful capital campaign an extensive construction and upgrading program began. That same year the Columbia Civic Players became officially known as The Ghent Playhouse, Inc. Today The Ghent Playhouse continues to thrive and has become a celebrated arts organization in the region.