Meet Santa Fe Playhouse
Santa Fe Playhouse brings an Off-Broadway sensibility to the City Different. Now in its 100th year, the Playhouse has evolved from a roving community theater group with no permanent home to a bustling regional theater, located in the historic Barrio de Analco, that offers some of the Southwest’s most exciting performing arts.
The Centennial Season includes staples and classics (Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance; A Year with Frog and Toad by Robert and Willie Reale) as well as cutting-edge contemporary works (The Effect by Lucy Prebble; The Mountaintop by Katori Hall). Productions also include the inaugural installment of the Skeletal Series — solo shows by local and national playwrights and performers in July and August — and An Iliad, an update to Homer’s epic by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, performed in October by a member of North Carolina’s RhinoLeap Productions.
For those who want to get in on Santa Fe tradition, the 100th Santa Fe Fiesta Melodrama opens in late August. Written by an anonymous group of local scribes, this annual production pokes fun at all things City Different, from politics to local celebrities to the weather. No one is safe from send-up, so it’s never been without controversy. In 2022 — keeping with the times — the Fiesta Melodrama puts itself on trial. Even if you think you know everything that makes Santa Fe special, you don’t really know this place until you see a Fiesta Melodrama, the true insider’s arts and culture event.
Other programming includes SWAIA Performances, a series co-curated by the Playhouse’s artistic director and the performing arts coordinator of Southwest Association for Indian Arts, the organization that holds the annual Indian Market. SWAIA Performances happen about once every six weeks and feature Indigenous dancers, musicians, writers, and visual and performance artists in high-energy live events. And through Playhouse Studio, aspiring and experienced actors and theater artists get professional training in acting styles, movement, audition training, directing, and other areas. The 2022 Summer Youth Theater Intensive offers a two-week immersion in bilingual Shakespeare and audition prep.
Since its founding by Mary Austin as the Santa Fe Players in 1922, the Playhouse has grown from an all-volunteer organization to a professional theater where actors and technical artists are paid for their creativity. As the city, the country, and the world changes, the Playhouse offers compelling productions that provoke difficult conversations with compassion, while pushing theatrical forms and opening doors for artists of all backgrounds and identities.