Our History

The historic Washington County Playhouse opened its doors in 1985. It has been operating continuously since that date in its current location. Nestled behind Hagerstown’s City Hall on Cramer Alley, The Playhouse produces live stage productions paired with delicious meals.

Washington County Playhouse has always been a small business that is family and privately owned. Current owners Laura and Shawn Martin are the fifth family to own and operate the thirty six year old theater. The Martins were preceded by Loretta and Jeff Czerbinski, Kelly Jenkins Moreland and Dixie Odermatt, Don Wiswell, and Bruce Levin.ย 

The Martins purchased The Playhouse in 2015. During their tenure, it has experienced a renaissance in Hagerstown’s Arts and Entertainment District and City Center.

Prior to the 2020 Covid-19 shutdown, the theater boasted its largest audiences and biggest staff in Playhouse history. While Covid-19 made it impossible to retain the theater’s internal staff, The Martins have taken time during the shutdown to reimagine The Playhouse’s staffing model. The Playhouse will now operate as a non-union professional dinner theater where all performers are paid. The tradition of performers having the opportunity to “act” as your table’s server will continue! It’s a dinner theater tradition and will be a part of The Playhouse’s ongoing evolution.

The Playhouse’s sole mission is to entertain.

For 36 years, The Playhouse has been a community gathering place where people of good will can be entertained (or entertain others) and make memories! Laura and Shawn are committed to preserving this historic venue, ensuring that The Playhouse exists for future generations to enjoy, while continuing to enhance the quality of life in Hagerstown, Washington County and beyond.