The History of Flat Rock Playhouse
In 1937, a group of struggling performers, led by Robroy Farquhar, organized themselves as the Vagabond Players. The Vagabonds worked in a variety of places over the course of three years, and in 1940 found themselves in the Blue Ridge region of Western North Carolina. The local and tourist community welcomed them with open arms when they presented their first summer season of plays in a 150-year-old grist mill they converted into The Old Mill Playhouse at Highland Lake.
So successful was that summer, they returned in 1941. After WWII, the Vagabond Players reorganized, came back to the region and opened a playhouse in nearby Lake Summit. The Lake Summit Playhouse thrived during the post-war years and soon the Vagabond Players were looking for a larger and permanent home. In 1952, the troupe of performers, and a newly formed board of directors, made an offer to buy an 8-acre lot in the Village of Flat Rock. This new home made the Vagabonds “locals” and a rented big top gave birth to the Flat Rock Playhouse.
As the beautiful Western Carolina region continued to grow, so did the Playhouse and in 1961, by Act of the North Carolina General Assembly, Flat Rock Playhouse was officially designated The State Theatre of North Carolina. What began as a few weeks of summer performances in 1940 is now a nine-month season of plays including Broadway musicals, comedy, drama, and theatre for young audiences.
The Playhouse’s dual mission of producing the performing arts and providing education in the performing arts includes a professional series, a summer and fall college apprentice and intern program, year-round classes and workshops for students from kindergarten through adults. Flat Rock Playhouse now hosts over 100,000 patrons annually and is a significant contributor to the local economy and the Arts in North Carolina.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Flat Rock Playhouse?
- We have two locations. Our 500 seat mainstage located at 2661 Greenville Highway in Flat Rock. Our 250 seat Playhouse Downtown is located at 125 S. Main Street in Hendersonville. Flat Rock Playhouse is located about half an hour south of Asheville, 45 minutes north of Greenville.
What are your Box Office Hours?
- During the season, our Box Office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM, later if there is a show.
Are all of your shows family friendly?
- Most of them are. If you have questions about the appropriateness of a particular show, please call our Box Office.
Are discounts available?
- Yes, we offer discounts for groups and for individuals including student, senior, military and AAA discounts.
Are there dining facilities at Flat Rock Playhouse?
- No, however there are a multitude of excellent restaurants in both Flat Rock and Hendersonville. With that being said, both venues have concessions featuring snacks, beverages, wine and beer.
Is there parking at Flat Rock Playhouse?
- At the mainstage, there is parking. Upon entering the grounds, our dedicated team of parking staff will guide you where to park your vehicle. For the Playhouse Downtown, there is plenty of street parking on Main Street and the side streets of downtown Hendersonville. We recommend arriving early to secure a prime spot.
What is the dress code for Flat Rock Playhouse?
- Dress is casual, but you may want to bring a sweater. Especially during the summer, we try to keep our theaters cool for the comfort of our patrons and performers alike.
Can I purchase tickets online?
- Yes, you can purchase tickets for our productions online by visiting the show page you are interested in seeing, however it is less expensive if you visit us in person. Come see us! We’d love to see you and save you a few extra bucks! Please note that season’s tickets, Flex Plans, etc must be purchased either over the phone or in person.
Where can I locate a seating chart?
- When you click on the show of your choice, there is a penny icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. That is the seating chart for the particular venue.
How will I get the tickets I purchased?
- Your tickets will be under your last name at Will Call, unless you would like them mailed to your for a small fee.
How might one apply for job at Flat Rock Playhouse?
- Actors: Flat Rock Playhouse operates under an Actors’ Equity Association C.O.R.S.T. – Z contract. Annual auditions are held in New York, the South Eastern Theatre Conference, and the Western Carolina Theatre League Unified auditions. Submit headshot and resume electronically to Casting@Flatrockplayhouse.org.
- Local actors will be seen in Flat Rock typically in January or February. Keep checking the website and our Facebook page for more information.
- Directors/Choreographers: Artistic positions are filled appropriate to the needs of each season. Submit headshot and resume electronically to Lisa K. Bryant, Artistic Director. Lisa@Flatrockplayhouse.org
- Designers/Technicians: Design and technical positions are advertised through ArtSearch, Off Stage Jobs and other Internet based sites. Seasonal, year round and intern positions are posted as openings occur in the scenic, lighting, sound, costume and properties departments. Contracts range from single show job-in to partial or full season. Send your information electronically to Adam Goodrum, Production Manager. Adam@Flatrockplayhouse.org
- Administrative positions are posted on an as needed basis.
How does one become a volunteer for Flat Rock Playhouse?
- If you are interested in becoming an usher for Flat Rock Playhouse, please email Ushers@Flatrockplayhouse.org
- If you are interested in working with our Master Gardeners, please email Tamsin Alpress at Tallpress@Tamsinandcooke.com
- If you are interested in working with our volunteer guild, Supporting Players, please email Georgie Farmer Gigifarmer3@Gmail.com