Francis Wilson Playhouse

Francis Wilson Playhouse Francis Wilson Playhouse is an award winning community theater in Clearwater, Florida. And she did!
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About FWP

You may have be wondering who was Francis Wilson and why does our Playhouse bear his name? If you had lived in the small town of Clearwater between 1905 and 1935, you might have seen him about town – he was short man with a jaunty step, a ready smile, expressive eyes and often wore a straw hat. If you had played golf, lawn bowling or bridge back then, you would have thought him charming

, kind and sincere in all he did. If you were his neighbor, you would have lived next to him at 400 Osceola Avenue – his house still stands today and is on the same bay as the Playhouse. It was during this time that Francis Wilson was well known as a celebrity on Broadway. He had the urge to entertain, had a preference for comedy – as most of us do – and having begun his career in Philadelphia as an entertainer back in the middle 1800′s, his experience on the stage was extensive. He was eventually so successful on stage that he formed his own theatre company and furthered his popularity off stage by protecting the interests of his fellow cast members and stage crews who were beginning to be exploited by an emerging Theatre Syndicate. And so, in 1913 he led a counterattack against this exploitation by forming what we now know as The Actors’ Equity Association. The results of his actions improved the actors’ working conditions, helped to assure the public of quality live theatre and most of all gave him the credibility to represent actors and the public in order to have community theatre prosper and grow. He was so committed to this cause that he actually came out of retirement at the age of 71 to play the role of “ACRES”, and in this role his portrait was painted and when you come to visit us, you will see it hanging in our lobby. With all his seventy one years of promoting quality stage performances, Francis Wilson’s greatest contribution to theatre took place in 1935 in Clearwater on the bay. Having inspired a group called The Little Theatre of Clearwater, he convinced his friend Mary Bokto loan him $5,000.00 (which back then was an enormous amount of money) he wanted to use this loan in order to provide this theatre group with a permanent home. She also graciously stated that the money would NOT be a loan, but considered a gift under the condition that the building would be a memorial to him and be called, THE FRANCIS WILSON PLAYHOUSE. Her proclamation was cast in bronze and hangs on our “giving tree wall”. When you come to visit us, please take the time to look at the stone chimneybreast, the bronze cast of Mary Bok can be seen just above the fireplace which dates back to 1935. The Theatre Membership was so enthusiastic and happy at the prospect of having their new “Little Theatre” that they held bridge luncheons, suppers, bingo games and all kinds of events to raise funds for furnishing the lobby and other interior public areas. And then with great civic pride, the Playhouse had its opening night on January 7, 1935.

Our 95th Season spotlights continue with our October production, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.The Orie...
05/20/2024

Our 95th Season spotlights continue with our October production, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.

The Orient Express is traveling through 1930’s Europe when an American businessman is discovered stabbed in his compartment. The iconic detective Hercule Poirot is then tasked with uncovering the killer on the train full of interesting passengers, lest the killer strike again.

Happy closing day to the cast, crew and creatives of A Little Night Music! A beautiful show to close out our 94th Season...
05/19/2024

Happy closing day to the cast, crew and creatives of A Little Night Music! A beautiful show to close out our 94th Season 🌙

Rejoin us starting September 5th with Wonderful Town, the start of Season 95! We couldn't do it without you, our guests, patrons and supporters. Thanks for making OUR Playhouse, YOUR Playhouse.

The final weekend of A Little Night Music is upon us! Our cast has been called "superb," "superlative" and "top notch En...
05/16/2024

The final weekend of A Little Night Music is upon us! Our cast has been called "superb," "superlative" and "top notch Entertainers of the highest calibre." Don't miss this Tony Award-winning Best Musical Broadway Classic.

And, don't forget to use the promo code ENDOF94 for $10 off each ticket, celebrating the end of our 94th Season!

Tickets are available by calling our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or going online https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210491

Beginning this week, our social media accounts will spotlight one of the shows of our upcoming season each Monday until ...
05/13/2024

Beginning this week, our social media accounts will spotlight one of the shows of our upcoming season each Monday until tickets go on sale July 1st.

Our 95th Season kicks off in September with Wonderful Town, a 1953 musical comedy. The musical follows two sisters who move from rural Ohio to bustling New York to follow their dreams. They encounter a variety of colorful characters and chance at finding love along the way.

Book by Jerome Chodorov & Joseph Fields, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden & Adolph Green.

To celebrate the end of our 94th Season, we are offering a special discount for the remaining seats of A Little Night Mu...
05/13/2024

To celebrate the end of our 94th Season, we are offering a special discount for the remaining seats of A Little Night Music... only $20.00 each for this enchanting musical comedy--this week only!

Enter Promo Code ENDOF94 for $10 off each ticket in your cart when checking out online. https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210491

It's double show day! We're spending our Saturday singing out and waltzing around the Playhouse... will you be joining u...
05/11/2024

It's double show day! We're spending our Saturday singing out and waltzing around the Playhouse... will you be joining us?

Catch Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, only through May 19th! Tickets are available by calling our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or going online https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210491

A fantastical exploration of desire and regret, A Little Night Music will have you by the heartstrings. Comedic, romanti...
05/09/2024

A fantastical exploration of desire and regret, A Little Night Music will have you by the heartstrings. Comedic, romantic, moving... with masterfully intricate music. Now through May 19th at Francis Wilson Playhouse!

Tickets are available by calling our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or going online https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210491

We are honored to announce that Francis Wilson Playhouse was named Best Community Theater in Tampa Bay Magazine's Best o...
05/07/2024

We are honored to announce that Francis Wilson Playhouse was named Best Community Theater in Tampa Bay Magazine's Best of 2024! Crediting our "classic" productions, "top-notch" performances, and volunteers, who truly support everything we do.

Come see us at the theater! 2 weekends remain of A Little Night Music, and an award-winning 95th Season awaits us...

Come spend "A Weekend in the Country" with us! Stephen Sondheim's musical comedy A Little Night Music opens TONIGHT and ...
05/02/2024

Come spend "A Weekend in the Country" with us! Stephen Sondheim's musical comedy A Little Night Music opens TONIGHT and runs through May 19th.

Explore a convoluted web of relationships through lyrical music, stunning costumes, breathtaking hand-painted drops, and of course an exceedingly talented cast.

Tickets are available by calling our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or going online https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210491

We are officially ONE WEEK away from opening A Little Night Music, a grand affair with one of the most acclaimed casts i...
04/25/2024

We are officially ONE WEEK away from opening A Little Night Music, a grand affair with one of the most acclaimed casts in FWP history!

Call our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or go online to book your tickets for a Night to remember: https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210491

Attention all current season ticket holders!! If you wish to renew your season subscription and keep your seats for our ...
04/23/2024

Attention all current season ticket holders!! If you wish to renew your season subscription and keep your seats for our dynamic new 95th Season of plays, musical and concerts, the deadline to contact our Box Office is April 30th.

Box Office Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10am-5pm
Phone: (727) 446-1360
Email: [email protected]

Costumer Karen Taylor and Assistant Costumer Liz Werlin have been having a grand time creating the sumptuous dresses and...
04/20/2024

Costumer Karen Taylor and Assistant Costumer Liz Werlin have been having a grand time creating the sumptuous dresses and elegant tailoring of the fin de siècle period of A Little Night Music. Here are a couple of actor photos taken during fittings--these represent about 5% of the total costumes on display in this lavish musical comedy!

See these costumes and more May 2nd-19th at the Playhouse! Call our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or go online to get your tickets now https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210491

04/17/2024

Take a glimpse into rehearsals for A Little Night Music, winner of multiple Tony Awards and our final production of the 94th season. Before you ask, YES, those are the voices of our very own talented cast members! This liltingly lyrical musical runs from May 2nd-19th at the Playhouse.

Call our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or go online to claim your seats now https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210491

Happy closing day to the cast, crew and creatives of The Play That Goes Wrong!Tickets are running low for today's perfor...
04/14/2024

Happy closing day to the cast, crew and creatives of The Play That Goes Wrong!

Tickets are running low for today's performances. Call our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or go online to secure your tickets for this must-see farce! https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210490

When things go wrong… the show must go on!This weekend is your last chance to laugh along with the woeful antics of the ...
04/11/2024

When things go wrong… the show must go on!

This weekend is your last chance to laugh along with the woeful antics of the Cornley Polytechnic Society. These players forge ahead no matter what, but will they make it to the final curtain?

Don’t forget our added performance on Sunday, April 14th at 7pm! Call our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or go online to claim your seats now https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210490

Don't lose your head! By popular demand, we are thrilled to present an **additional showing** of The Play That Goes Wron...
04/07/2024

Don't lose your head! By popular demand, we are thrilled to present an **additional showing** of The Play That Goes Wrong on Sunday, April 14th at 7pm.

Secure your tickets for an evening of raucous laughter by calling our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or going online https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210490

Who murdered Charles Haversham? Our brave, misguided players carry on through comic mishap after mishap, aiming to survi...
04/06/2024

Who murdered Charles Haversham? Our brave, misguided players carry on through comic mishap after mishap, aiming to survive to the finale and answer just that.

Tickets are nearly gone for this zany comedy, and you don't want to miss the mayhem. Only through April 14th!

Call our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or go online to snag your tickets now https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210490

The actors are prepared, the stage is set… the only thing missing is you, the audience!Join us for The Play That Goes Wr...
04/04/2024

The actors are prepared, the stage is set… the only thing missing is you, the audience!

Join us for The Play That Goes Wrong, opening TONIGHT and running through April 14th at the Playhouse.

Tickets are available by calling our Box Office (727) 446-1360 or online https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210490

The members of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society have been hard at work in rehearsals! Things haven’t always gone en...
03/29/2024

The members of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society have been hard at work in rehearsals! Things haven’t always gone entirely to plan, but every opening night has one or two minor snags, right?

Secure your tickets to The Play That Goes Wrong, April 4th-14th at the Playhouse! https://francisw.thundertix.com/events/210490

Happy World Theatre Day from Francis Wilson Playhouse!Today we share the joy and importance of theatre and celebrate the...
03/27/2024

Happy World Theatre Day from Francis Wilson Playhouse!

Today we share the joy and importance of theatre and celebrate the community that makes it all possible. As our 94th season draws nearer to a close, we are especially thankful to those who support our productions through their hard work, creativity, passion, attendance... the list goes on. See you at the Playhouse!

Announcing Francis Wilson Playhouse’s Award-Winning 95th Season!Featuring 4 musicals, 3 plays, and 4 concerts. Tickets f...
03/15/2024

Announcing Francis Wilson Playhouse’s Award-Winning 95th Season!

Featuring 4 musicals, 3 plays, and 4 concerts. Tickets for the season will be available to the public beginning July 1st.

Thanks for playing along with our hints these past two weeks. We saw lots of great (and correct) guesses!

The final hint for the shows of our upcoming season is finally here, and that can only mean one thing…Stay tuned for the...
03/14/2024

The final hint for the shows of our upcoming season is finally here, and that can only mean one thing…

Stay tuned for the full reveal, coming tomorrow!

Boy, is the sun shining on the Playhouse today AND in our sixth hint for the shows of our upcoming season.
03/13/2024

Boy, is the sun shining on the Playhouse today AND in our sixth hint for the shows of our upcoming season.

Don’t let your thoughts get stuck in a  whirl, the fifth hint for the shows of our upcoming season is here!
03/12/2024

Don’t let your thoughts get stuck in a whirl, the fifth hint for the shows of our upcoming season is here!

The fourth hint for the shows of our upcoming season has bloomed into a beautiful flower… but what kind of flower is it?
03/11/2024

The fourth hint for the shows of our upcoming season has bloomed into a beautiful flower… but what kind of flower is it?

Thank you to all who came out yesterday to be regaled with the Broadway music of 1975. Both concerts SOLD OUT! Although ...
03/10/2024

Thank you to all who came out yesterday to be regaled with the Broadway music of 1975. Both concerts SOLD OUT! Although this was our last concert of the season, you can look forward to a new concert series next season, to be announced soon...

Look out–the third hint for the shows of our upcoming season just blew in!
03/08/2024

Look out–the third hint for the shows of our upcoming season just blew in!

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302 Seminole Street
Clearwater, FL
33755

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