Giving Tuesday



Giving Tuesday is the perfect day to make a year-end contribution to the Hippodrome!

Like all non-profit arts organizations, the Hippodrome relies on community support to make up the difference between ticket sales and programming expenses. Even taking into consideration the past 10 years of funding cuts, today we fear that the relatively small amount of funding we receive from federal and state grants will be cut even further. As a community, we cannot sit back and wait for Washington or Tallahassee to make funding the arts in Gainesville a priority.

If the Hipp’s home in the heart of our historic downtown is important to you, then please add your name to our growing list of supporters! Every dollar counts! All contributions are leveraged back into our community through the programs we fund and create in our building.

Phone: 352-373-5968


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The Elephant Man: Free Tickets on April 20


Get the hottest ticket in Gainesville, FREE! If you haven’t had the chance to see The Elephant Man– THIS Wednesday at 7pm is your chance! The Hippodrome Theatre is celebrating their 35th anniversary on their current mainstage in a BIG way and want YOU to be a part of it!

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, this compelling story recently enjoyed a sold-out Broadway revival. The Elephant Man is based on the real life of Joseph Merrick, a 19th century British man on the traveling freak show circus, who was later rescued by a caring doctor and went on to become the darling of Victorian high-society. This production celebrates the 35th anniversary of the Hippodrome’s first production on our current mainstage.

$30 savings! Tonight only. Call the Hipp Box Office at 352-375-4477 to reserve your tickets ahead of time or walk up to the Box Office for first come, fist served seating.

Limited availability.


Behind the Spotlight: Bob Robins, Hipp Lighting Designer

Standing in the spotlight can be thrilling, nerve wracking, an adrenaline rush, but standing behind the spotlight, can be just as fascinating.

You may not know Bob or give him a standing ovation on a Saturday night, but you have seen his work scattered across Gainesville for the last 35 years.

Robert “Bob” Robins is the Hippodrome’s lighting designer and also designs lights for the Ocala Civic Theatre, Dance Alive National Ballet, Florida Repertory Theatre, and other places across the southeast region.

Bob lives by an organic process, and it’s one of the reasons he fell in love with the Hippodrome 31 years ago.

Bob asks himself, “How can I help shape the director’s vision? How does lighting help create the story?”

“Before designing the lighting, the physical world has to be created; the costumes, the set, the props. I let everyone else create the world first, and then I illuminate it,” says Bob.

For The Elephant Man, he looked at what the play was trying to convey to the audience. Joseph Merrick lived in a sterile world and was restricted by his deformity. Everyone saw him as an outcast and Bob captured that through the lighting.

“Merrick had a harsh, sharp existence. He was always on display and my lighting design goes along with those themes,” he said. “I use bright light and effects that sculpt the actor’s bodies since there is a simple set.”

Bob said capturing the actor’s voice and the story was his main goal and the design was about restrain.

The first step to designing light for a show is to create a light plot, which is similar to an architectural blueprint. After a technical dress rehearsal, he picks and chooses every light and configures them. There‘s a lot of algebra and geometry that goes into this and no two shows are ever the same at the Hippodrome.

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The next step is sending the information to Jed Daniels, the Hipp’s Master Electrician, and people come to set all the lights in place. A Hipp show can utilize up to 150 light bulbs, and each one takes anywhere from three to 10 minutes to set up.

“Every blub has to be touched, and since every show is different, it can take a good amount of time to get them just how I want them,” says Bob.

Bob’s love of theatre started when he was a little kid who enjoyed acting. His passion later turned to behind the scenes when he was a teenager.

“I walked into my high school auditorium and saw all the really cool lights. I thought to myself, I could do that,” he said.

He pursued a theatre production degree from the University of Florida, and before he could even graduate, he had a job at the Hippodrome Theatre.

He ran spotlight for the 1981 Hipp production of The Revenge of the Space Pandas. 


35 years later, Bob still has a love for his life career.

So the next time you’re standing in the Hippodrome audience, take a second and look up.



This new exhibit features four local Gainesville artists who collectively bring a dark, macabre whimsy to the Hipp Gallery space for the Halloween season. Brooke Madsen’s exhibit “one less bell to answer,” represents the plight of the housewife prior to the 1970s women’s movement. Cindy Steiller blends old doll parts and archival photographs. Lindy Mumade’s “Dark Shadows Barbie Dolls” includes crafted wardrobes and dolls which reenact scenes from the television series. Finally, Celino Dimitroff’s “Post industrial Highlights” features light assemblages made of found familiar objects.

Join us for the Artwalk, Friday October 28th 7-10pm


Play Observership

Get a Hipp Behind-the-Scenes Look into Halloween parody production!
The Hippodrome Theatre offers a behind-the-scenes look into Halloween stage parody, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane with Play Observership program starting September 23, 2016.  
Have you ever wondered what it’s like behind-the-scenes of a professional theatre? Now’s your chance! With the Hippodrome Theatre, become immersed in the theatrical creative process alongside the director, designers, actors and staff to experience how the production team takes a play from the page to the stage!
The Hippodrome Play Observership program offers the opportunity for the public to go behind-the-scenes at a professional regional theatre. You will be led through the creative process of a unique theatrical experience with the Southeastern Premiere production of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane: A Stage Horror Parody. This hysterical production is a new adaptation of the classic 1962 movie starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
Participants in the Observership will witness designer presentations, the cast table read of the script, additional rehearsals, and a backstage Hippodrome tour. The Observership culminates with a preview performance and post-show discussion with the cast and creative team. Cost for three classes is $75 and includes one ticket to the preview performance on Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, September 23  (12-3:00 p.m.) – Crash course on the classic movie and first rehearsal, where you will meet artistic director Lauren Caldwell, the cast, and the designers.
Friday, September 30th (3-5:00 p.m.) – Rehearsal.
Wednesday, October 12 (7-10 p.m.) – Preview performance and discussion.
Limited Early Bird Special: Register through the Hippodrome by September 4 and save $10. Call Hippodrome Box Office at 352-375-4477.
Make your reservation today and mark your calendar for a unique, educational and memorable experience!

Artwalk Gainesville

This August, the Hippodrome honors outstanding local artists in our gallery and celebrates the launch of our 44th theatrical season at the August Art Walk. Sara Morsey, Lorelei Esser and Marilyn Wall are three of our area’s most renowned artists, and together they form a powerhouse trio of imagination and creativity. The Hipp is honored to display new works by the award-winning theatrical performers and designers. Stroll through their new exhibit in the Hipp Art Gallery, and watch the sunset over downtown Gainesville while local musicians Jason Hedges and Sarah Darden perform live acoustic music on the front porch.

The historic Hippodrome building will be open for tours on August 26th at 7:30pm and 8:30pm by Hipp Managing Director Jessica Hurov, along with special pricing one-day pricing our mainstage season passes. Come meet the artists, musicians, Hipp staff, share a glass of wine or two, and join us in celebrating the new season of artistic excellence at the Hipp! The event is free and open to the public.

Tell us if you’re attending on Facebook!


Living Culture in Action – Workcenter's Open Program at the Hippodrome Theatre


This fall, the Hippodrome Theatre welcomes the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards for a two-week residency as the culmination of a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Hippodrome Theatre is proud to host the legendary theater company, the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, in collaboration with the National Endowment of the Arts. This collaboration is the first-of-its-kind for the Workcenter in North America: the Hippodrome Theatre is proud to be the first regional theatre in the States to host in residence this international ensemble, which members come from all over around the world, including Italy, Poland, Colombia, Lebanon, Brazil, France, and Canada.

During its residency in Gainesville, the Open Program will present one of its latest performative works, The Hidden Sayings: directed by Workcenter’s associate director Mario Biagini, this performance has toured all around the world and will now be seen for the first time by Gainesville audiences.

During the Workcenter’s residency in Gainesville the public is invited to participate in the following events, which are free and open to all. Space is limited, so advance reservations are suggested by calling the Hippodrome Box Office at 352.375.4477.


Thursday, October 27 and Thursday, November 3
Hippodrome Basement 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Come learn acting and singing FREE with an international performing group. Open to all ages and experience! In this FREE session –open to artists, amateurs, and interested youths and elders, participants will work with songs and acting practices currently explored by the Open Program team of actors, primarily songs of tradition from African-American communities in the American South and Afro-Caribbean songs. The objective is to pass on the tools of the actor’s craft as developed by the Workcenter since its beginnings in 1986.
Saturday, October 29 and Friday, November 6
Oct. 29: Hippodrome Mainstage 1 p.m.
Nov. 6: Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church 4 p.m.
Be immersed in a flowing chorus of dynamic and lively African-American songs.  The performance has been in constant development over the past four years. The theatre artists sing songs passed down from the days of slavery and read ancient texts related to Christianity’s origins. Explore the roots of the civilization you now live in through this powerful experience. The desire for this event is to awaken your senses and broaden your interactions with others while respecting and transcending cultural differences.
Wednesday, November 2
Hippodrome Cinema, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
This is a unique opportunity to see videos documenting past works of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. Together, we will engage in conversation about quality, arts, serving, community and other topics of interest to the guests of the open forum. This is in collaboration with the UF Oral History Project.
ACTION  in Aya Irini
Realized by a film team led by Jacques Vetter, France, 2004.
Produced by ACCAAN -Atelier Cinema de Normandie.
Thomas Richards’ opus Action, created by Richards at the Workcenter in 1994, is composed of detailed lines of actions constructed with and around ancient  vibratory songs from African and Afro Caribbean traditions. Though created within the field of Art as  Vehicle, which focuses on the impact an opus can have on the doers, those doing, Action has been performed before thousands of people, always in small groups. In 2003, the piece was recorded in the Byzantine church Aya Irini in Istanbul when it was done as part of the Workcenter’s three-year “Tracing Roads Across” project, supported by the EU’s “Culture 2000” program and a network of cultural  institutions from five different countries.
Saturday, November 5
Hippodrome Mainstage, 1 p.m.
The culmination of this residency will lead to integrating members of Gainesville communities in the Open Program performative event The Open ChoirThe Open Choir is a free, public event, where everyone is welcome to participate. A core of Workcenter artists leads participants and guests, through a flow of songs, looking for the possibility of an alive experience and interaction. Everyone is invited to join in song and dance, or find his or her own way to support what happens.
These non-sectarian encounters through songs of the African diaspora allow participants of very different backgrounds to become co-authors of the meeting, creating an artwork that both respects and transcends cultural differences, an art event that embraces all guests.

HIPPODROME / WORKCENTER OF JERZY GROTOWSKI AND THOMAS RICHARDS PARTNERSHIP is supported by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Hippodrome programs are sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council; and by the City of Gainesville, Dept. of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs.



The Hippodrome Theatre announces the 2016/17 Season

(May 12, 2016) – The Hippodrome is delighted to announce the season for 2016/17.

The plays selected for the Hippodrome’s 44th season are funny, bold, inspiring, and full of humor and humanity. The Hipp mainstage features regional premieres, Broadway hits, not-to-be missed new plays by Pulitzer Prize-winning finalists and a dazzling new holiday show!
This season, the Hippodrome has lowered our fixed seat subscription prices to reach the broadest audience possible. Fixed seat subscriptions are now as low as 50% off single tickets prices. For a limited time, we are offering a special deal: purchase a 4 ticket Flex Pass for the 2016/17 season and receive 2 FREE tickets to the summer musical comedy THE TOXIC AVENGER! Click here for details!

“The theatre is the keeper of your heart, creator of memories, laughter, and tears. It is a second home to all who enter. The Hippodrome’s 2016-17 season invites you to take a seat and explore the worlds we travel together. Let us take your imagination into stories that will provoke you, make you think, laugh and most of all place you into the shoes of someone you may not know, and give you a new perspective on the world. Come with us, this trip is all for you,” said Artistic Director, Lauren Warhol Caldwell.

The Hippodrome’s season will feature actors from the Hippodrome Acting Company, accompanied by talent from across the country, in accordance with its mission to nurture a strong company of actors, directors, designers, technicians and administrators.

Now in its 44th year of artistic excellence, the Hippodrome is a non-profit, professional, regional theatre offering eight mainstage theatre productions annually. Tickets and subscriptions are available through the Box Office at (352) 375-4477 and online at thehipp.org.
Hippodrome Theatre 2016/17 Season


by Sarah Ruhl 

September 2-25; previews August 31 & September 1

The Hipp continues our wonderful partnership with the UF School of Theatre + Dance on another outstanding production: Sarah Ruhl’s STAGE KISS. Previous Hipp/UF collaborations (Avenue Q, Clybourne Park, and Peter and The Starcatcher) have been audience favorites, and we can’t wait to share this New York Times CRITICS PICK with you.

STAGE KISS is “Suffused with warmth and humor. Sarah Ruhl frothily whips together romantic comedy and backstage farce in this lively comedy.” – Charles Isherwood, The New York TimesThe New York Post says, “FOUR STARS. Sarah Ruhl delivers a brilliant comedy that aims for big laughs and hits its target. Funny. There’s nothing like it.” “Hilarious…Thoroughly winning…The smooching is SENSATIONAL in Stage Kiss! – The Washington Post 


By Dale Gutzman 

October 14-November 6; previews October 12 & 13 

In 1962, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford starred in a masterpiece that quickly became a cult classic. Live on stage, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane brings you the story of a former child star who torments her sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion. Just in time for the Halloween season, get ready for a gloriously campy black comedy… with a twist! “Only when you see Baby Jane, will you really know, and the answer is: Total Suspense.”


by Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor 

November 25-December 18 

Welcome to the Annual Holiday Variety Show and Christmas Pageant at St. Everybody’s Non-Denominational Universalist Church, where all faiths are welcome because we’ll believe anything. But there’s a problem: none of the acts scheduled to perform have arrived, so three members are pressed into service to perform the entire Variety Show and Christmas Pageant by themselves. An irreverent yet heartwarming trip through the holidays, THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS SHOW (ABRIDGED) is festive, funny, family fun as these Three Wise Guys send up and celebrate our favorite holiday traditions.

“Critic’s Choice! They tell me vaudeville died some time ago, but … the knockabout, anything-for-a-laugh spirit of the ancient genre is alive and well. Agile and quick witted … there’s no denying their ingenuity when it comes to grabbing comedy out of thin air.” – Boston Globe

“Brought down the house with gales of laughter.” – Theatre Mirror


Adapted by Janet Allard and Michael Bigelow Dixon 

November 26-December 22 

Don’t miss the wonderment and joy of our most recent rendition of the classic A Christmas Carol, featuring Scrooge, Marley, and of course, Tiny Tim. Share the timeless messages of redemption, charity and goodwill with your children for the first time – or the 39th.  A Gainesville Family Tradition! (Not a part of the season subscription package.)


by Robert Askins 

January 13-February 5; previews Jan 11 & 12

Nominated for 5 Tony Awards! “Flat-out hilarious. A true tour-de-force.” – The New York Times. Deep in the heart of Broadway, there lurks a creature so outrageous, so scandalous, so totally surprising that you have to see him for yourself! Meet Tyrone, the scene-stealing sprite who shakes a small Texas town to its core – riotously riffing on everything from love to faith, and proving that it is both sinfulness and saintliness that make us all truly human… and utterly alive. “Nothing is more exciting than a new play that takes you by surprise.” -The Wall Street Journal “The freshest and funniest Broadway comedy in years.” – Time Out New York “The best play of the season.” – The Huffington Post

“Ribald and wickedly funny. Sesame Street meets The Exorcist.” – The New Yorker



by Steven Dietz

February 24-March 19; previews Feb 22 & 23 

Have you ever been tempted to flee your own life? Fasten your seat belts for this laugh-out-loud comedy about escaping the middle age doldrums. Enjoy the hilarity and U-turn plot twists as Becky leads us down the road less traveled. This devious and delightful romp is the perfect blend between hilarious comedy and thoughtful drama. If you loved Women in Jeopardy, you’ll fall head over heels for Becky’s New Car.

“A smart, comic cruise through middle-aged longing and regret!” -Variety


by William Shakespeare

April 14-May 7; previews April 12 & 13 

This bold, new take on the Shakespearian thriller comes as a culmination of our 2-year collaboration with the international theatre company, The Workcenter of Jerzy Growtowski, on “The Hidden Sayings,” the National Endowment of the Arts grant-award-winning exploration of movement and storytelling. Join us as we rediscover the royal court of Denmark as it confronts its ghosts and plots its vengeance, in a reimagining of this timeless masterpiece.


Opens June 2; previews May 31 & June 1 

Shake, rattle and roll! Summer is meant for music and fun. Past summer shows including Avenue Q, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and Honky Tonk Angels have delighted and entertained thousands. Stay tuned for our summer musical announcement in Spring 2017.

Special event through the National Endowment of the Arts

HIDDEN SAYINGS: The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards
October 24-November 6
In an historic collaboration to continue to expand their programming and push the boundaries of regional theater, the Hipp and world renowned international theater company, the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards partner together to explore the core of an active and living culture. With the community, they will create evolving performances, lectures, and various encounters with a wide variety of communities across Gainesville.


About the Hippodrome Theatre

As a cornerstone of Gainesville’s robust cultural life, the Hippodrome has a legacy of providing the very best in artistic excellence through programming on the mainstage, cinema, special events, and its award-winning education program. The Hippodrome serves hundreds of thousands of audience members each year, and is proud to provide educational and entertainment opportunities to thousands of young people annually. The commitment of the community to the Hippodrome’s artists, designers, educators, administrators, and interns shows through the longstanding relationship that the Hippodrome holds with the people of Gainesville and beyond.


Contact: Sarah Darden Director of Marketing (352) 373-5968 x247 | sdarden@biz207.inmotionhosting.com


Kelly Atkins

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Tim Altmeyer

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