The mission of Great Lakes Theater, through its main stage productions and its education programs, is to bring the pleasure, power and relevance of classic theater to the widest possible audience.
Since Great Lakes' inception in 1962, programming has been rooted in Shakespeare, but the company's commitment to great plays spans the breadth of all cultures, forms of theater and time periods, and provides for the occasional mounting of new works that complement the classical repertoire.
Classic theater holds the capacity to illuminate truth and enduring values, celebrate and challenge human nature and actions, revel in eloquent language, preserve the traditions of diverse cultures and generate communal spirit. From the historic Hanna and Ohio Theatres in PlayhouseSquare and through community outreach, the Great Lakes Theater seeks to create visceral, immediate experiences for participants, asserting theater's historic role as a vehicle for advancing the common good, and helping people make the most joyful and meaningful connections between classic plays and their own lives. The Festival wishes to share such vibrant experiences with people across all age groups, creeds, racial and ethnic groups and socio-economic backgrounds.
Great Lakes Theater is dedicated to the highest standards, to creative problem solving and to innovation in all areas of its operation, including theater production, education, outreach, management and governance.