Huntington Area Regional Theater

At the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District’s (GHPRD) Ritter Park Amphitheater, summer means outdoor theater, and this summer will be no exception! Huntington Area Regional Theater (HART) is gearing up for a four week run of Shrek the Musical under the stars at the historic Ritter Park Amphitheater this June and July. HART Jr. will debut its introductory show “Disney’s Lion King KIDS” as the Pre-Show each night.

Huntington Area Regional Theater was formed in 2013 on the heels of Huntington Outdoor Theater closing their gates, when local theater veterans Mary and Tommy Smirl and Clint McElroy approached GHPRD Executive Director Kevin Brady with a plan to keep outdoor theater alive in Huntington. With GHPRD underwriting the operation, the Smirls and McElroys began attracting a tribe of local actors, musicians, and tech crew who would later become known as the Choose Joy Players. The Choose Joy Players were formed in loving memory of Leslie McElroy, wife of Clint and dear friend of Mary, who humbled everyone with her attitude of “choose joy” in the face of the desperation that comes with a sudden terminal illness. Choose Joy is the mantra that keeps this theater group centered, focused, and able to enjoy the process!

Huntington Area Regional Theater opened in Summer 2014 with Nunsense and Willy Wonka, followed by Mary Poppins and Collis P in 2015, and Wizard of Oz and Seussical in 2016. 2017 was a record-setting season with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Nunsense II, The Second Coming. The Choose Joy Players are preparing to wow audiences again this Summer with Shrek the Musical as HART continues to provide excellence in outdoor theater in the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District.