Spend your summer at Porthouse Theatre, Kent State University's summer professional theatre located on the grounds of beautiful Blossom Music Center.

Since its founding in 1968, Porthouse Theatre has entertained scores of Northeast Ohio audiences and provided training opportunities for countless developing theatre artists. Every summer, more than 20,000 guests enjoy the Porthouse experience, picnicking with friends and family on the surrounding grounds or in one of our pavilions before enjoying a professional production in our comfortable 500 seat covered outdoor theatre. Porthouse Theatre is a staple in the Northeast Ohio arts community, and indeed, our patrons return year after year.

Porthouse Theatre grew out of a partnership between Kent State University and The Cleveland Orchestra, who formed the Kent/Blossom Arts festival programs in 1968 in an effort to develop Blossom Music Center into a total environment for the arts. Under the direction of Kent State theatre professors Louis O. Erdmann and William H. Zucchero, Kent/Blossom Theatre became Porthouse Theatre in 1970. The theatre was named after Mr. and Mrs. Cyril Porthouse whose donation of a challenge gift facilitated the construction of the 500 seat theatre. 

Porthouse Theatre provides a unique training opportunity for actors, designers, technicians, and managers, working in the context of a professional producing theatre. They work side by side with established professionals to refine their skills and talents.


Porthouse Theatre currently abides by the guidelines of the University Resident Theatre (U/RTA) Contract with Actors’ Equity Association.

Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), founded in 1913, represents more than 49,000 stage actors and stage managers in the United States.  Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society.  Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans.  AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our marks of excellence. For more information, visit www.actorsequity.org


Porthouse Theatre receives generous support from the Ohio Arts Council. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program/organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. https://oac.ohio.gov/


Ohio Arts Council

About Kent/Blossom Arts

Since the inception of Blossom Music Center in 1968, the Musical Arts Association has partnered with Kent State University and its College of the Arts to develop Blossom as a complete environment for the arts. Each summer, Kent/Blossom combines performance with education and joins working professionals with talented students to teach, explore and produce great art. This important relationship between a premier performing ensemble and a public university has also served as a model for other collaborations.

The Kent/Blossom partnership provides advanced summer study and professional training programs in art, music and theatre held in conjunction with The Cleveland Orchestra’s summer season at Blossom. These programs emphasize intensive, individualized study with prominent visiting master artists and resident Kent State faculty, including principal members of the Cleveland Orchestra, and also offer public exhibitions and performances to community audiences. Students are selected through nationwide competitive auditions, interviews and portfolio reviews. Undergraduate and graduate credit is available in all areas of study and scholarships are provided to many participants.

In addition to the Kent/Blossom summer programs, the partnership provides unique educational and artistic opportunities during the academic year through Kent State University and the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music. These include access for students to attend select Cleveland Orchestra concerts and rehearsals, administrative internships with the Orchestra, the inclusion of the University Choruses in the Orchestra’s annual Christmas concerts, Cleveland Orchestra performances on the Kent State campus, and masterclasses given by Orchestra musicians on the Kent State campus.

Kent/Blossom Music Festival 

The Kent/Blossom Music program brings music students from all over the world to study alongside The Cleveland Orchestra for five weeks. Students develop professional skills through personal study and classes with visiting master artists, members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Kent State University faculty. A focus on major works of the chamber music repertoire is augmented by studies in orchestral repertoire and techniques and solo master classes. Participants also attend open rehearsals and concerts of The Cleveland Orchestra. The program features a professional concert series as well as 13 free concerts featuring the Kent/Blossom Chamber Players. For more information call 330-672-2613, email kbmf@kent.edu or visit Kent/Blossom Music.

Kent/Blossom Art Intensives

Kent Blossom Art Intensives (KBAI) are a series of two-week studio art intensives conducted each summer since 1968 at Kent State University. Similar to an artist residency, participants create a self-directed body of artwork under the guidance of resident School of Art faculty and talented visual artists from around the country. These studio intensives offer in-depth discussions, professional mentorships and unforgettable experiences to all that participate. Visiting artists give public presentations on their work and participants have the opportunity to show their work in the School of Art galleries at the end of the course. Enrollment is open to undergraduate and graduate students at any college or university as well as individual artists.

For more information visit the Kent Blossom Art Intensives website or contact KBAI Coordinator Meta Hauser at mhausser@kent.edu or call  330-672-0446.

Porthouse Theatre (Kent/Blossom Theatre)

Porthouse Theatre offers performance and production training in a professional summer theatre company. Students work within a 12-week period to create a production season alongside equity actors and professional guest directors, designers and technologists at the Porthouse Theatre Company. Those artists also lead a range of studio and workshop experiences with participating students. Professional performances are realized at the Porthouse Theatre at Blossom Music Center, one of the top outdoor theatres in Ohio. For more information, call 330-672-3884, email porthouse@kent.edu.