Arena Playhouse

A Historic Showcase for Black Playwrights and Performers

The Arena Playhouse at 801 McCulloh Street has been occupied by the Arena Players, an African American theatre troupe, since 1962. Established in 1953 as an outgrowth of the “The Negro Little Theater”, the Arena Players spent a decade performing at varied locations including Coppin State University, the Druid Hill YMCA, the Great Hall Theater of St. Mary’s Church in Walbrook, and the Carl J. Murphy Auditorium at Morgan State University.

After securing a long-term performance space, the Arena Players acquired the building in 1969 and through the 1970s continued to serve as “one of the only venues dedicated to showcasing the works of black playwrights and performers.”



801 McCulloh Street, Baltimore, MD 21201