Attractions Arts & Culture

Timber Lake Playhouse

Mount Carroll, IL - Carroll County
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  • 8215 Black Oak Road
  • Mount Carroll, IL,
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Illinois’ oldest continuously running professional summer stock theatre. Live theatre performances March – November. Reservations required. Childrenโ€š’s theatre program July and August. Wheelchair accessible. Free parking. Go to our website for a full listing of our current productions. To join our Timber Lake Playhouse Facebook Group go to

History of Timber Lake Playhouse

Timber Lake Playhouse came into existence in 1961 as a not-for-profit professional summer stock theatre, dedicated to providing a center for cultural opportunity for developing artists and a showcase of quality theatre for the residents of the midwest, particularly in northwestern Illinois and eastern Iowa. TLP is the oldest continuous operating summer theatre in Illinois.

Since TLP first opened its doors on June 28, 1962, the Playhouse has presented more than 350 plays and musicals and more than 3800 performances. Timber Lake is proud of its national reputation for excellence as a professional summer stock theatre. The theatre has served as launch pad for theatre artists who have gone on to excellence in film, television and on the Broadway stage.

Timber Lake Playhouse presents a challenging combination of material each year: a mix of large-scale musicals, new plays, and contemporary classics. The theatre hosts annual educational workshops for children and teens in conjunction with the Magic Owl Family Theatre’s productions of plays and musicals for young people and their families. Every August, Timber Lake also hosts week-long developmental workshops of new plays and musicals as part of its commitment to the future of American Theatre.

The theatre building (erected after a fire destroyed the original wooden-frame structure in 1974) houses a 45′ wide semi-thrust revolving stage and 375 fixed seats. The property is also home to 14 other buildings used for costumes, scene and paint shops, food service and housing for the company. The unique layout of facilities allows the Playhouse to present work on a much larger scale than many summer theatre companies.

The Resident Company consists of 35 – 40 performers, technicians and musicians selected by in cities across the country. Auditions this year will be held at the Illinois Theatre Association in Michigan, Midwest Theatre Auditions in St. Louis and private auditions in New York and Chicago to find the most talented and perfect match for our summer resident company. Numerous guest performers, directors and choreographers supplement the resident company each season. Most guest directors come from Chicago and have a respected reputation there.

TLP is the place where talented actors and actresses build their talents and skills needed to go the next step in their careers. Timber Lake Playhouse alumni include Michael Gross of Family Ties, Jennifer Garner, Kate Baldwin, Tony award winner Jayne Houdyshell, and many more.

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