Most experienced theatre goers who come to the Mill Hill Playhouse fall in love with it immediately. With a capacity of only 100 patrons, every seat in the house is a great seat, and the small size guarantees an intense and intimate theatrical experience.
Located on the historic Assunpink Creek, next to one of the most charming residential neighborhoods in Trenton, the gothic revival building was constructed in 1873 for the Messiah Chapel, an Adventist congregation.
In July of 1902, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Saviour purchased the building for $8,000 and moved its congregation there from the Women’s Christian Temperance Union building on East State Street. In 1967, Saviour merged with Trinity, the city’s oldest Lutheran church. The building at Front and Montgomery streets was left vacant.
A fire in 1977 left the building roofless and gutted. The City of Trenton secured funding through federal grants to convert the building into a performing arts center, which opened in 1982. The playhouse has been Passage's principal venue since its founding in 1985.
Mill Hill Playhouse
The Mill Hill Playhouse was built in 1873, and converted to use as a theatre in 1982. Passage Theatre has used the site as its principal venue since its founding in 1985.
The original church was built for the Messiah Chapel in 1873. It converted to a Lutheran Church in 1902. It was left vacant in 1967, suffered a fire in 1977, and was reopened as the fully restored playhouse in 1982.
Lovely Residential Neighborhood
The playhouse is located in one of Trenton's loveliest residential neighborhoods.
The intimate size of the theatre, its vaulted ceiling, and stone walls make for an extraordinary theatre experience. This is the set of 2011's Samuel J and K.
Set or Venue?
The church architecture and stone walls provide an unusual context for staging a play. Here, in 2003's Afghan Women, the stone walls seem to become part of the Afghan desert.
The stage is perfectly proportioned, and lends itself to all kinds of different treatments: here it becomes a lush living room (2009's Blood: A Comedy).
Here it's become a Manhattan loft (2005's remounted production of Move it and It's Yours).