Mission and History:
Riverside Theatre Works, Inc., is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization created with the conviction that quality entertainment and arts education are essential to the foundation of Hyde Park and its surrounding communities. We strive to reach a diverse community through affordable ticket rates, scholarships and outreach programs, all while nurturing the talents of local artists.
The vision of RTW is to continually develop and implement projects that serve young people, educators, and families in creative, relevant, meaningful, and accessible ways.
Riverside Theatre Works (RTW) was founded in 1981 when lifelong Hyde Park resident Marietta Phinney began teaching children drama and music in her backyard. At the time, the program was small but filled an essential need. Marietta saw that there was a lack of opportunity in the performing arts for most of the Hyde Park population and opened her home to provide this service. Her leadership and passion have been the driving force at RTW for more than 30 years. This small backyard program has grown into one of the main attractions in downtown Hyde Park. We serve approximately 350 students each year with programs designed to engage them not only in the theatre but the community as a whole. We are the only operating theatre in Hyde Park where audiences can experience live theatre, offering five main stage shows each season in addition to multiple youth company performances. RTW has become a cornerstone for the arts in Hyde Park and will continue to be for generations to come.
We are located at 45 Fairmount Avenue in Logan Square, the Hyde Park district of the City of Boston. The theatre is housed in the historic French’s Opera House built in 1898. This 14,000 sq. ft. facility includes: 156 Seat Opera House with Cabaret Style Seating, Large Dance Studio/ Rehearsal Space, A Lounge/Function & Meeting Room, 2 Medium Sized Classroom Spaces (which double as dressing rooms in the evening, equipped with closed circuit feed of performance space), 3 Small Vocal and Rehearsal Studios, A Main Lobby and Reception Area, A Faculty Lounge/ Library, A Scene Shop, Lighting/Prop/ Costume Storage Areas and 2 Private Offices.
The Hyde Park community and the City of Boston recognize that RTW’s impact on the community is not only cultural but economic as well. In observing the reprogramming of urban neighborhoods as part of a study done for Hyde Park Main Streets, Historic Boston used other urban areas as models to determine that the presence of arts and entertainment in a city neighborhood significantly increases the neighborhood’s desirability and economic success. With the help of Hyde Park Main Streets, Tierney Realty, and Historic Boston, there are plans to transform Fairmount Avenue into Hyde Park’s Avenue of the Arts, and RTW is an integral part of this plan.