Scranton’s Theater Scene

The Arts — By on May 30, 2007 at 2:54 pm

A former resident of Manhattan, N.Y., David Zarko has become one the leaders of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s theater scene and has used his Northeast Theatre to foster a connection between our area and New York for actors, actresses and theater lovers. Zarko discovered the opportunities available in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Why not Rediscover Scranton for yourself to see what the buzz is about?

Zarko grew up in California then pursued his theater career for a number of years in Manhattan. He relocated to Northeastern Pennsylvania in 2001. “I thought area was beautiful,” Zarko said. “I liked the idea that it was a formerly glorious region trying to regain that status and theater can help that happen.”

The Northeast Theatre regularly brings writers, directors, actors and actresses to the area for local productions. According to Zarko, nearly one half of the company’s talent comes from outside the area. The goal of this strategy is twofold. “It helps people who work here see that they’re on par with artists anywhere,” Zarko said. “And it puts Scranton inside that network.”

“When they come here they typically don’t know where Scranton is but afterwards they can’t wait to come back.”

The connection has proven fruitful leading two of Northeast Theatre’s current company to relocate here from New York and allowing Zarko’s cast to develop into one of Pennsylvania’s premiere theater groups.

Zarko senses a growing interest in theater and cultural activities all around Northeastern Pennsylvania. “The theater scene is really healthy.” He pointed to young talent like Conor McGuigan and Melanie Brown as a positive sign.

“When I came here, the attitude was ‘flee,’” Zarko said. “Now it’s turning into ‘let’s dig in and make this area exciting.’”

Along with the Northeast Theatre, Northeastern Pennsylvania offers:
• The ACT Players, Carbondale. Phone: 570-282-0821.
• Actor’s Circle at Providence Playhouse, Scranton. Phone: 570-489-7544 or 570-342-9707.
• Broadway Theater League of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Phone: 342-7784.
• Corner Bistro Dinner Theatre, Carbondale. Phone: 570-282-7499 or 570-282-5250.
• First Act Children’s Theater. Phone: 570-282-0577.
• Little Theater of Wilkes-Barre. Phone: 570-823-1875.
• Music Box Players, Swoyersville. Phone: 1-800-698-7529.
• The Ritz Dinner Theater and Restaurant, Scranton. Phone: 570-344-8847.
• Scranton Public Theater, Scranton. Phone: 570-344-3656.
• Showcase Theater, Exeter. Phone: 570-654-2555.
• As well as the theater companies of Keystone College, Marywood University and the University of Scranton.

The Northeast Theatre, located on the second floor of the historic Hotel Jermyn, 326 Spruce St., Scranton, will begin its 16th season on Aug. 30. For more information, visit

The Scranton Plan, the industrial marketing arm of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and community leaders launched Rediscover Scranton to promote and strengthen greater Scranton’s quality of life and business assets. Through Rediscover Scranton, volunteers are identifying and contacting accomplished people with ties to greater Scranton, informing them about economic, quality of living, and growth opportunities, and encouraging them to relocate their businesses and families to the area. For more information visit

Leave a Reply


Leave a Trackback