The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is a professional not-for-profit regional theatre dedicated to the performing arts whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire our community.
about the maltz jupiter theatre
The not-for-profit Maltz Jupiter Theatre has become one of Florida’s preeminent professional theatres, committed to performance, production and education through its collaborations with local and national artists. The state's largest award-winning regional theatre, the Theatre’s performances have drawn rave reviews from media outlets across the world.
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre began in October 2001, when its landmark building was acquired by the not-for-profit Palm Beach Playhouse, Inc., formed by a small group rallying to revive theater in Jupiter. Within weeks, a small staff and devoted base of more than 100 volunteers had formed, dedicated to supporting the Theatre. By 2007, the volunteer team had swelled to 500.
Following a successful capital campaign, the 28,000-square-foot theatre was renovated in February 2003 and re-named the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in recognition of major benefactors Milton and Tamar Maltz. On February 29, 2004, the Theatre opened as a 554-seat, state-of-the-art regional theater. A leap year, the Theatre’s opening date was dubbed a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to support theater.
In August 2005, Andrew Kato joined the Theatre’s staff as producing director, becoming the Theatre’s artistic director the following year. Two years later, in August 2007, the Theatre built world-class facilities in support of its Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts, designed to serve hundreds of students in after-school, weekend and summer programs. The Conservatory and its rooms are named in honor of its major benefactors: Paul and Sandra Goldner (who donated an unprecedented gift of $1 million in 2012), The Peggy and Rick Katz Rehearsal Studio, the Dr. Herb and Myra Hoffstein Acting Studio and the Dr. Bernard and Phyllis Eisenstein Voice Studio.
In June 2008, the Theatre received a prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund grant and its first grant from the Roy A. Hunt Foundation to create the Emerging Artists Series (EAS) in Musical Theatre Playwriting. Through the series, the Theatre held readings of the shows Academy, Dani Girl and Wonderland. A year later, the Theatre went on to further develop Academy for the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival, which went on to win Best Musical at South Korea’s 2010 Daegu International Musical Festival. The Theatre produced its much-anticipated world premiere in December 2010. Also through EAS series, the Theatre commissioned the world premiere of Fanny Brice: The Real Funny Girl and the original musical Through the Looking Glass.
The Theatre leased a scene shop in July 2011 where all of its scenic work would be completed offsite, as well as an offsite storage facility. Within five years, its staff had outgrown the facility and moved to a new state-of-the-art production shop in West Palm Beach, where staff members now have the capability to build both the Theatre’s sets as well as commissioned projects for other theatres.
Through the Emerging Artist Series, the Theatre created its first Youth Artists Chair summer mentorship program in September 2011, an annual tradition in which high school students direct and create every aspect of a show. Through the program, the Theatre has produced Rhinoceros, The Glass Menagerie, The Crucible, Hamlet, The Laramie Project and The Good Times are Killing Me.
In May 2012, the Theatre was presented with the opportunity of a three-to-one matching fundraising challenge to secure a $10 million endowment. The Theatre’s then-managing director Tricia Trimble led the way for the Theatre to meet its first fundraising challenge, paving the way to receive an exceptional gift of $7 million from the Maltz Family Foundation and ensuring that the Theatre continues in perpetuity. The endowment was fully completed and in place two years later.
In October 2014, the Theatre completed a $2.5 million expansion and renovation to create The Green Room Club Level Lounge and seating area. A gift of the Roe Green Foundation and other generous donors, the renovation expanded the lobby, created an upstairs club level lounge and event space and added 62 luxurious premium seats to the Theatre, increasing its capacity to 617 seats.
Today, the Theatre is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) public charity and serves over 100,000 people annually in the tri-county area. Located at the corner of State Road A1A and Indiantown Road in Jupiter, the Theatre's annual budget is $7.2 million, of which $2.7 is donated.
Under the leadership of Kato – now the Producing Artistic Director and Chief Executive – as well as a dedicated board and staff, the Theatre has received multiple Carbonell awards, South Florida’s highest honor for artistic excellence, including the prestigious Bill Von Maurer Award for Theatrical Excellence. The award is given to the theater company that exemplifies excellence for the totality of its programming: productions, educational outreach, developmental programs and audiences served.
The Theatre boasts a robust subscription base of more than 7,732 and serves nearly 600 students per year in after-school, weekend and summer programs at its Conservatory. In 2015, the Conservatory launched its Professional Training Program, a two-year certificate program designed to prepare young performers for a career in performing arts. This competitive, audition-only program is the only program of its kind in Florida affiliated with a professional regional theatre.
In addition to a supportive Board of Directors, the Theatre has more than 400 volunteers assisting in a variety of functions, including office support, ushering, special events and computer services.
The Theatre’s standing as largest in the state is determined through average box office income by the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), the largest professional theater association of its kind in the United States. The Theatre is Florida’s only LORT B theatre. Theaters are categorized into tiers A through D, with tiers determined by the weekly actual box office receipts averaged over the last three complete fiscal years.
Now – after defying national theatre trends and achieving impressive goals in its short history – the Theatre is envisioning its next step. Officials are now contemplating a bright future for the Theatre and how best to serve the community with Broadway-scale productions and high-quality educational opportunities.
The Theatre has proposed a major expansion over the next five years that will improve production facilities and add educational opportunities. Under the current plan, the Theatre’s Conservatory will double in size, allowing students the opportunity to receive a high-quality, dynamic arts education in state-of-the-art facilities. The Theatre’s improved stage will be ten feet deeper and six feet wider on either side, enabling the Theatre to qualify for Pre-Broadway and National Tours. A third-floor rehearsal studio will provide actors with a view, and residents will have the opportunity to see actors working and rehearsing – and a proposed second space will provide the opportunity for audience diversity.
Click here to learn more about the Theatre’s Believe campaign.
History of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s historic building
Once one of the most renowned cultural centers in South Florida, the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater operated as a local landmark and arts institution from 1979 to 1996.
Founded, built and operated by Burt Reynolds, the $2 million Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre originally broke ground in May 1978 and gained success and fame from its inception. More celebrities performed on its stage than any other arts venue in Palm Beach County at that time, including such stars as Martin Sheen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julie Harris and Judd Nelson.
Sally Field, Tyne Daly and Gail Strickland opened the theater’s first season with “Vanities” in January 1979. Other stars who performed on its stage over the next decade included Carol Burnett, Charles Nelson Reilly Farrah Fawcett, Eartha Kitt, Shelley Berman, Ned Beatty, Vincent Gardenia, Deborah Raffin, Kirstie Alley, Elliott Gould, Robert Hays, Marilu Henner, Alice Ghostley, Ossie Davis and Robert Urich. The country's top box-office draw at the movies from 1978 to 1982, Reynolds performed in three of the theater’s 116 shows and frequently directed.
The building (eventually renamed the Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre) also housed the Burt Reynolds Institute for Theatre Training, where more than 100 apprentices took classes from stars such as Liza Minnelli, Sheen, Reilly, DeLuise and Reynolds. In its first decade of operation, the theater won 18 Carbonell Awards from the South Florida Entertainment Writers' Association, and Reynolds also earned the Outstanding Achievement in the Arts award in 1982 for establishing the Institute.
Reynolds ran the theater until 1989, when he leased the 440-seat playhouse to executive producer Richard Atkins, who continued operating the theater until 1996. Financial problems eventually forced its closure, and Reynolds sold the closed theater for $2 million to local residential real estate developer Otto “Buzz” Divosta.
Divosta leased the property to Akron, Ohio-based Carousel Dinner Theatre, which reopened it as the Carousel Dinner Theater in late 1996. When the theatre struggled, Divosta sold the property to media kingpin Lowell “Bud” Paxson, who donated it to Christ Fellowship Church in 1999.
In 2001, a group of citizens formed the non-profit Palm Beach Playhouse Inc. and purchased the building for $2.67 million – and the rest is history. It underwent a complete renovation and reopened as the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in February 2004.