The Clarence Brown Theatre is East Tennessee's Professional Regional Theatre located on the campus of The University of Tennessee-Knoxville. With three theaters (MainStage, Carousel, and Lab), the CBT brings professional theatre to audiences while providing educational opportunities for students studying acting and costume, set, lighting, sound and projection design. From classic and contemporary plays, to show-stopping musicals, the CBT productions offer something for everyone in the Greater Knoxville area and beyond.        

The theater kicks off the holidays with two favorites. First, David Sedaris’ hilarious comedy The Santaland Diaries, which played to sold out audiences three years ago in the Carousel Theater.  In Santaland, the audience meets Crumpet, the quintessential elf-gone-bad, as he relives a series of less-than-merry adventures as one of Santa’s helpers during the Macy’s Christmas shopping rush. This play is a gut-busting take on how the holiday season brings out the best — and the worst — in all of us.  The Santaland Diaries is a one-man show starring David Brian Alley reprising his role as Crumpet the elf and is intended for “mature elves only.” The Santaland Diaries will run at the CBT’s Carousel Theater from November 14th through December 9th with start times of 2:30 pm for matinees and 8:00 pm for evening performances.

A Christmas Carol

Next, beginning November 29th and running through December 22nd, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will play on the CBT Mainstage.  Extremely popular, it has become a holiday tradition for audiences who come back year after year to enjoy with family and to see what new surprises the CBT has added to the production.  Start times for A Christmas Carol are 2:00 pm for matinees and 7:30 pm for evening performances.  Ticket prices for children ages 5 – 12 are just $10. Bring your family, friends, and loved ones and come celebrate your holiday season at the Clarence Brown Theatre!

Coming in 2019

Clarence Brown

King Charles III by Mike Bartlett is the first show of the New Year and runs February 6th and through February 24th. Written in Shakespearean blank verse, this Broadway and London hit explores the potential rivalries of the Royal Family, the unwritten rules governing Britain’s monarchy, and the contemporary stresses on its democracy. “If you are a fan of Shakespeare or of the Royal Family, you will adore the well-crafted, fascinating King Charles III” said Broadway

Next on the lineup, beginning February 27th and running through March 17th is Detroit ’67 by Dominique Morrisseau. Morrisseau recently received a 2018 MacArthur Genius Award. In addition to being on both the most produced plays and playwrights lists, she also is the recipient of the Edward M. Kennedy award for Drama inspired by American History for Detroit ‘67. When the 12th Street riots erupt after a raid on an unlicensed after-hours bar, the fate of the once booming blue-collar town takes a turn for the worse on five young Detroiters. Set to a Motown beat, this play explores an explosive and decisive moment in an American city.

Clarence Brown

Next on the lineup, beginning March 27th through April 14th is The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard. Attending the premiere of a new murder mystery, two feuding theatre critics soon find themselves inside the play-within-a-play and implicated in the lethal activities of an escaped madman.

The last show of the 2018/19 season, running April 24th through May 12th, is The Madwoman of Chaillot starring Carol Mayo Jenkins.  A group of corrupt oil-men want to drill right under the streets of Paris. But Countess Aurelia and her band of eccentric followers are having none of it!  A treasure of French poetic satire since its premiere in 1945, the characters, the absurdities, and the political commentary seem just as relevant today.

About the Theater

            The theater is named after Clarence Brown, legendary filmmaker and 1910 alumnus of the University of Tennessee, who endowed it.

Clarence Brown was nominated for five Academy Awards as Best Director and one for Best Producer during the 1930s. He worked with some of the brightest stars of the golden age of Hollywood, including Clark Gable, Rudolph Valentino, Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Jimmy Stewart. He made the transition from silent films to talkies with such classics as National Velvet, The Yearling, Intruder in the Dust, and Ah, Wilderness! 

Formally dedicated in November of 1970, the Clarence Brown Theatre was heralded at the time as one of the finest facilities in the nation. As part of the endowment, Clarence Brown stated the theatre should function like a teaching hospital, where students work alongside professional actors and designers. Since then, UT Theatre students have worked with award winning actors and designers such as Dale Dickey, Zoe Caldwell, and Tony Award winning lighting designer Jennifer Tipton.

The Clarence Brown Theatre is a member of the League of Resident Theatres and one of just 12 professional theatres located on college campuses. LORT is the largest professional theatre association of its kind in the United States. Along with being a LORT theatre, most of the productions feature professional actors, directors, and designers from all across the country.

With our diverse 2018/19 season, there is something for everyone. For tickets, call our box office at (865)-974-5161 or visit our website