Three Amazing Theater Museums

Whether you’re fascinated by the theatricalities; the gorgeous costumes; the style and method of actual acting; or the workings of the motors, cogs, and greaseless bearings in various theatrical machines and devices, you can do no better than get yourself to a theater museum near you.

Not only can you learn a lot and enjoy a great day out, but it makes an unusual and intriguing addition to a longer trip, and is a fantastic way of indulging any fantasies you may harbour about being a star of the stage yourself, one day!

We particularly recommend the following three theater museums, considered by most to be the superlative starlets of such museum types in the world.


In the US, the Theater Museum was once the theater museum of note. Now, it’s been subsumed (i.e. expanded and absorbed into) the Theater Collection at The Museum of the City of New York.

This superlative ensemble includes over 200,000 items documenting theater from way back in 1785 up to the present day. The long list of artefacts includes scripts, articles, programs, musical scores, postcards, posters, letters, props, drawings, and more, including some fantastic 3D items.

Over 40,000 photographs tell the behind-the-scenes stories of famous as well as lesser known theater productions, and there is a distinct focus upon the epic stage hub known as Broadway.


The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is another epicenter for all things theatrical. It documents the theater history of the UK, which is where Shakespeare, of course, came from.

Pantomime and puppetry are other areas covered - think Cinderella at Christmas for the former, and Punch and Judy shows for the latter - as well as opera, circus, set design, and so much else besides.

The V&A, as it’s affectionately known, is very extensive and as such also includes memorabilia and items from very unusual theater collections, including from the realms of paper ‘peepshow’ theater.

Schools, students, and families are also welcome to join, with activities and interactive educational elements for these, although the collection is currently online.


Naturally, countries all around the world have their own theater, set in their own language; but for English-speakers, another theater museum very much worth a trip to is Theater Museum Canada in Toronto.

Founded in 1982, it’s a museum that seeks to engage theatre goers of all ages, backgrounds, and experience, whether newcomers to the world of the stage or die-hard ‘luvvies’.

Much of the collection revolves around the work of critic, costume designer, and theater maker Herbert Whittaker, who directed many well-known plays and made a huge mark on Canadian theater and its history.

There are many other compelling facets to this museum, however, not least an exclusive collection of videos, some of which are currently available online.