Huntington Outdoor Theatre is a regional theater group based in Huntington, WV. The Theatre does outdoor productions at Huntington’s Ritter Park Amphitheater. These shows run for a three week period during the month of July. Auditions for shows take place in April of each year. Local actors volunteer their time for the shows with rehearsals beginning in May.
HOT was founded by Helen Freeman (President and Artistic Director) with the assistance of Patti Shaver (Vice-President and Managing Director). Helen, who is also a Theater teacher at Capital High School in Charleston, WV, and Patti, who with her husband run a successful business in Huntington, decided that local people needed a place to perform in the summer. They also felt that the area needed an additional tourist activity. With grants from local businesses – the Cabell County Commission, City of Huntington, and especially the Greater Huntington Parks and Recreation District, HOT became a reality.
From a rather humble beginning, HOT in just eight years has grown to a major event in the Huntington Area, with over 10,000 people seeing shows in the 2001 season, where two hit musicals, 1776 and Cinderella, were presented.
For the 2000 season, HOT commissioned Elaine Novak and Deborah Novak to write an original Musical about the Tri-State region. Through their efforts HOT presented to the public, Huntington: The Jewel of West Virginia.
For its 10th anniversary season, HOT will bring the musical: Annie Get Your Gun.