The Berkshire Theatre Festival's Playhouse has been both an historical and cultural icon locally. Originally built as the Stockbridge Casino, it was destined to be torn down until a few ardent admirers of the building insisted on moving it from one end of town to the other and finding a new use for it. It still sits in its second location. The building was designed by Stanford White's architectural firm and first became an active theatre as a result of Mabel Choate selling the building to Walter Clark, Dr. Austen Fox Riggs and Daniel Chester French, who formed an alliance called the Three Arts Society.
The Berkshire Playhouse's opening night was on June 4, 1928 and has since seen some of the age's most notable actors treading the stage, including Cagney, Barrymore, Gish, Hepburn, Keaton, Hackman, Hoffman, Pacino, and countless other newer stars, such as, Holly Hunter, Karen Allen, Chris Noth, Isabella Rossellini,Timothy Daly, Cynthia Nixon, Richard Chamberlain, Randy Harrison, performing the plays by an international roster of great playwrights including works of Thornton Wilder, Lillian Hellman, Eugene O'Neil, George Bernard Shaw, Tennessee Williams and Peter Shaffer, Wendy Wasserstein, Terrence McNally and David Hare.
In 1967, the Berkshire Playhouse was renamed the Berkshire Theatre Festival. It currently uses two different stages on its Stockbridge property, the mainstage in the old Stockbridge Casino, rebuilt a few years ago to accommodate physically challenged people, and the new Unicorn Theatre.