hobnob theatre co. incorporated in 2012 when Ken and Elizabeth Smith decided to bring together their love of theater and classical playwrights to Butler County stages. Having no physical home, hobnob’s performances could be seen at BC3, the Grand Ballroom, The Butler Art Center and eventually in Butler County parks each summer.

The phrase, “hob nob” first appeared in printed form in Act 3, Scene 4 of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, where Sir Toby tries to frighten Viola by describing Sir Andrew as a ruthless knight:

He is a devil in private brawls…
Hob nob is his word, give’t, or take’t.


The phrase derives from the older English, “hab nab,” “have or have not”, and Shakespeare alters the meaning slightly to “give or take.” The expression caught on, and soon became a drinker’s phrase used when toasting: “Here’s to you! No, here’s to you!” Eventually hobnob became the verb form we use today, meaning to socialize, fraternize, talk informally, or share a drink with.

We love the “give and take” of theatre: the way it asks questions without providing the answers; the way it holds a mirror up to ourselves to remind us of who we are, or who we may become; the illusion of seeing oneself portrayed by another, and the way we both lose ourselves, and find ourselves in that illusion.

We love the conversation of theatre: the way it brings people together, sharing ideas and passions; the beauty of language, the inspiration of dialogue; the way it builds community.

We love imbibing theatre: the enjoyment and satisfaction of a wonderful work of art. Whether it’s a full-bodied Shakespeare tragedy, a light, crisp modern comedy, or even a rustic, organic homebrewed original play.

Please join us as often as you like: we hope you’ll give some, and take some; we hope you’ll join in the conversation; we look forward to clinking a glass of fine theatre together. Here’s to you!

hobnob theatre company is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit Organization incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania which seeks to engage and enrich the community with a dynamic array of theatre as an art form by producing: popular and forgotten classic plays, modern plays of exceptional merit, extraordinary musicals, original works, and theatre for young audiences.