From Broadway musicals and Shakespeare plays to folk music and opera, Virginia’s performing arts centers and theatres give visitors the chance to experience live entertainment of all kinds. National parks, century-old theatres and more bring an extra bit of charm to each performance. Some venues can be rented for special events or performances of your own.
The Historic Masonic Theatre—Clifton Forge
Circa 1905, The Historic Masonic Theatre was originally an opera house. Virginia’s oldest continuously operating theatre, it opened its doors to the public once again in July 2016 after a 6.5 million dollar renovation. A movie theatre and a performing arts venue, the four story building has a state of the art 545-seat auditorium, an underground cafe and lounge area, a balcony with seating and conference room and an upper level ballroom suitable for wedding receptions and gatherings.
Zeiders American Dream Theatre—Virginia Beach
Zeiders American Dream Theatre provides a unique professional venue in which upcoming artists and performers can showcase and develop their crafts in real time. Their 300-seat theater offers an intimate, interactive complement to larger venues in the area. Visitors get the opportunity to enjoy entertainment that they won’t get anywhere else.
After first opening its doors in 1948, Ashland Theatre served as a center of entertainment for the charming town of Ashland until 1998. The historic building went under renovation in 2014 and after four years of careful restorations, the theatre reopened in December 2018. A 300-person theatre on Route 54, the Art Moderne venue will host current and classic movies, live music, and theater performances.
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts—Vienna
Situated in a majestic natural setting, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is the venue for over 100 performances across all genres from pop, country, folk and blues to orchestra, dance, theater and opera, as well as innovative performance art and multimedia presentations. The Filene Center season usually runs May-September with an average of 90 performances each year. October-May, Wolf Trap’s 352-seat indoor venue, The Barns at Wolf Trap, continues to present a diverse line-up of artists in a casual and more intimate atmosphere.
Hylton Performing Arts Center—Manassas
Performances at the Hylton Performing Arts Center include everything from national and international touring acts like the Vienna Boys Choir, Clint Black, and the Reduced Shakespeare Company to the Moscow Festival Ballet, and the Shanghai Acrobats. The Hylton Center is also home to many regional artists. Custom a la carte performance options are available for groups. The center offers the perfect backdrop for any occasion — creating a truly memorable event! The opera house seats over 1,100 and the grand foyer, art gallery are available as well as cast rooms and conference rooms.
Showing family favorites such as “The Princess and the Pea” and “The Cat in the Hat”, along with comedy and live music, Barter Theatre invites you to laugh, scream, gasp and lose yourself in a world of adventure. Experience world-class entertainment and watch stories unfold at the nation’s longest running equity theatre. Student matinees, backstage tours and special group rates are offered. The Historic Gilliam Stage accommodates up to 506 patrons.
Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre—Wytheville
Watch Broadway-style professional productions in the 200-seat venue after enjoying a four-course plated meal customized to fit the theme of the production at Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre. Find the perfect souvenir in the Edelweiss Gift Shoppe featuring many German collectibles and theatre memorabilia. Fireside dining is also available in the Matterhorn Restaurant and Lounge and café-style dining in the beautiful outdoor Bier Garten. Group rates are available and the mainstage arena is the perfect place to host your next big event!
American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriar Playhouse—Staunton
The world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s own indoor theatre, the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriar Playhouse is located in historic Staunton. Year-round performances are offered in the 300-seat Renaissance-style theatre. The space is intimate enough to experiences the plays in a fast paced, spirited style where the audience is always part of the show. Student performances and group packages are available.
Riverside Center for the Performing Arts—Fredericksburg
Enjoy a Broadway-quality production preceded by a three-course gourmet meal served by performers at Riverside Center Theatre. Noted for musical productions of the highest quality, Riverside now also features live music. Dinner theatre performances are offered Thursday through Saturday and matinee performances are available on Wednesday and Sunday. The Children’s Theatre presents lively, shorter productions for children of all ages. Special rates are offered for groups of 12 or more.
One of three Art Deco Mayan Revival-style theatres in the world, The Lincoln Theatre is on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally built in 1929 as a vaudeville and movie house, the theatre has hosted entertainment legends like Roy Rogers and Ralph Stanley. Fully renovated and reopened in 2014, The Lincoln now hosts live music and musicals. With a seating capacity of 500, the venue can also be rented for concerts, theatre performances, weddings, and other special events.
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts—Virginia Beach
The 1,308 seat Sandler Center for the Performing Arts is the perfect setting for intimate concerts, Broadway performances, comedians, and more, with the furthest seat being 100 feet from the stage. The center also offers an outdoor venue able to accommodate up to 400 patrons for festivals, outdoor performances, and social activities. The Grand Lobby is a perfect setting for catered events featuring the dramatic chandelier and a grand staircase.