First Posted: July 24, 2012
Jan 20, 2020

Live Theater in Washington, DC and Surrounding Area

African Continuum Theatre Company
"African Continuum Theatre is the only full-time, professional African American theatre company in Washington, D.C., created in 1989 as a service organization to assist the dozen or more small black community theatres improve the quality and visibility of their work. In 1995, the Coalition transitioned into a theatre company, with a primary mission to produce professional, high-quality programming and plays for the general public that entertain, enlighten and educate and preserve and highlight the history and culture from an African American perspective."

American Century Theater
2700 South Lang Street
Arlington, VA 22206
The American Century Theater is a 501(c)(3) professional nonprofit theater company whose mission is to promote 20th century theater as a vital part of our cultural dialogue. It was founded in 1994 in Arlington, Virginia and performs in Theatre Two, a "black box". Arlington, Virginia's theater presenta dramas, comedies, and teleplays that were first produced between 1920 and 1970.

Arena Stage-Washington, DC
1101 Sixth Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
"Under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith, Arena Stage has become the largest theater in the country dedicated to American Voices. Founded in 1950 by Zelda Fichandler, Thomas Fichandler and Edward Mangum, Arena Stage was one of the nation's original resident theaters, and has a distinguished record of leadership and innovation in the field. With the opening of the new Mead Center for American Theater, Arena Stage has become a national center for the production, presentation, development and study of the American theater. Now in its sixth decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of nearly 300,000. Washington Drama Society, D.B.A. Arena Stage, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization."

Atlas Theatre-Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC
1333 H Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
"The Atla' mission is to foster the artistic growth of professional and aspiring performing artists throughout the region; to create a new model for collaborative arts management; to establish a unique community-centered venue for training and education in the performing arts and stagecraft; and to energize and sustain the revitalization of H Street, NE and the surrounding community. ...The Atlas Performing Arts Center, also referred to as the Atlas Theatre or the Atlas, is a 60,000 square foot complex in Washington, DC that includes four theatres, three dance studios, administrative offices, dressing rooms, lobbies, a café and production and rehearsal spaces."

Capitol Steps
"The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. The group was born in December, 1981 when some staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. Their first idea was to stage a nativity play, but in the whole Congress they couldn't find three wise men or a virgin. So, they decided to dig into the headlines of the day, and they created song parodies and skits which conveyed a special brand of satirical humor."

Charter Theatre
Charter Theatre is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Commission for the ARTS and the Cultural Affairs Division of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Affairs. Readings and productions of orginal scripts at two downtown Washington, DC locations.
"Charter Theatre, which in its ten-year history produced thirty world premieres, has suspended its program of traditional productions indefinitely, Artistic Director Keith Bridges announced Wednesday. But this does not mean that Charter is out of business. In August, Bridges promises, Charter will reveal a 'unique focus on the development of audiences for new plays' through its First Draft series. ..." Charter Theatre Announces New Plans

Church Street Theater
1742 Church Street, NW
WashingtonDC 20036
"One of the most charming theatrical spaces in Washington, and the home of the Keegan Theatre, the present-day Church Street Theater is housed in a mid-19th-century brick building that originally served as the gymnasium for the Holton Arms School. The exposed brick walls and lofty ceiling of the interior make for a warm, intimate performing space, which contains a few more than 115 seats. ..."

Constellation Theatre Company

Constellation Theatre Company at Source
1835 14th Street N@
Washington, DC 20009
"Constellation Theatre Company creates epic, ensemble theatre to reveal the vast range of the human experience. We awaken our audience with powerful visual imagery, original music, elevated language and heightened movement. Like bright lights in the dark sky, Constellation strives to illuminate life in ways that are dynamic, compelling and relevant today."

Folger Theatre
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Theatre located in the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC includes poetry readings, theatrical productions, early-music concerts and family activities.

Ford's Theatre
511 Tenth St, NW
Washington, DC 20004
"Ford's Theatre celebrates the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln and explores the American experience through theatre and education. A working theatre, historical monument, world-class museum and learning center, Ford's Theatre is the premier destination in Washington, D.C., to explore and celebrate Lincoln's ideals and leadership principles: courage, integrity, tolerance, equality and creative expression. ..." Ford's theatre is a live-theater and a Washington, DC historical landmark, a museum of Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

Gala Hispanic Theatre
3333 14th Stree, NW
Washington, DC 20010
..."GALA (Grupo de Artistas Latinoamericanos) Hispanic Theatre is a National Center for Latino Performing Arts in the nation's capital. For 34 years, GALA has been promoting and sharing the Latino arts and cultures with a diverse audience, creating work that speaks to communities today, and preserving the rich Hispanic heritage for generations that follow. By developing and producing works that explore the breadth of Latino performing arts, GALA provides opportunities for the Latino artist, educates youth, and engages the entire community in an exchange of ideas and perspectives. ..."

Heritage Theatre-O'Neill Theatre
4010 Randolph Road
Silver Spring 20902
"The company was founded and formed during the summer of 2003 (as The Heritage Theatre Company) and has undergone a couple of changes since their beginning; never, however, veering far off track from what was always their mission: the production of the American classics and the preservation of our cultural history. ..." A professional non-profit theatre company located in Chevy Chase, Maryland specializing in European and American classics and classical theatre.

Imagination Stage-Children' Theater
4908 Auburn Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
"Imagination Stage is the largest and most respected multi-disciplinary theatre arts organization for young people in the Mid-Atlantic region. We offer a year-round season of professional shows (adult actors performing for families and classes), after-school programs and summer camps for ages 1-18, and arts-integration professional development training for teachers, students, schools, and families. All of our programs are informed by our core belief in making the arts inclusive and accessible to all children, regardless of their physical, cognitive, or financial status. ..."

Journeymen Theater Ensemble
Journeymen Theater Ensemble is dedicated to providing a nurturing environment for theater professionals to create art that addresses social and moral issues that challenge and inspire its artists and audiences. The Washington, DC theater produces contemporary and classical plays that address social and moral issues. They are guided by Christian principles as a company but DO NOT perform evangelistic plays.

Keegan Theatre
1742 Church Street, NE
Washington, DC 20036
The Keegan Theatre is a professional nonprofit theatre company dedicated to supporting theatre artists and technicians throughout Metro DC. Keegan Theatre is the resident company of the Church Street Theater located in Dupont Circle.

Kennedy Center
2700 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20566
"President Kennedy's words resonate more strongly than ever for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the 21st century. The Center, which opened on September 8, 1971, continues its efforts to fulfill President Kennedy's vision by producing and presenting an unmatched variety of theater and musicals, dance and ballet, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, world, and folk music, and multi-media performances for all ages. Every year the institution that bears President Kennedy's name brings his dream to fruition, touching the lives of millions of people through thousands of performances by the greatest artists from across America and around the world. The Center also nurtures new works and young artists, creating performances, broadcasts, and touring productions while serving the nation as a leader in arts education.. ..."

1201 North Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
"Founded in 1984 as American Showcase Theatre Company, Inc., MetroStage is the oldest professional theatre in Northern Virginia. From its inception until 1996, MetroStage operated out of a series of converted storefronts on Duke Street, until redevelopment in the area required their demolition. MetroStage re-opened in its new theatre at 1201 North Royal Street in north Old Town Alexandria in July 2001. The theatre's opening came about through Producing Artistic Director Carolyn Griffin's commitment to finding a new home for the theatre, which required a major $450,000 fundraising effort. Today, MetroStage is once again a significant member of the Washington theatre community, drawing its audiences from the Washington metropolitan area and beyond. ..." The theater presents contemporary plays and musicals.

National Theatre
1321 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20004
The Federal-style theater produces Broadway-level professional performances. "The National Theatre opened in 1835. Every U.S. president has attended performances here, earning the playhouse the revered title: 'Theatre of Presidents.'" It should also be noted that The National Theatre is a 501.c.3.not-for-profit organization.

Olney Theatre Center
2001 Olney Sandy Spring Road
Olney, MD 20832
An award-winning regional theater, Olney Theatre Center is one of only two theaters in the country to operate under an Actors' Equity Association Council of Stock Theaters (COST) contract. In addition to its mainstage season, which emphasizes 20th-century American classics, new works, area premieres, reinterpretations of classics and musical theater, OTC offers a wide range of programs and affiliations including: National Players, America's longest running classical touring company (since 1949), which performs for high school and college audiences in over 25 states; Potomac Theatre Project, which offers experimental and alternative plays that explore provocative and challenging human situations, ideas and visions; special school performances of mainstage shows; and post-show discussions. Olney Theatre produces a diverse selection of plays, a free Summer Shakespeare Festival, workshops and educational programs.

Rorschach Theatre
Atlas Performing Arts Center
333 H Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
"Through uncommon uses of environment and intimate passionate performances, Rorschach Theatre seeks to lure its audiences beyond the limits of ordinary theatrical experience so that they may discover new elements of their own humanity. Rorschach Theatre is a company that has received significant acclaim for its fierce performance style, its bold use of theatrical space and its dedication to challenging works that are at once relevant and timeless. The company’s work has focused on helping to reveal the contemporary relevance of fable, finding magic in rough spaces, connecting timeless works to a contemporary audience."

Round House Theatre
4545 East-West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814

8641 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910

"Round House Theatre produces literary and contemporary works for the stage, conducts community-based education programs, and provides a home to diverse artists and arts organizations. Our work is expansive: we make art to explore big ideas, broaden minds, move hearts, exercise imaginations, and - ultimately - to build community through the shared experience of live theatre. Montgomery county repertory company specializes in contemporary performances in two locations-in Bethesda and in Silver Spring, Maryland. The theater also conducts drama classes for all ages and summer camps for children. ..."

Shakespeare Theatre Company
450 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
The Shakespeare Theatre Company is a regional theatre company located in Washington, D.C. The theatre company focuses primarily on plays from the Shakespeare canon, but its seasons include works by other classic playwrights such as Euripides, Ibsen and Wilde. The company manages and performs in the Harman Center for the Arts, consisting of the Landsburgh Theatre and Sidney Harman Hall. In cooperation with George Washington University, they run the Academy for Classical Acting. The company is a member of the League of Resident Theatres. Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC annually produces eight mainstage plays in its two downtown theatres and one free play in Rock Creek Park's Carter Barron Amphitheatre.

Signature Theatre-Arlington, Virginia
4200 Campbell Avenue
Arlington, VA 22206
Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, a professional theater producing groundbreaking musical theater and innovative contemporary work, new Signature Theatre facility in Shirlington Village.

"Signature Theatre is a Tony Award®-winning, non-profit professional theater company with a mission to produce contemporary musicals and plays, reinvent classic musicals, develop new work, and reach its community through engaging educational and outreach opportunities. Signature's 'positively swanky' (New York Times) two-theatre complex opened in 2007 on Arlington's Campbell Avenue. Just two decades ago, Washington, DC's theater scene was dominated by large venues that presented mostly traditional plays. Few theaters dared to take the risk of producing new work, and even fewer produced lesser-known or new musicals. Today, Signature Theatre broadens and brightens the region's cultural landscape with its bold productions of challenging new and established works. Musical Theater is Signature’s 'signature,' and the Theatre is renowned for its definitive Sondheim productions, inventive adaptations of overlooked or forgotten works, and investment in fresh new projects. Signature has received 284 Helen Hayes Award nominations and 70 Hayes Awards and garners praise from local and national press including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Variety, USA Today and American Theatre. ..."

Smithsonian's Discovery Theater
1100 Jefferson Street, SW
Washington, DC 20011
"Mission of The Smithsonian Institution: 'The increase and diffusion of knowledge'. The Smithsonian Associates advances the Institution's mission to 'increase and diffuse knowledge' through life-enriching educational and cultural experiences inspired by the Smithsonian's research and collections for DC-region students, families, and adults, and for learning communities nationwide. Discovery Theater has been presenting DC-area children with live educational performances for more than 30 years. As a program of The Smithsonian Associates (TSA), Discovery Theater serves as a child's gateway to the exhibitions, collections, and cultures contained in the museums on the National Mall and beyond. There’s so much to explore at the Smithsonian!"

Source Theatre Company (Dupont Circle)
1501 14th St., NW, #3
Washington, DC 20005
"The Studio Theatre is dedicated to producing the best in contemporary theatre. Our restless, innovative spirit generates an uncommonly rich and diverse body of work, encompassing provocative new writing from around the world, unique special events, and inventive stagings of contemporary classics. Devoted above all to artistic excellence, The Studio Theatre strives to present audiences with extraordinary writing, sophisticated design, and stunning performance...."

Synetic Theatre
"Synetic Theater's mission is to be the premier American physical theater, fusing dynamic art forms-such as text, drama, movement, acrobatics, dance and music, by producing world-class physical theater for all ages, educating the next generation of artists and physical theater professionals, and promoting this distinct form of theater nationally and internationally through community outreach and touring programs. ..." Russian theatrical performances for adults and children in this Arlington, Virginia theatre.

Teatro De La Luna
4020 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20011
"Teatro de la Luna was founded in 1991 with the intent of providing the Washington capital area with permanent access to theater from a Latin American perspective. Our performances are in Spanish, with English surtitles or live English dubbing offered at our mainstage productions, and during our International Festivals of Hispanic Theater. ..." Hispanic theatre with performances in Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia.

Theater Alliance
Theater Alliance at the H Street Playhouse
1365 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
"Theater Alliance was founded in 1993 with the distinct goal of producing work that would illuminate the experiences, philosophies and interests of DC's diverse populations. That goal was furthered when Theater Alliance moved from its home at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop to become the sole theater-in-residence at the H Street Playhouse. The company's mission has evolved into presenting new or rarely produced work geared towards attracting diverse and alternative audiences to our Northeast community. ..."

Recently renovated 150-seat black-box theater and rehearsal studio In NE Washington, DC.

Theater J (Dupont Circle Area)
1529 16th Street NW
Washington DC, 20036
"The Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts presents to the entire community fresh, pertinent and provocative urban Jewish voices that address contemporary but universal dilemmas. Performing in the J's state of the art Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater and other venues."

Warner Theatre-Washington, DC 513 13th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
"The Warner Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Washington, DC, is a 1,847-seat theater that features a variety of professional performances including comedies, dramas, musicals and more. The historic theater was built in 1924 and was remodeled in the 1990s. It is currently operated by Live Nation. Event space is available for special events, concerts, receptions, private events, and corporate meetings. ..."

Washington Shakespeare Company
450 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
"The mission of the Shakespeare Theatre Company is to present classic theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights' language and intentions while viewing their work through a 21st-century lens. ...The Shakespeare Theatre Company endeavors to be an important resource to an expanded national and international community—as the nation's premier destination for classic theatre, as a training ground for the next generation of theatre artists and as a model provider of high-quality educational content for students and scholars. ..."

Washington Stage Guild
Performances at the Undercroft Theatre
900 Mass. Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001
"The Washington Stage Guild celebrates...with [a] distinctive repertory, an array of eloquent plays of idea and argument, passion and wit—smart theatre for a smart town. As always, The Washington Stage Guild's...season will include four productions of plays that delight and challenge audiences with wit, insight, and truth. There are always lessons to be learned in these great works, and the plays of the Stage Guild..." This theatre specializes in neglected classics, foreign plays and new works.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
641 D Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is a non-profit theatre company located at 641 D Street NW in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It produces new plays which it believes to be edgy, challenging, and thought-provoking. Performances are in a 265-seat courtyard-style theater. Washington, DC's cutting edge theater develops and produces new plays.

John F. Kennedy Center - Photos of the Performing Arts Center
2700 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20566
"entertainment while also serving the nation as a leader in arts education. Visitors can take a free guided tour of the Kennedy Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Tours explore the Hall of States, Hall of Nations, and the main theaters and galleries. Check out the following photos and get a glimpse of the John F. Kennedy Center."

Howard Theatre in Washington DC
620 T Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
The historic theater in Washington DC has been remodeled and now features a state-of-the-art acoustic system and offers a wide-range of live entertainment. "The Howard Theatre, the historic theater in Washington DC that launched the careers of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes, re-opened in April 2012 after a $29 million renovation. The remodeled theater features a state-of-the-art acoustic system and will offer a wide-range of live entertainment. The new configuration, with black walnut walls, oak floors and Brazilian granite bars on each level, features ten foot video screens and recording capabilities allowing The Howard to retain the intimate feel of its former space. The building combines elements of Beaux Arts, Italian Renaissance and neoclassical design. The balconied interior is built with flexibility including supper club-style seating for approximately 650, which can be quickly adjusted to allow standing room for 1,100."