The 10 Best Places for Live Theater in Virginia!

Live theater in Virginia is among the nation’s best. Many of the most prolific actors, playwrights, directors, opera singers, and performers get their start in a Virginia theater before crossing over into the Washington D.C. mainstream. The theaters are historic and the talent, remarkable. Virginia has no shortage of incredible venues, but below you’ll find 10 of the very best.  

1. The Lincoln Theatre, Marion, VA

The Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia, is on the National Historic Register as one of only three surviving Deco Mayan Revival architecture style theatres in America, drawing inspiration from Mayan sources. The theatre, originally constructed in 1928, operated until the 1970s before shuttering its doors. It reopened in 2004 and has operated year-round since. Performances range from live music to educational events, comedy, and more. 

2. Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton, VA

Blackfriar’s Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia, houses the American Shakespeare Center, an “internationally recognized home for the study of Shakespeare’s works using their original staging conditions.” The theatre itself is in the round, with wooden seats as it was in Shakespeare’s day. Blackfriars is known for their Shakespeare recreations, but occasionally stages other productions, as well.

3. Altria Theater, Richmond, VA

The Altria Theater in Richmond, Virginia, also known as The Mosque and the Landmark Theatre, was built in 1940 and originally used by the local government. In 2013, the 3,565-seat theater underwent massive renovations. Today, the theater has a wide variety of acts, including music, comedy, and musicals, and plays, with an ever-changing calendar available online.

4. The Attucks Theatre, Norfolk, VA

The Crispus Attucks Cultural Center works to “build an energized community where lives are transformed” through enhancing the arts. To those ends, the Attucks Theater in Norfolk, Virginia hosts a full season of multicultural performing arts, including theater, comedy, film, family, and literary programming. Community programs, including summer camps, help bring youth into the world of the arts. 

5. Virginia Musical Theatre, Virginia Beach, VA

The Virginia Musical Theatre in Virginia Beach produces a wide-variety of musical entertainment. The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts is “the region’s newest performing arts facility.” Shows include classics, like “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” as well as shows from newer voices.

6. Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, VA

Home to the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Ballet, Norfolk Forum, the Virginia Arts Festival, and traveling Broadway Plays, Chrysler Hall is Norfolk’s premier performance hall. Live concerts from disparate acts all over the musical spectrum also perform. Chrysler performances can be all about luxury, so make sure to dress nice and book your tickets in advance. 

7. Yoder Barn Theatre, Newport News, VA

The Yoder Barn Theatre in Newport News, Virginia, is an amateur theatre hosted in an original dairy farm building. Originally built in 1935, the family donated the property to Christopher Newport University to be used as a community theatre, and has hosted performances ever since. Come check out a night of theatre in an incredible, rustic setting.

8. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Vienna, VA

One cannot write about theatres in Virginia without mentioned Wolf Trap. The park is a 117-acre living monument to the performing arts, from the Filene Center to the Children’s Theatre in the Woods. Besides yearlong educational programming and the internationally recognized Wolf Trap Opera, the main stage attracts some of the biggest acts in the world.  

9. Little Theatre of Alexandria, Alexandria, VA

The Little Theatre of Alexandria, Virginia, is a large community theatre, originally founded in 1934. The theatre hosts a one-act playwriting competition that has helped to launch the successful careers of several prominent playwrights. The Little Theatre is a Northern Virginia favorite.

10. The Barter Theatre, Abingdon, VA

The Barter Theatre took its name literally. Its founder wanted the patrons to pay with produce, and as such barter for their seats. It began during the Great Depression and quickly became a wonderful venue for those down on their luck to escape for an afternoon of entertainment. That tradition continues today, although it seems they’d prefer paper money to vegetables. The theatre itself is gorgeous inside and out, and the shows are top-notch. 

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2700 South Lang Street, Arlington, VA
About Us:Founded in 1990 as Washington Shakespeare Company, WSC Avant Bard is a performing arts organization dedicated primarily to producing class... Read More
41-F Court Square, Harrisonburg, VA
Court Square Theater was once the home of The Rockingham Motor Company (RMC), operating as one of the premier car dealers in Downtown Harrisonburg ... Read More
LW Building - Room 115, 21200 Campus Drive, Sterling, VA
The Waddell Theater is located on the first floor of the Waddell Building on the Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. The 230 s... Read More
1645 Trap Road, Vienna, VA
Wolf Trap's MissionTo present and create excellent and innovative performing arts programs for the enrichment, education, and enjoyment of diverse ... Read More
P.O. Box 11000, McLean, VA
Incorporated in 1997, the McLean Theatre Alliance (MTA) is a nonprofit corporation comprised of theatre professionals and community members committ... Read More
305 Mason Avenue, Cape Charles, VA
Mission Statement Our mission is to encourage and promote education, interest, and appreciation for the Fine and Performing Arts through quality in... Read More
265 Kings Grant Road, Suite 100, Virginia Beach, VA
About Us Virginia Musical Theatre has emerged as a leading theatre company dedicated to nurturing artists in a creative environment. VMT is drive... Read More
421 High Street, Portsmouth, VA
History : The restoration work on the Commodore began in June, 1987, after a 12 year period in which the theatre had been closed. Fred Schoenfeld'... Read More
550 Barberton Drive, Virginia Beach, VA
Mission: Our mission is to educate and to provide our community with quality live theatrical experiences at affordable prices, while developing an... Read More
900 Airline Boulevard, Portsmouth, VA
Mission To make quality experiences in the arts affordable and available to all children by creating child-centered performing arts groups that a... Read More
1010 Church Street, Norfolk, VA
The Attucks Theatre during its heyday was the focal point of entertainment, business, and racial pride in Norfolk's African American community beca... Read More
340 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA
About: The TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center occupies the former Loews State Theater building in the revitalized downtown Norfolk... Read More
108 East Tazewell Street, Norfolk, VA
Virginia Stage Company is Southeastern Virginia’s leading theater destination, serving an audience of over 70,000 annually, both at the Wells... Read More
127 West Main Street, Abingdon, VA
About Us: Our passion can be felt in two unique venues of live performance. From Barter Theatre, able to accommodate 507 patrons, to the more intim... Read More
318 Patrick Avenue, Stuart, VA
About Us: The Star's mission is to present the best of performance art that seeks to uplift the audience and celebrate the human spirit. Audiences... Read More
One Market Square, SouthEast, Roanoke, VA
4074 Main Street, Chincoteague Island, VA
Built in 1945 in the 'Art deco' style, the Island Roxy Theatre features Misty's hoof prints set in the concrete sidewalk in front of the box office... Read More
19778 Main Street, Buchanan, VA
History:Placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior, the Buchanan Theatre has been recognize... Read More
17401 Jefferson Davis Highway, South Chesterfield, VA
History : Records indicate that Swift Creek Mill was in existence as early as 1663. It is believed to be the oldest grist mill in this country. H... Read More
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