Washington DC Theater - Venues for Plays, Music & Dance

The Washington DC theater scene has been expanding in recent years. There are dozens of places around the region to see a wide range of live theatrical performances. Here is a guide to the leading performing arts venues providing the hottest Broadway shows, music, dance, and more.

  • 01 of 08
    Kennedy center for performing arts dc
    Photo © Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

    2700 F. St. NW, Washington, DC. The premier theater is the home to the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington Opera, Washington Ballet and American Film Institute. Performances include theater, musicals, dance, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, & folk music; youth and family programs and multi-media shows.

  • 02 of 08
    National Theater DC
    Photo courtesy of the National Theatre

    1321 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC. The 1,676-seat Federal-style theater is the oldest playhouse in the United States and has operated in the same location since 1835. The National Theatre offers Broadway-level plays and musicals, Saturday-morning children's theater and Monday-night showcases of local performers.

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    Warner Theater DC
    Photo © Paul Morigi/Getty Images

    513 13th Street, NW Washington, DC. The theater is located in the heart of Washington, DC, a few blocks from the White House. Performances include comedies, dramas, musicals and more.

  • 04 of 08
    ford's theater DC
    Photo by Maxwell MacKenzie

    10th and E Streets, NW Washington, DC. The theater is a national historic landmark, the site where Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. On the second floor of Ford's Theatre, you can see the box seat where Lincoln was sitting when he was killed. On the lower level, the ​Ford's Theatre Museum displays exhibits about Lincoln’s life and explains the circumstances of his tragic death. A variety of live theatrical performances is available throughout the year.

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  • 05 of 08
    Arena Stage exterior
    photo by Nic Lehoux courtesy of Bing Thom Architects

    1101 Sixth Street SW Washington, DC. The largest of the Washington, DC area's not-for-profit theaters, features a range of performances from American classics to premieres of new plays. The theater recently completed a $135 million renovation and is now one of the largest theaters in the region.

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    Shakespeare Theatre Company

    Shakespeare Theatre
    Photo © Daniel Lobo

    Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F Street NW Washington, DC
    Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th Street NW Washington, DC
    The Shakespeare Theatre Company produces eight mainstage plays annually in its two downtown theaters.

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    Studio Theatre
    Photo © Thisisbossi

    1501 14th St. NW Washington, DC. This smaller theater offers a broad range of plays by some of the world's greatest contemporary playwrights. Located near Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

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    Atlas Theatre
    Photo © Joe Long

    1333 H Street NE Washington, DC. Housed in a historic movie theater, the performing arts center is home to a diverse group of locally renowned theater and dance companies, symphony orchestras, choral groups, ​and arts education programs. As the artistic anchor in the thriving H Street corridor, the Atlas is committed to its neighborhood and arts community.