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.

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John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Kennedy center for performing arts dc

 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.

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National Theatre

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 Theatre

Warner Theater DC

 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.

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Ford's Theatre

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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Arena Stage

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

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

Studio Theatre


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 Performing Arts Center

Atlas Theatre

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.