The US Capital has a lively, robust theater scene. The DC area boasts a large number of theaters, many of which produce their own content and sponsor educational programs in the area. Many of DC’s venues have a rich historical background as well.
You might remember hearing about Fords Theatre back in history class. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre while attending a production of Our American Cousin with his wife. After the assassination shook the country, the US government took over the building and decided that its normal operations should not resume. The theater spent some time as an office building and after the roof collapsed, it became a museum dedicated to Lincoln. Fords Theatre became a theater again in 1968 and was restored to its 1865 appearance. Fords Theatre has produced plays like The Heavens Are Hung In Black and Necessary Sacrifices, both of which are about Lincoln’s life. Death of a Salesman, A Christmas Carol, The Wiz, and Jefferson’s Garden were performed at Fords Theatre in 2017.
DC is also home to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The JFK Center holds over 2000 performances each year among all of its venues, and nearly two million people per year see live theater at the center. Since it opened in 1971, the Kennedy Center has played a role in producing important American plays like A Few Good Men, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and the American premiere of Les Misérables. The center is also well known for its educational programs and its Performances for Young Audiences series. The Kennedy Center’s 2017-18 season features Shear Madness, The Book of Mormon, Twist Your Dickens, An American in Paris, and Hamilton. The Kennedy Center’s expansive list of productions also includes performances by groups like The Illusionists and London’s Royal Shakespeare Company.
What’s the best place to see theater in Washington DC?
The Kennedy Center has multiple venues and puts on most of DC’s theatrical productions. The center makes numerous contributions to theater as a whole, and you’re sure to find something you like there.
What theater is happening in DC this weekend?
Our “Events this Weekend” section above highlights available tickets for theater happening in DC over the weekend.
Fords Theatre also operates as a historical site and museum devoted to President Lincoln and his assassination. Tickets to the historical site cost $3. Some of the museum’s exhibits include Booth’s diary and the weapons he used during the assassination. If you’re both a history nerd and a theater buff, you can really make a day of it at Fords Theatre.
How much will I pay to see theater in DC?
Washington is one of the top theater destinations in the country, with a wide variety of venues and performances. Fans of all types are able to find a price point they’re comfortable with. For a look at ticket prices for upcoming concerts, scroll to the top of the page and see events today, this weekend, and this week.
What show should I see while I’m in DC?
DC operates numerous theaters, and you’ll have plenty of options no matter when you’re here. Explore the listings above to see what’s playing tonight, this weekend, and further in the future. You can also visit our Theater Page for all available shows.