Washington, D.C.

Whether you’re looking for theater, jazz, dance, cinema, cabaret, comedy, or something classical, Washington, D.C., has some of the most exciting and thought-provoking entertainment in the country. Since the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1971, the city’s performing arts culture has grown steadily. Washington now hosts the third-largest theater scene in the country, as well as a rich offering of nightly music opportunities featuring local, national, and international talent, and so much more. No city outshines the District on the magnificence and variety of its arts venues.

Diverse theaters offer everything from Rodgers and Hammerstein to experimental fare. The Kennedy Center and the historic National Theatre bring in primarily big-time touring shows, but the 65-year-old Arena Stage offers the best in regional theater. Meanwhile, relative newcomers like the Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, and northern Virginia's Signature Theatre offer a palette of performances as varied as any in the country.

The city also has its share of every kind of music imaginable, from classical quartets to the most current EDM sensation. With venues ranging from DAR Constitution Hall to the Verizon Center near D.C.’s Chinatown to northern Virginia’s Birchmere Music Hall, music can be found wherever you are, both in the city and its many suburbs.

Those looking for cinema can catch unusual foreign fare, rare documentaries, independent features, and classics. As for dance, Washington has more than enough options for ballet, modern dance, and more.

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  • 1. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

    Foggy Bottom | Dance

    Overlooking the Potomac River, the gem of the Washington, D.C., performing arts scene is home to the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington...Read More

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  • 2. Lisner Auditorium

    Foggy Bottom | Dance

    A nearly 1,500-seat theater on the campus of George Washington University attracts students and outsiders alike to its pop, classical, and choral...Read More

  • 3. The Washington Ballet

    Dance

    The company's classical and contemporary dances are performed from September through June, with works by choreographers like George Balanchine...Read More

  • 4. Warner Theatre

    Downtown | Dance

    One of Washington's grand theaters, the Warner hosts Broadway road shows, dance recitals, high-profile pop-music acts, and comedians in a majestic...Read More

  • 5. Suzanne Farrell Ballet

    Foggy Bottom | Dance

    Founded in 2000, this dance company, which began as an educational program at the Kennedy Center, has grown into an internationally recognized...Read More

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