What are the best places to see a play in Washington D.C.?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Mary Beth Albright

Although we’re known more for political theatrics than the arts, DC has an extraordinarily active drama scene. The past decade has seen a sharp increase in interest in plays, evidenced by three stunning new theaters built for long-established companies.

Washingtonians love the classics, and the Folger Shakespeare Theater does the Bard justice with six shows per season in the company’s new $90 million digs in Penn Quarter. The company also performs non-Shakespeare plays, and draws accomplished stage actors like Patrick Stewart.

To satisfy DC’s appetite for more experimental theater, the Woolly Mammoth Theater focuses on risk-taking plays and new playwrights. The company performs in their gorgeous new theater, also in Penn Quarter. 

Arena Stage’s flagship theater on the water in Southwest Washington was completed in 2010, and showcases diverse American works from around the country. Kathleen Turner received rave reviews for her performance in Red Hot Patriot earlier this season.

McLean Robbins

Washington, D.C. is a town known for culture, and its vibrant theater scene is just one of the city's many draws. The most famous location for theater is the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Known for everything from theater to opera, the old fashioned theater house has everything from well-known Broadway shows to free local performances through Millenium Stage. 

Other venues in the city include National Theatre (which recently ran a run fo Les Miserables) and the Warner Theater, a 1920's movie plalace turned theater. History buffs will also love Ford's Theater, where Lincoln was shot, which produces family-friendly plays and events. Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street is the city's go-to for indie appearances, and Logan Circle's Studio Theater is popular for smaller shows as well. 

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