The Ocean State loves a little drama—theatrical drama, that is. And comedy and musicals, too, for that matter! If you’re looking for a great date night or perhaps a weekend matinée where your family can spend time, look no further than Rhode Island’s vibrant theater scene. These great live theater venues will provide you with plenty of options all season long.
Located in downtown Providence, this spectacular venue was once scheduled for demolition as theater attendance slowed down during the golden age of film. Luckily, the building was purchased in 1978 and restored. It now hosts incredible performances like “Wicked” and the “Lion King,” and more recently, “Rent.” All major shows coming to Providence will find their way here—and you should, too!
Sitting on 1 Avenue of the Arts, the Veterans Memorial Auditorium is a beautiful homage to Providence’s historical glory. With nearly 1,700 seats, the venue boasts incredible acoustics while still maintaining its intimate atmosphere.
The Firehouse Theater is home to Newport’s Bit Players, an improve troupe that schedules shows on Fridays and Saturdays that regularly sell out. The venue, located inside a former fire station, is also BYOB—perfect for a night of comedy that your wallet will thank you for!
Not far from the T.F. Green Airport, the Ocean State Theatre Company was founded in 2007 to foster a love of musicals in Rhode Islanders. The theatre company produces their own regional professional work, but they also host camps in the summer for kids and teens interested in pursuing theatre.
This venue has been restored since the building was constructed in the 1920s, and it now plays host to a variety of musical and dramatic productions. Lately, the theatre has produced everything from Shakespeare’s “A Midsmummer Night’s Dream” to “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Looking for something more outside the box? They also host live music and drag shows, too!
Cranston’s Park Theatre has long been a cultural landmark in the town, but in 2002 the theatre closed and was left as an empty shell of what it once was. Then, in 2009, the theatre reopened to host the Rhode Island Center for the Performing Arts. The stage, which was deepened following renovations, has hosted everything from ballets to magicians to jazz musicians. You’ll love their pre-show dinner buffets, too!
The Gamm offers thoughtful shows that push their audiences and actors. The company tackles pieces by important, award-winning playwrights such as Tom Stoppard and David Mamet, and curates pieces that show off the theatre’s dynamic and clear vision.
AS220 offers shows for everyone—whether you love to see bands playing, poetry slams, or want to try a dance classes. The space is curated perfectly, with galleries full of local art. The best part? Food at AS220 is one of the best restaurants in Providence, and it’s connected right to the theater!
Located in an unassuming and homey building, this theatre holds both an upstage and downstage, making for twice the great theatre. The theatre has, in recent seasons, performed plays written by the likes of Edward Albee and Tracy Letts, often reflecting the great names popular at the time in film, too.
Trinity Rep has made its mark as one of Rhode Island’s most well-respected theater companies since it was founded over 50 years ago. The theater manages a $7.4 million budget and employs 100 people to produce a thoughtful and modern season each year.