A theater is a showcase for the performing arts. It’s where plays, concerts, ballet recitals, and many other creative performances delight and entertain audiences.
But theaters, like all performances, come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are grand and majestic, others humble and intimate, while some are even located outdoors. And with so many options to choose from, finding the best theater for your performance can be complicated.
Keep reading for tips and advice on how to find the best theater for your next performance.
The Best Theater Venues
The best theater venue for you is one that matches you, your performance, and your audience. Some shows are grand occasions, like a world-famous rock group playing in front of a sea of adoring fans. Others are much simpler affairs, such as a one-woman show in an intimate theater space. It all depends on the type of show and experience you want to create, so here are a few of the more popular theater venue options you might like to consider.
- Community Theaters
If you’re hosting a small play or even an intimate comedy show, look for a simple but character-filled community theater space. The natural lighting and cozy environment in this small theater makes it ideal for an independent play.
- Open-air Amphitheaters
Some musical performances and stage productions call for a grand setting, and what could be grander than the beauty of nature? Open-air theaters combine the natural environment with the man-made, creating a truly unique space for your audience to enjoy an evening of entertainment under the stars.
- Opera Houses
Acoustics are an important feature of any show, but particularly of any live musical performance. So if you’re staging an opera, hosting a symphony orchestra, or just looking for a majestic theater venue, it’s hard to go past the beauty and focused design of an opera house.
Want to bring a little taste of Broadway to wherever you are in the world? A playhouse is the ideal setting for a theater show or dance performance. These venues often provide seating for a couple of hundred people, ensuring that every member of the audience enjoys a perfect view of all the action unfolding on stage.
What to Look for in Theater Spaces
Choosing a theater venue is a little more complicated than you might expect. No two venues are the same, and the needs of organizers vary greatly depending on the type of show you’re hosting, the size of the audience, and the sort of ambiance you want them to enjoy. Here are the key factors you need to consider when comparing theater spaces.
- Ease of Access
The best theater space for your needs is one that’s in a convenient location. This usually means something in the heart of the city, or at least in the heart of an area’s dining and entertainment precinct. Consider factors such as proximity to public transport, the presence (or lack) of parking nearby, and whether there are bars and restaurants within easy reach for theatergoers.
The size of the venue determines how many people can come to your show and enjoy an entertaining but comfortable evening. Second, the size also determines the ambiance — not just in terms of how far audience members are seated from the stage, but also in how it affects the atmosphere of a particular show. Too many people in too small a space can be cramped and uncomfortable, while the opposite scenario can leave the space feeling dull and muted.
Speaking of atmosphere, some performances deserve an intimate setting, others something grand and extravagant, and plenty more are better suited to something in between. Search for a venue that has the right vibe to match your performance — when you find it, you’ll know straight away.
- Key Facilities
Next, take some time to think about all the amenities and facilities that a theater must-have for your show to be a raging success. Make sure the stage is large enough and the right kind for your needs, if it has an orchestra pit, and if it has backstage space, dressing rooms, and bathrooms.
- Audience Experience
Finally, don’t forget to think about the overall experience you will offer to the average audience member. For example, is it easily accessible, do they have refreshments, and is there a place for guests to mingle before and after the show? Answering these questions will help you find a theater space that ticks all the boxes.
Looking for some innovative ideas to help you find your ideal theater space? Here are just a few of the myriad options worth considering.
- Perfect Plays at Historic Theaters and Playhouses
Some theater venues boast a rich and enchanting history. Step into the space and you can’t help but wonder which famous names may have trod the boards here before. This gorgeous art deco theater in the heart of LA offers old-world Hollywood grandeur at its finest.
- Amazing Alfresco Amphitheaters
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fan of classical music, rap, or hip-hop, watching a magnificent performance from one of your favorite artists under the stars is simply magical. That’s why outdoor, open-air theaters are a great choice if you want to stage a truly memorable concert.
- Black Box Theater: Simplicity at its Finest
So named because they resemble a black box, these theaters are a popular choice in the modern world of performing arts. Not only do they make great rehearsal spaces, but they also ensure an immersive and interactive experience for audience members.