Visit Milwaukee

Milwaukee On Stage

Milwaukee is front and center on the national stage when it comes to arts and culture offerings. Constantly ranked among the top 25 arts destinations by AmericanStyle Magazine, Milwaukee offers a variety of theater, dance and music options all ages can enjoy.

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is nationally recognized as one of the top regional theaters in the country. Its standout professional acting company presents productions ranging from contemporary drama to time-honored classics. Housed in a cleverly converted power plant in Milwaukee’s theater district, the Rep’s three theaters include a large main stage, an intimate black box venue and the Stackner Cabaret, which features musical theater and a full-service restaurant and lounge.

For three decades, the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre has produced classical and contemporary works that challenge audiences and champion a rich heritage of language and ideas. The theatre has long been recognized as producing first-rate, thought-provoking drama and a major contributor to the rich cultural and economic life of the community.

Designed with both the young and young at heart in mind, First Stage Children’s Theater is one of the largest professional children’s theater companies in the United States. The theater has presented nearly 40 world premieres and its Theater Academy is the largest theater training program of its kind in the nation. The company’s season includes main stage plays and a touring production, providing plenty of quality family entertainment.

Next Act Theatre has created high-quality, professional theatre in Milwaukee for 24 years, earning the company its strong reputation for producing engaging work that is both intimate and powerful in a dynamic warehouse-turned-theatre setting.

Renaissance Theaterworks is Milwaukee’s only theatre company founded and run by women. RTW creates compelling theater focusing on the exploration of the feminine voice and offers professional opportunities to emerging local theater artists.

Milwaukee Ballet is recognized among the top companies in the nation. It houses the only Ballet School & Academy in the Midwest accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance.

Danceworks Performance Company creates fresh, original work, from contemporary to classic, in collaboration with guest musicians, poets and visual artists.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is Wisconsin’s only professional orchestra. Its 83 gifted virtuosos perform more than 130 concerts annually to critical acclaim. The MSO has received rave reviews while on tour in Europe, Japan, Cuba and at New York’s distinguished Carnegie Hall.

Winner of two 2012 Grammy awards and the fifth oldest opera company in the United States, the Florentine Opera Company celebrates a long tradition of first-rate vocal artistry, beautifully mounted sets and costumes, and superb choreography. The Florentine has a rich history of staging both significant modern works and well-loved classics.

Local audiences have come to expect a broad and adventuresome repertoire from Skylight Music Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, Milwaukee’s professional opera and music theatre company. Skylight has won national praise for its artistic excellence, versatility and virtuoso ensemble productions.

From the familiar favorites of the choral tradition to innovative new works, the Bel Canto Chorus’ interpretations of distinguished secular and operatic works have gained worldwide attention. In addition to its regular Milwaukee season, the 100-member chorus has performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall, in the great cathedrals of Notre Dame de Paris and the concert halls of Italy.

Latino Arts Inc. takes participants on a journey through the many facets of Latin American culture from the folk roots of mariachi to the streets of modern Uruguay.

Festival City Symphony is Milwaukee’s oldest symphony orchestra. “Symphony Sundays – Classical Music for All Ages” and children’s "Pajama Jamborees" are part of the group’s mission to provide affordable access to quality classical music.

Present Music is one of the United States’ leading ensembles specializing in new music. Working closely with the nation’s most exciting and important composers, Present Music engages artists and the audience in imaginative and provocative experiences. The ensemble tours extensively, and has performed at music festivals in Japan, Istanbul and China.

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music presents classical and jazz performances by its world-class faculty and well-known guest artists. The conservatory is housed in a 1903 mansion featuring Tiffany windows, ten fireplaces and elegant salons and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fall in Milwaukee means the Milwaukee Film Festival, attended by more than 30,000 film buffs last year. Headquartered in the 1920’s-era Oriental Theater with its ornate East Asian décor featuring gilded lions and Buddhas, this popular festival showcases the best contemporary American and international cinema with over 200 films from 45 countries in three different venues over an 11-day period in September/October.

Built by beer baron Captain Frederick Pabst in 1895, the opulent Pabst Theater with its Baroque gold leaf interior and crystal chandelier has moved beyond its classical arts heritage to a modern lineup of jazz, alt country and contemporary music. The ornate Riverside Theater, legendary home of vaudeville and film, now hosts everyone from Sheryl Crow to Bob Dylan. And where but in Milwaukee would the second floor ballroom of an 1880’s German social club be left in its shabby-chic state as the perfect indie band venue? Stop in to Turner Hall to find out.

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater performances take place in an adjacent ultramodern theater complex consisting of main house, studio theater and lively cabaret setting, while rehearsal space is in an adjacent converted power generation plant.

Home to the symphony, ballet, opera and Broadway musical series, the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts has four state-of-the-art performance spaces – three theaters inside the building plus an outdoor theater adjacent to the Milwaukee River. One of three event venues in the convention center complex, the 5,000-seat Milwaukee Theatre also showcases some of the season’s biggest touring shows and concerts.

Getting up close and personal with performers like Bonnie Raitt, Jay Leno and Lyle Lovett is easy at the Northern Lights Theater at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. The stunning two-tiered layout of the theater features a world-class sound system, booth and table seating on the first level and traditional theater seating above.   The Historic Third Ward is home to the Broadway Theatre Center with its Cabot Theatre, a replica of an 18th-century European opera house, and a smaller Studio Theatre. The center is home to musical and cutting-edge professional theater companies Skylight Music Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and Renaissance Theaterworks.


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