A guide to regional venues
Offerings, budgets, capacities.
1 Strathmore North Bethesda, strathmore.org 301-581-5100 Opened: 2005 (Music Center) Annual operating budget: $8 million Theaters: 2 Seating capacity: Music Center, 1,976; Mansion, 110 Average percentage of tickets sold: Not available Resident companies: 6 Performances in 2010: 185 Cost to rent facilities: $13,000 to $28,000 per performance, depending on production requirements Upcoming highlights: Friedrich Kleinhapl and Andreas Woyke, cello/piano (the Mansion, Jan. 20); Brian Ganz, Chopin recital (Jan. 22); Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires (Jan. 25) Summary: The doyenne of the region’s performing arts centers began as a small space in the Mansion at Strathmore before pulling off the construction of a major new concert hall that’s one of the best in the area. Phone Number: (301) 581-5200 2 Hylton Performing Arts Center Manassas, hyltoncenter.org 703-993-7759 Opened: 2010 Annual operating budget: $2 million Theaters: 2, plus foyer used for performances Seating capacity: Merchant Hall, 1,121; Gregory Family Theater, 270; Didlake Grand Foyer, 300-500 Average percentage of tickets sold: 80 Resident companies: 11 Performances in 2010: 125 (hall opened in May) Cost to rent facilities: $6,000 to $10,000, depending on requirements Upcoming highlights: Fairfax Symphony (Jan. 16); Anna & Friends (chamber music, Jan. 23); Dailey & Vincent (bluegrass, Jan. 29) Summary: Built with funds from the city, county and state, the Hylton opened in 2010. It is administered by George Mason University but independent in its programming. 3 Montpelier Arts Center Laurel, arts.pgparks.com 301-377-7800 Opened: 1979 Annual operating budget: Not available; part of the MarylandNational Capital Park and Planning Commission Department of Parks and Recreation Theaters: 1 Seating capacity: 120 Average percentage of tickets sold: 100 Resident companies: None Performances in 2010: 31 Cost to rent: Generally does not rent Upcoming highlights: Buckwheat Zydeco (May 13); Wailin’ Jennys (April 1); Lafayette Gilchrist ( jazz pianist, March 18) Summary: The Montpelier Arts Center offers exhibitions, classes, performances and residencies.
4 Publick Playhouse Cheverly, arts.pgparks.com 301-277-1712 Opened: 1977 (renovation of old theater; renovated again in 1984 and 2006) Annual operating budget: Not available; part of Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Department of Parks and Recreation Theaters: 1 Seating capacity: 494 Average percentage of tickets sold: Not available Performances in 2010: 2009-10 season (September-July) 136 total; 87 productions Cost to rent: Charges hourly, depending on county organization vs. non-county Upcoming highlights: Lula Washington Dance Theatre (Feb. 16-17); Praise liturgical dance show (Feb. 27); Ballet Folklorico Mexico (May 2) Summary: Since 1977, this former art deco movie theater has been operating as a center for a range of performances, classes and events, including children’s theater, films and arts workshops. 5 Workhouse Arts Center Lorton, workhousearts.org 703-495-0001 Opened: 2008 Annual operating budget: $4.7 million for arts center, $750,000 for premier theater Theaters: Multiple venues with seating for up to 300; new 300-seat theater is scheduled to open in late 2011 Seating capacity: 50 to 300 Average percentage of tickets sold: 65 Resident companies: 1 Number of performances in 2010: More than 100 Cost to rent: Not available Upcoming highlights: Opening of event center and theater in 2011 Summary: This former correctional facility now provides visual and performing arts studio exhibition space, education programs and a home for more than 150 local artists. 6 BlackRock Center for the Arts Germantown, blackrockcenter.org 301-528-2260 Opened: 2002 Annual operating budget: $1.2 million Theaters: 3 Seating capacity: Mainstage Theater, 210; Studio Theater, 150; outdoor stage, 500-600 Tickets sold: 5,313 tickets to 44 shows Resident companies: None, but it partners with the Art League of Germantown and Upcounty Theater Performances in 2009-10: 43, plus seven outdoor concerts Cost to rent: $1,600 to $2,000 to rent Mainstage Upcoming highlights: Chuck Redd (Feb. 12); Margot MacDonald (Feb. 17); Deanna Bogart (March 5) Summary: This facility came into being as a community initiative of people anxious for a performing arts center in their own town.
7 Artisphere Arlington, arlingtonarts.org 703-228-1850 Opened: October Annual operating budget: $3 million Theaters: 5 Seating capacity: Ballroom: 450 (used for standing audiences and dancing); Bijou Theater, 30; Black Box, 150; Dome Theater, 220; Spectrum Theater, 389 Average percentage of tickets sold: Not available Resident companies: 6 Performances in 2010: In its first three months, presented 99 programs Cost to rent: $875 to $15,000 for private events Upcoming highlights: Urban Arias (contemporary mini-operas, Jan. 14); National Chamber Ensemble (Jan. 29); Dar Williams and the Ibis Chamber Music Society (Jan. 30) Summary: The former Newseum building has become “a space for people and art to collide” with four performance spaces, three visual art galleries, a ballroom and a town hall with free Wi-Fi.
8 Wolf Trap Vienna, wolftrap.org 703-255-1900 Opened: 1971 Annual operating budget: $29 million Theaters: 3 Seating capacity: Filene Center, 3,868 in-house, 3,160 lawn; Barns at Wolf Trap, 382; Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, about 800 Average percentage of tickets sold: Not available Resident companies: 1 (also serves as summer home to the NSO) Performances in 2010: Nearly 300 (mostly in the summer) Cost to rent: Does not rent Upcoming highlights: International Guitar Night (Jan. 13); Peabody Trio (Jan. 14); Chicago City Limits (Jan. 20-21) Summary: “America’s national park for the performing arts” offers summer shows in the open-air Filene Center and year-round performances in the Barns. 9 Gildenhorn/Speisman Center for the Arts at the JCC of Greater Washington Rockville, jccgw.org 301-881-0100 Opened: 1969 Annual operating budget: $750,000 Theaters: 1 Seating capacity: 290 Average percentage of tickets sold: Not available Resident companies: One, plus several others who “consider us home” Performances in 2010: 188 Cost to rent: Varies, depending on group and facility Upcoming highlights: Claremont Piano Trio (March 13); Orli Shaham (April 10); Menahem Pressler (May 15) Summary: Small theater presents a range of in-house programming. 10 Bowie Center for the Performing Arts Bowie, bowiecenter.org 301-805-6880 Opened: 2004 Annual operating budget: $480,000 Theaters: 2 Seating capacity: Main Hall, 800; Recital Hall, up to 125 Average percentage of tickets sold: Not available Resident companies: None Performances in 2010: Not available Cost to rent: $200 to $425 per hour, depending on nonprofit status of group Upcoming highlights: Maryland Opera Society (Jan. 5); U.S. Navy Concert Band (Jan. 14) Summary: Instructional facility for all forms of the performing arts, operated by the county’s public schools, the city, the state park and planning commission. 11 Weinberg Center for the Arts Frederick, weinbergcenter.org 301-228-2828 Opened: 1978 Annual operating budget: $1.3 million Theaters: 1 Seating capacity: 1,143 Average percentage of tickets sold: Not available Resident companies: None, but eight local groups use it Performances in 2010: 150 events October-June), plus 10 in summer Cost to rent: $2,500 for nonprofit groups; $3,500 for commercial Upcoming highlights: Second City Live (Jan. 22); Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Feb. 4); Handel Happy Hour (Feb. 24) Summary: Originally an art deco movie theater and still boasting its original Wurlitzer organ, this nonprofit center in Frederick presents a range of events from standup comedy to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
12 Clarice Smith Center University of Maryland at College Park, claricesmithcenter.umd.edu 301-405-2787 Opened: 2001 Annual operating budget: $6 million Theaters: 6 Seating capacity: Dekelboum Concert Hall, 1,100; Gildenhorn Recital Hall, 300; Kay Theater, 650; Kogod Theater, 200; Cafritz Foundation Theater, 100; Dance Theater, 180 Average percentage of tickets sold: Not available Resident companies: Student ensembles and organizations of UMd. Performances in 2010: 280 Cost to rent: Dekelboum Concert Hall, $3,200; nonprofit groups pay $2,750; U-Md. departments and registered organizations pay $1,600 Upcoming highlights: Choreographers’ Showcase (Jan. 29); Siti Company, “Radio Macbeth” (Feb. 4); New York Festival of Song (Feb.12); U-Md. Wind Orchestra, “Torn Canvases” (Feb. 18) Summary: In addition to showcasing student groups, collaborates with U-Md. in bringing in contemporary and cutting-edge ensembles from across the country: Laurie Anderson, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Kronos Quartet. 13 George Mason University Center for the Arts Fairfax, cfa.gmu.edu 703-993-8888 Opened: 1990 Annual operating budget: $5 million Theaters: 1 Seating capacity: 1934 Average percentage of tickets sold: 74 Resident companies: 4 Performances in 2010: About 250, 200 of which are ticketed Cost to rent: $3,000 to $4,000, plus additional expenses depending on the size of the production Upcoming highlights: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie (Jan. 29); Mark Morris Dance Group (Feb. 4-5); Virginia Opera, “The Valkyrie” (Feb. 18, 20) Summary: Offers a mixture of GMU faculty and student performances and an array of national and international performers, including European orchestras. 14 Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria, schlesingercenter.com 703-845-6156
Opened: 2001 Annual operating budget: $325,000 Theaters: 1 Seating capacity: 941 Average percentage of tickets sold: Not available. Resident companies: 5 Performances in 2010: 64 Cost to rent: Depends upon tax status and amount of time needed for the event Upcoming highlights: American Balalaika Symphony (Jan. 15); U.S. Marine Band (almost weekly); Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (Feb. 12)
Summary: Still relatively littleknown, but increasingly used by Washington groups, this hall sits near the intersection of Alexandria, Fairfax and Arlington. 15 Cultural Arts Center at Silver Spring Montgomery College, Takoma Park/ Silver Spring campus, montgomerycollege.edu/cac 240-567-1300 Opened: 2009 Annual operating budget: $200,000 Theaters: 2 Seating capacity: Theater 1, 500; Theater 2,116 Tickets sold: 150 performances in the large theater with an average audience of 250 Resident companies: None Performances in 2010: 150 Cost to rent: $1,400 to $2,500 for the larger theater Upcoming highlights: Native American Contemporary Songs (Feb. 11); CityDance Ensemble (Feb. 25-27); Tether (play, Feb. 18-March 30) Summary: This gleaming new facility in Silver Spring offers theater, world music, children’s events, and faculty and student performances. 16 Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale campus, nvcc.edu 703-323-3000 Opened: 1991 Annual operating budget: $600,000 Theaters: 1 Seating capacity: 525 Average percentage of tickets sold: Not available (clients sell tickets to their shows) Resident companies: None Performances in 2010: 50-plus Cost to rent: Not available Upcoming highlights: Encore Theatrical Arts Project (April 2-3); Virginia Ballet (May 14-15); Dancin’ Unlimited (Jan. 28-30) Summary: Less known and more modest than the Schlesinger Concert Hall at NVCC’s Alexandria campus, the Ernst Center is another affordable home for some of the region’s smaller groups. 17 Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center Montgomery College, Rockville, montgomerycollege.edu/PAC 240-567-5301 Opened: 1984 Annual operating budget: $1,385,000 Seating capacity: 509 Tickets sold: Professional series performances almost always sell out; student shows run the gamut Resident companies: None Performances in 2010: 145 Cost to rent: Not available Upcoming highlights: Inscape plays Copland and Barber (Feb. 4); Stars of the Bolshoi (March 9); Orquestra de Guitarras de Barcelona (April 19) Summary: The older of Montgomery College’s two performing arts centers offers a number of performances by international and national performers.
Gildenhorn/ Speisman Center for the Arts, Rockville
When the 17 centers opened to the public:
Black outline indicates the venue is located on a college campus
8,200 Total seats