Washington DC is the go-to location for experiencing history outside of the classroom. However, DC boasts a fantastic arts and culture scene that should not be overlooked when planning your school trip. Not only is our nation’s capitol packed with cultural museums, but also many fantastic, age-appropriate live theatre performances as well. These include:
1. Folger Shakespeare Library: Experience a Shakespeare play live in an Elizabethan Theatre! The Folger Shakespeare Library is holds the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare materials. The Folger is a world renowned research center, museum, and theatre.
2. Ford’s Theatre: What an experience! Not only can students see live plays and musicals at Ford’s Theatre, but they will do so in a place pivotal to our nation’s history. On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth. The theatre has been restored to its appearance on this night and is run by the National Park Service. It also holds a fantastic museum that can be visited.
3. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: The Kennedy Center is a “living memorial” to President Kennedy. International musicians and orchestras perform on a regular basis at the Kennedy Center, along with musicals and the ongoing mystery comedy “Shear Madness”. Additionally, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet call the Kennedy Center home. There is also a free performance every day at 6 PM on the Millenium Stage.
4. Discovery Theater: The Discovery Theatre is the Smithsonian’s Theatre for young audiences in Washington DC. Discovery Theater serves to excite students about the exhibitions, collections, and cultures contained in the museums on the National Mall and beyond. Students can watch performances while they visit many of the museums on the National Mall. Performances are held at the Ripley Center, at the Air & Space Museum, at the Baird Auditorium and Q’rious Learning Center of the Natural History Museum, at the Haupt Garden of the Smithsonian Castle, at the Rasmuson Theater of the American Indian Museum, and at the Round House Theatre.
5. National Theatre: The National Theatre, which opened in 1835, is one of America’s oldest continually operating theaters. It features national tours of Broadway favorites, pre-Broadway shows, children’s programming and American premieres.
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