Performing Arts & Theater
Entertainment for All
Enjoy musical, theatrical, and dance performances, as well as art, literary, and film events. Come for the high-quality performances and revel in the venues as they delight with stunning architectural designs.
Visit one of the oldest, most beautiful theaters in the country, Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts. A converted city hall and the only surviving theatre designed by John Montague Trimble, one of America's foremost 19th-century theatre architects, the venue hosts 500 performances each year and weekly behind-the-scenes tours featuring the stories and history of Thalian Hall.
Wilmington is home to the largest and most technologically advanced performance center in Eastern North Carolina, The Wilson Center. Spend an entertaining evening taking in a Broadway or comedy show, symphony or concert, or dance performance at this impressive venue. The center has played host to Tony-Award-winning musicals including Kinky Boots, Fiddler on the Roof and Evita, The Wilmington Symphony and more. The Wilson Center is proud to operate as a laboratory for Cape Fear Community College students, who work on every production at the Wilson Center. Behind the main stage is the studio theater, which hosts professional and student performances meant for a smaller venue.
Kenan Auditorium at University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) is home to more than 170 musical, theatrical and dance performances throughout the year. Spend an evening attending a university production, internationally-acclaimed performance or local event at the largest performing arts venue on the UNCW campus.
For an intimate theater experience, venture to Cape Fear Playhouse. The 50-seat black box theatre located in the heart of the Castle Street Arts & Antique District works with Big Dawg Productions to produce a lineup of thought-provoking and socially responsible theater.
The Brooklyn Arts Center is set in a renovated church originally constructed in 1888 and is the backdrop for musical concerts, events and festivals year-round. The Second Street Stage within the Hannah Block Historic USO Building/Community Arts Center features theatrical productions.
From classical to pops, Wilmington Symphony Orchestra delights audiences with themed concerts and special events, often featuring visiting vocalists and musicians. Opera Wilmington strives to make the genre accessible to everyone, featuring family-friendly opera experiences in addition to the classics.
Cucalorus Festival is a non-competitive festival that showcases more than 300 independent films from all over the world. In addition to film screenings, visitors can enjoy a diverse selection of stage performances and over 50 events that focus on technology and entrepreneurship. The festival’s spirited celebration has been celebrated as a breeding ground for young artists, new ideas and lifelong friendships. Moviemaker Magazine recognized the event as “One of the Coolest Film Festivals in the World” and “One of the 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.” Cucalorus takes place annually in November.
Enjoy the enchanting scenery that surrounds you while you soothe your soul with live jazz during the Jazz at the Mansion Concert Series, which takes place at the Bellamy Mansion Museum. The concert series, held on the second Thursday of every month between May and September, invites listeners to relax on their blankets and chairs while enjoying a glass of wine or beer and their favorite snack.
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