Salt Lake Theatre

Theatre in Utah traces its roots to the first settlers, who brought with them performing arts traditions from their native countries. Mormon immigrants had staged plays and pageants in Nauvoo, Illinois, before they were driven from that state into the western wilderness. As they became established in Utah they resumed efforts to provide dramatic entertainment.

The Deseret Musical and Dramatic Association was formed in 1850. The Social Hall was soon erected and hosted entertaining productions from 1852 to 1857. It has been called the first Little Theatre in America, and also the first professional playhouse built west of the Mississippi. The Salt Lake Theatre, finished in March 1862, was a major accomplishment for the struggling people. Dubbed the "Cathedral in the Desert," it was placed on the national theatrical circuit and booked by New York agencies. It attracted many of the top shows of the day. Sadly, the building no longer stands.

Currently around Salt Lake City:

Capitol Theatre, 50 West 200 South, Salt Lake City - (801) 355-2787
Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, this historic landmark is the home of Ballet West, Utah Opera, and Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. The theatre also hosts world class Broadway productions and community arts education programs. The building began as the Orpheum Theatre, and when completed in 1913 was recognized as an architectural gem featuring some of the "highest standard acts and greatest stars of the stage."

Desert Star Playhouse, 4861 South State St, Murray - 801-266-7600
Family cabaret and dinner theatre plays focusing on local melodramas.

Children's Theatre of Salt Lake, 638 S State St, Salt Lake City - 801-532-6000
This one has performance times for younger audiences and a theatre school for precocious thespians.

Hale Centre Theatre, 3333 Decker Lake Dr, West Valley City - 801-984-9001
Hosts a full season of musicals and comedies. Recent productions have included the West Side Story and Annie.

Kingsbury Hall, 1350 E 200 S, Salt Lake City - 801-581-7100
The University of Utah's Performing Arts Hall is an impressive classical building surrounded by green grass. It plays prestigious host to musicals, dramas, dance, opera and more.

Babcock Theatre / Studio 115, 240 S 1500 E, Room 206, Salt Lake City - 801-581-6448
The University of Utah's experimental student theatre produces student works in addition to major works.

Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S Main St, Salt Lake City - 801-355-4628
This is the place for comedy in downtown Salt Lake City. The resident Laughing Stock Improv Comedy Troupe performs Friday and Saturday nights and the OBT also hosts Broadway style comedies and parodies.

Plan-B Theatre Company, 138 West 300 South, Salt Lake City - 801-297-4200
A daring alternative to the typically conservative Utah theatre scene, Plan-B produces thought-invoking and convention-bending performances on a tight budget, held at various Salt Lake theatres and site-specific locales.

Pioneer Theatre Company, 300 S 1400 E, Room 325, Salt Lake City - 801-581-6961
Salt Lake City's landmark theatre company in residence at the University of Utah in the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, produces large-scale musicals, as well as modern dramas and comedies.

Red Butte Gardens Arboretum, 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City - 801-581-IRIS (4747)
Set in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, the Red Butte Gardens Arboretum provides outdoor summer concerts featuring regional and national vocalists and bands.

Salt Lake Acting Company, 168 W 500 N, Salt Lake City - 801-363-7522
A main player in the Salt Lake City theatre scene, this non-profit professional theatre brings new works by local and international artists to the stage, in addition to an affinity for Edward Albee.

StageRight Theatre, 5001 S Highland Dr (Theatre 2), Salt Lake City - 801-272-3445
With classic theatre at movie theatre prices, StageRight is one of our top community theatres; it produces anything from Shakespeare to Woody Allen.

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