Louisiana's 10 Best Live Theater Venues!

One of the most significant parts of a culture is theater. Theater carries on the stories of generations, and reflects the histories of our people. In Louisiana, you can catch theatrical performances at the local and national level. These 10 great venues in Louisiana provide a great night on the town with friends, family and love ones. 

1. Southern Rep Theatre, New Orleans, LA

As the only year-round professional theatre in New Orleans, this place has truly become a crown jewel of the city’s theatre community. Opened in 1986, they strive to create plays as unique and diverse as the city they call home. The award-winning theatre produces Broadway, off-Broadway, and classic plays under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Aimee Hayes. Shows such as Tennessee Williams classic play “Sweet Bird of Youth” as well as “And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens,” honor the famed playwright who spent many years in the Crescent City. They provide both main stage performances that are typically larger scale productions and a Lagniappe Series, such as “DEBAUCHERY!” that help developing talents hone their skills live on stage. This well-acclaimed theatre in New Orleans is sure to have a performance for everyone, all throughout the year. 

2. Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts, Kenner, LA

Formerly known as Theatre 13, co-funders Gary Rucker and Kelly Fouchi established a clear mission to provide new and exciting productions to the greater New Orleans area as well as provide a good environment for local artists to perform. Today, the venue maintains a diverse selection of plays to choose from throughout the year set on their main stage and Lagniappe Stage. Upcoming productions are family classics including the musical “Bye Bye Birdie” and “The Little Mermaid” the Broadway musical based on the Disney animated film. Especially for kids on the Lagniappe Stage are the children’s productions that include the upcoming play based on “School House Rock Live!” This family-friendly spot provides quality productions in a clean environment. 

3. Theatre Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, LA

Since 1947, Theatre Baton Rouge has been producing high quality theatrical dramas, comedies, and musicals for everyone in the Baton Rouge area. “Theatre by the community, for the community” is their motto and they stand by it well. Doing plays all year long they have now produced and staged over 400 shows. Follow the Young Actors Program where they show off their talents in classics like William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” or the hit musical “Bye Bye Birdie.” For decades, Theatre Baton Rouge has impressed its audiences and given back to its community. Visit them today for some quality performances.

4. Cutting Edge Theater, Slidell, LA

This theater in Slidell enjoys giving their audiences the full theater experience. Ranging from American classics to new as well as lesser-known works that provide a pallet easily accessible to people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. Located inside Attractions Salon, a full-service salon by day, the inside of this shop comes alive at night as Slidell’s most creative and intimate theater. Coming up they have performances such as “You Belong to Me: A Patsy Cline Story,” “Peter Pan - The New Musical,” and “Belles,” which is a comedy told in “tow acts and forty-five phone calls.” This intimate experience provides a joy of entertainment for the night with plays happening regularly. Check out their schedule for all upcoming performances. 

5. Swine Palace, Baton Rouge, LA

This non-profit, professional company directly supports the Louisiana State University Department of Theatre ever since they were founded in 1992. Having over 68 productions in their history this hip theater has its Reilly Theatre residence under the oaks of the beautiful university campus and utilizes the theater department for its talent. Past shows include “Julius Caesar,” and “Frankenstein.” 

6. River City Repertory Theatre, Shreveport, LA

Through its membership in Actors Equity, River City blends the best of local, regional, and national talent. This professional theatre company in Shreveport fosters the talents of the region, while attracting national talents. Such featured performers are Tony Award-winner Donna McKechnie, Academy Award nominee Margaret Avery, and West End star Jeremiah James. Past performances include “Moonlight and Magnolias,” and “Spelling Bee.” 

7. The Strand Theatre, Shreveport, LA

Anchoring the art’s district in downtown Shreveport known as the West Edge, the Strand Theatre reopened in 1984 and has since provided world-class entertainment to all its guests for over 30 seasons. The elegant place is the cornerstone of the Shreveport art community and has been nationally recognized by AMC Magazine as well as USA Weekend as one of the top five glitziest for live performances. Some of these acclaimed live performances include “Once,” based on the independent film, and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” Serving its community for decades this gorgeous theatre is suitable for a great night out on the town. 

8. Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, LA

Fostering art and culture in Acadiana, this center for the arts has quite a theatrical lineup. Since their beginnings as an Arts Council in 1975, these folks have cultivated an impressive enthusiasm within the community. Hosting productions such as William Shakespeare’s “William III” by Acting Up, as well as “Peter and the Starcatcher” this center also has many residencies to go along with these incredible plays. Check the calendar for the Acadiana Center for the Arts to see their packed everyday schedule of event and performances.

9. Lake Charles Little Theatre, Lake Charles, LA

Hosting productions since 1927, the Lake Charles Little Theatre welcomes all its guests to its prized shows. Their current home, The New Stable Playhouse, was granted to this company in 1986 and has provided entertainment to this community ever since. Past productions include “The Snow Queen,” and “The Great Big Doorstep.” The constantly revolving host of fun plays has kept audiences entertained for decades. 

10. Jefferson Performing Arts Center, Metairie, LA

This huge 86,000-sqaure-foot complex opened in 2015 to provide the greater Jefferson Parish area with a cultural hub for the arts. Having such classic professional performances of Broadway favorites like “Guys and Dolls Jr.” and “Madagascar Jr.” they have certainly continued with this reputation for excellence. Being located just outside Orleans Parish, this pristine establishment has plenty of seating for large productions and comfortable seating for all its guests. Keep an eye out for their diverse calendar of consistent events in Jefferson Parish.  

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