Wisconsin Performing Arts

Feel the goosebump-inducing rhythm, hear brass and string play in harmony and see ballet dancers leap above the stage. There’s nothing like a live performing arts event. Whether it's a stage play or musical performance, art makes us feel deeply connected to the present moment and more importantly, to the people we’re sharing it with, loved ones and strangers alike.

During your stay in Wisconsin, attend a performing arts event — or two — at our indoor and outdoor venues and find inspiration, whether it be from an opera overture or a monologue.

Live Music

Music stirs the heart and soothes the soul. Enjoy the emotional highs and lows of a live orchestra with a visit to the Sentry Theater in Stevens Point to hear the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, established in 1947, play. The orchestra performs twice in a concert weekend. If you’d like to enjoy classical music under a starry night sky, the orchestra also performs across multiple outdoor venues on select dates in the summertime.

Over at the state capital, spend a night at the Madison Opera, which performs three operas each year, most of the time at the Overture Center for the Arts, in addition to hosting a free operatic event every summer.

It’s Showtime

What could be better than a night at the theater?

The American Players Theatre in Spring Green is your chance to see a live performance in a charming outdoor setting. The troupe performs a rotation of eight plays in two outdoor theaters. To top it off, American Players also hosts a handful of public events, from The Backstage Series to Beyond the Plays, a series of discussions with the theater pros, including the actors.

You can also witness the very best of community theater at The Attic Chamber Theatre in Menasha. This beloved theater company started in an attic over 60 years ago and today performs three shows each summer season.

Let’s Dance

Dance is an artform truly best appreciated live. The Milwaukee Ballet, for example, has to be seen to be believed, particularly its holiday performances of “The Nutcracker.”

Meanwhile, the Kanopy Dance Company in Madison blends ballet and contemporary dance into a style all their own. You can see them perform at outdoor theaters every summer.

Spectacular Venues

Wisconsin has some of the very best performing arts venues in the country.

It’s always worth checking out what’s happening at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton, the seasonal Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua and The Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in Green Bay.

Also, The Orpheum, Madison’s premiere venue, hosts concerts, comedy shows and everything in between, and further north, The La Crosse Center events include performances, expos and much more.

From the balcony to the front-row seats, get ready for an afternoon or night of inspiration and world-class performing arts when you visit Wisconsin.