Guide to performing arts, venues and theaters around Bradenton


Guests occupy seats in the Manatee Performing Arts Center for a performance in 2013.

Bradenton Herald file photo


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From top-notch community and professional theater to touring Broadway shows and mega-talents, the Suncoast of Florida puts a sunny spotlight on the performing arts.

In Bradenton and Sarasota, top-notch venues and arts groups offer the chance to catch musicals, plays, comedies, plays, ballets, operas, and orchestras, to boot.

So if you fancy a night out at the theater, look no further than one of these local arts institutions.

Here are all the places to catch a show around Bradenton and Sarasota.


Asolo Repertory Theater, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

What’s on: This renowned professional theater stages up to 15 productions a year, including new plays, bold revisions of classic and contemporary works, and new musicals.

Florida Studio Theater, 1241 N Palm Avenue, Sarasota.

What’s On: This contemporary theater hosts a diverse mix of new works for the stage, hits on and off Broadway, cabaret, thought-provoking plays, children’s theater and improv featuring the improv troupe Florida Studio Theatre.

McCurdy’s Comedy Theater, 1923 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.

What’s On: Opened in 1988, McCurdy’s Comedy Theater attracts stand-up big names and up-and-coming comedians; the theater is also home to the Humor Institute, an apprenticeship program for aspiring comedians.

Players Center for the Performing Arts, performance space located at 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Now Playing: This non-profit community theater hosts local performances of popular musicals and plays.

The Sarasota Ballet, performing at the Sarasota Opera House and other area venues.

Now Playing: Founded in 1987, Sarasota’s widely acclaimed professional ballet company performs classic works of ballet as well as lesser-known and contemporary pieces.

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.

What’s On: Sarasota Opera House is a professional venue that presents world-class opera productions at the Suncoast, including the annual Winter Opera Festival.

Sarasota Orchestra, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Playing: Florida’s oldest permanent orchestra presents more than 100 shows a year, including pop, classical, chamber and community concerts; the organization also produces the annual Sarasota Music Festival, which attracts international visitors.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Featuring: Sarasota’s largest performing arts venue, the Van Wezel offers touring musicals, stage shows, concerts, comedy, circus, dance and more.

Urban theater, 1487 Second St., Sarasota.

Now Playing: Urbanite Theater hosts bold, boundary-pushing and diverse professional theater productions.

WestCoast Black Theater Troupe, 1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota.

Now Playing: This nonprofit professional theater produces musicals and plays, including hits and new original works, that promote and celebrate African American history and experiences.


Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton.

Now Playing: The Manatee Performing Arts Center is home to community theater in Bradenton, where the Manatee Players present a full lineup of hit shows each year. Also catch touring musicians, tributes and comedies.


The Island Players

Now playing: Founded in 1949, the Anna Maria Island Community Theater produces five shows from October to May, including popular hits and modern plays.

This story was originally published March 17, 2022 00:00.

Ryan Ballogg is a journalist and columnist for the Bradenton Herald. Since joining the paper in 2018, he has received awards for feature stories, art, and environmental writing in the Florida Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Contest. Ryan is originally from Florida and graduated from the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg.
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