How to Get Involved in Washington, D.C.’s Theater Community

July 21, 2014 7:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

D.C. has a wealth of theater, with a fully committed theater community. From the Kennedy Center to Theater J and musicals to Shakespeare, there is something for all theater lovers. Whether you want to begin your acting career, volunteer or work behind the scenes, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved. Here are a few of the options available.

Theatre Washington
1825 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 100
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 337-4572

Washington, D.C. is one of the biggest theater communities in the country, with over 80 professional theatres. Theatre Washington has played a large role in growing the D.C. theater community into what it is today. And it continues to educate, promote and support the theater community through various efforts. Mostly recognized for starting and presenting the Helen Hayes Awards, this organization is a major part of the D.C. theater community. Volunteering around the office, at festivals, special events and more with Theatre Washington would be a great experience and way to get involved.

National Endowment For The Arts
400 7th St. S.W.
Washington, DC 20506
(202) 682-5400

Although funding for the arts seems to shrink year after year, The National Endowment For The Arts strives to promote the arts in a fun way. The federal agency has supported the arts since 1965, awarding over five billion dollars over the years. Grants are a huge part of the DC theater community, so interning at the NEA would give you a leg up if you want to be involved in the day-to-day office side of the theater community. By volunteering with the NEA, you will gain invaluable experience and become involved with the DC theater scene in a way few get to experience.

Capital Fringe Festival
607 New York Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 737-7230

Theater has always been a creative expression of themes, experiences, emotions and more. Capital Fringe Festival allows DC-area artists to share their expression with others. Some of the most unique, outrageous and creative pieces have shown at Capital Fringe. Whether you want to volunteer or present your own work, this festival is a great way to get involved in the theater community. You will make friends and connections while being involved in one of the most anticipated festivals in the area. With a summer and fall festival, you have two chances to get involved.

Related: Best Volunteer Oppurtunities For Art Lovers In Washington, D.C.

Studio Theatre
1501 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 232-7267

With 60 Helen Hayes Awards over nearly 40 years, Studio Theatre continues to premiere and present some of the most edgy, thought-provoking and rich works in the area. This contemporary theatre not only presents great work, but it also trains actors and directors who have gone on to Broadway and film work. One of the most exhilarating and fun ways to get involved with the DC theater community would be to actually become a working member. Take a voice and body class, weekend workshop, directing class or auditioning class and start your acting career. 

Arena Stage
1101 6th St. S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 554-9066

When deciding how you are going to get involved in the DC theater community, choosing an organization that prides itself on community engagement is a good idea. Arena Stage is dedicated to presenting American works, and has become the largest theater doing so. It is also one of the most involved theaters in the area, with after-school programs, residencies, children’s programs, partnerships with schools and more. Apply for an internship, fellowship, usher or volunteer, however you join the Arena Stage family, you will not only become a part of the DC theater community, but be more involved with the DC community in general.

Related: Best Date Ideas For Art Lovers In Washington, D.C.

Folashade Oyegbola is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. Her work can be found on