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Our Performing Arts: All the World’s a Stage

Our Performing Arts: All the World’s a Stage

What nobler profession than that of the stage performer? From the labyrinthine Shakespearian diatribe to the laconic grace of ballet blanc, Greater Gainesville’s performing arts scene is aflame with creative passion. Local performance cadres bring dignity and inspiration to district venues, lighting up the night with song, dance and carefully rehearsed on-stage works.  

The heart of performance is human, but every heart needs a body. Greater Gainesville’s numerous venues prove its lasting commitment to the performing arts. 

Acrosstown Repertory Theatre 

Founded in 1980, the ART develops new talent, plays, audiences and ideas while also celebrating and revivifying the great plays of the past.  

Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts 

Broadway shows, ardent speeches by public figures and musical productions — any and all of these can be enjoyed at the University of Florida’s 1,700-seat Phillips Center. 

Florida Theatre 

The Florida Theatre does it all. Year-round, entertainment of all stripes courses through this beloved structure, making it a long-standing venue of high reputation. It even occupies a place on the National Register of Historic Places and easily makes the Top 100 Theatre Venues in the country, according to Pollstar. 

Gainesville Circus Center 

GCC is a social circus, aimed at providing circus arts experiences to all. Circus arts are used to help kids, especially “at-risk youth” build strength on physical, emotional and mental levels and to promote cross-cultural and inter-generational collaboration. Performances take place across the county throughout the year. 

Gainesville Community Playhouse 

This historic local theater stages productions throughout the year, including musicals, dramas and Broadway shows. 


Perhaps the biggest, boldest avenue for the performing arts in Greater Gainesville, the 50-year-old Hippodrome presents a dizzying bundle of shows for local viewing pleasure. 

Santa Fe College Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall

Aspiring performing artists, including singers, dancers, actors, stage crews, musicians and even the visual arts, perfect their skills on Santa Fe College’s Fine Arts Hall. 

University of Florida Auditorium 

Complete with hammerbeam ceiling and colossal pipe organ, the UF auditorium cultivates a surreal sense of antiquity, and with acoustics that make conductors shed a quiet tear of joy. 

University of Florida Opera Theatre 

The University of Florida Opera Theatre brings that elegant slice of Italy to Gainesville locals, nurturing cultural interest with such classics as “La Bohème,” “The Magic Flute” and “La Traviata.” From whatever stage may house UFOT’s latest melodic drama, baritones boom and sopranos ring.  

In early 2022, UFOT premiered an opera-movie hybrid of contemporary opera, “The Golem of Prague,” which is still viewable in full on Vimeo. 

Y-Not Theatre, Inc. 

In its own words, the relatively new Y-Not Theatre “promotes, produces, develops and presents new American plays by playwrights of all skill levels.”  

At the core of Y-Not is its “Gainesville Playreaders,” a group which gathers monthly to read new plays that have been produced and published. Staged readings and workshops are their key tools for promoting community engagement. 

See Also


Dance ’Til You Drop 

Gainesville performing arts

Dance Alive National Ballet

Dance Alive is an esteemed professional dance company based in Gainesville. The group’s classical approach has lit up stage after stage with spectacular shows, including “The Nutcracker,” “Dracula,” “Swan Lake” and a myriad other ballet bombshells.  

Gainesville Dance Academy 

The Gainesville Dance Academy is a highly active studio owned and operated by Sarah Ingley, a professional dancer-turned-instructor with an exemplary record of public performance. Her record includes the Disney/Telemundo New Year’s Eve Concert shot on-location at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Students from GDA are always open to book for local events. 

DOXA Dance Studio 

Merging worship with dance, DOXA operates out of a beautifully renovated, 4200-square-foot studio. Their M.O. as instructors is to encourage and uplift dancers without emphasizing toxic competition.  

DOXA is the group behind many of Gainesville’s most accessible shows, including “A Frozen Heart,” “Neverland,” “Narnia” and “Prince of Egypt.” 


By Drew Mortier 

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