arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Theatre in San Diego

Broadway bound hits, award-winning companies and local talent

San Diego’s theatre scene is on fire, fueled by a cadre of award-winning companies that has sent more shows to Broadway than any other city in the U.S.

The Road to Broadway

Since the 1980s the Old Globe Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse combined have sent more than 50 productions to Broadway, winning nearly as many Tony Awards® and numerous Tony nominations. Additional productions have gone on to successful runs Off-Broadway and to regional theatres across the country. San Diego is also a hotbed of avant-garde indie playhouses that keep the city’s creative juices flowing. Spend just one day in our city and you’ll see why San Diego is among the most thriving and creative theatre towns in the country.

Discounted Tickets

Head Downtown to be first in line at the Arts Tix booth conveniently located in Horton Plaza along San Diego’s own Broadway thoroughfare. Sponsored by the San Diego Performing Arts League, a service organization to the theatre community, Arts Tix offers half-priced tickets to many of the hottest shows on San Diego’s stages. Can’t make it downtown to the booth? Purchase tickets online and your tickets will be waiting for you at the event’s box office, tonight!

So Many Excellent Options

If you’re overwhelmed by the plethora of theatrical offerings available to you, you’re not alone. As a new production opens here nearly every night, San Diego has become the most active theater producer per capita outside New York and Chicago. Topping the list are the city’s three flagship institutions: The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse and San Diego Repertory Theatre.

Old Globe Theatre

A stalwart of San Diego’s arts and cultural community, the 70-year young Tony Award-winning Old Globe Theatre is one of the most renowned regional theaters in the country. Producing a year-round season of dramas and musicals on three stages, the Old Globe launched world premieres such as "The Full Monty – The Musical" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," which enjoyed successful runs on New York stages. Score your tickets now and you’ll join the legions who saw it first in San Diego.

If the Old Globe is your choice, its audiences patronize popular upscale restaurants nearby for pre- and post-theatre dining. The Prado Restaurant at Balboa Park and Cucina Urbana offer creative menus that are authentically San Diego.

La Jolla Playhouse

Matthew Broderick in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," Billy Crystal’s "700 Sundays" and "Jersey Boys," the musical telling of the Four Seasons story are just a few of the award-winning theatrical productions brought to life on a La Jolla Playhouse stage. Founded in 1947 by late greats Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse’s brilliant productions of classics, new plays and musicals have merited over 300 major honors including the 1993 Tony Award as America’s Outstanding Regional Theatre.

Located on the magnificent campus of the University of California, San Diego, the Playhouse is minutes away from the La Jolla Village where shopping and dining gems are abundant. For dinner, try the innovative Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar. Don’t be afraid to put yourself at the “Mercy of the Chef” when you order the special prix fixe menu created at the whim and inspiration of the Nine-Ten chef.

San Diego Repertory Theatre

When a theatre complex operates as the “cultural town hall” of a city as diverse as San Diego, you can expect to see the world on its stages. The San Diego Repertory Theatre, resident managers of Horton Plaza’s Lyceum Theatres, has been commissioning and producing bold new works since its beginnings in 1976. To date, the REP has produced more than 40 world premieres, including the multiple Tony® Award-nominated "Ain’t Nothing but the Blues."

Ideally located steps from the historic Gaslamp Quarter, the REP knows that its patrons aren’t limited to what’s on their stages for entertainment. Browse the area’s fine art galleries, unique shops and specialty stores or sip late night coffee at one of its many charming sidewalk cafes.

The Smaller Companies

The major players aren’t the only ones setting stages on fire—it’s the smaller companies dotting neighborhoods across the city that are also stoking the flame.

  • Cygnet Theatre believes in the power of live theatre to startle the soul and ignite debate. Locating their intimate 146-seat neighborhood theatre may be tricky, but their fearless productions are worth the trek.
  • Get off the beaten track and discover Diversionary Theatre, one of the most vibrant showcases of theatrical talent in San Diego. Producing plays with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes, Diversionary’s works are surprisingly about the humanity in us all. 

After the Show is Over

And where do local thespians flock to when the curtains close and the house lights go up? Where else, but Nunu’s Cocktail Lounge in Hillcrest. Christmas lights above the bar, mirrored walls and naugahyde booths—Nunu’s authentic dive-bar décor is the perfect watering hole for the old school to the neo-hip who think nothing of talking theatre until the wee hours of the morning.


Between trips to the theatre, take in a performance by San Diego's world-class symphony or entertainment at one of the many live music venues around San Diego County.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Red, White, & Zoo Package

Wyndham San Diego Bayside
Valid: Apr 22 - ongoing

It could be the 4th of July all year long! Visit the world famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park during your Bayside stay. Explore Panda Canyon, Elephant Odyssey, Asian Passage or relax with the...

Accommodation

Advance Purchase Rate

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Jan 12, 2021 - ongoing

Plan Ahead & Save! The early bird gets the worm! Plan in advance and save up to 20% ! Must be booked at least 60 days in advance. You deserve a waterfront getaway at Island Palms in...

Biking

50% OFF Any Tour and Rental Weekdays

Bike & Kayak Tours Inc La Jolla
Valid: Apr 1 - ongoing

50% off before 10am and after 4pm weekdays, and 20% off on weekends.  Offer expirese December 31st 2021

Events to check out

Event

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Dec 28, 2021

The SDCCU Holiday Bowl is America’s Finest Bowl Experience! This signature San Diego event annually showcases a thrilling game between some of college football’s most competitive...

Event

San Diego International Auto Show

Dec 30, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022

Where the cars are the stars! The San Diego International Auto Show features the widest variety of new vehicles under one roof.

Event

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 12 - Dec 19, 2021

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated sailing by the shores for all to see.

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish