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San Francisco Arts: Art Scene in San Francisco

Major Theaters | Small Equity Companies | Specialized Theaters

San Francisco is known for its iconic landmarks, world-class restaurants, and warm welcome to all of its visitors, whether they come from across the globe or just across the Bay. There is plenty to do without looking far, but for those who dig a little deeper a thriving haven for all sorts of artists can be found off the beaten path. The theater scene in San Francisco is one of the best in the country, and all that’s required to take advantage of it is to know your way around.

San Francisco has a big reputation, but the city itself is quite small. The main theater district can be found in the heart of downtown, featuring major theaters with over-the-top productions to more intimate venues with an alternative twist. Public transportation is easy, convenient and affordable, and brings visitors just steps away from the theater of their choosing. Without the hassle of a car, theater-goers can use the cash saved on gas and parking to sample the wide choice of restaurants and nightlife nearby. Many theaters also offer discounts or special deals. In the San Francisco theater scene, it’s all a matter of knowing what you’re looking for. (Lauren Sapala)

  • Major Theaters: Whether you’re looking for splashy musicals with glitz and glam, or serious performances of the work of Nobel Prize winning playwrights, theaters such as the Orpheum, the Curran, and the American Conservatory Theater deliver.
  • Small Equity Companies: If you’re interested in the unusual and edgy, or looking to check out the work of emerging playwrights, a creative venue like the Exit Theater is an excellent fit. With a more intimate setting and offbeat approach to performance, a smaller theater is also a great place to take a date!
  • Specialized Theaters: For those who enjoy intellectual work with diverse themes ensembles like Theater of Yugen, or Theatre Rhinoceros, provide thought-provoking performances.