Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Performing Arts

Performing Arts

Milwaukee is a cultural center offering a wealth of opportunities to attend plays, operas, symphonies and chamber music, thanks to an arts community that is well supported by metro-area residents.  Among comparable metro areas, only Nashville, Orlando, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Chicago have more performing arts groups per 100,000 people.  And no city, except Los Angeles, raises more private money for the arts than Milwaukee.

The city is home to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet, the Florentine Opera, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and the Skylight Theatre.

Box Offices & Venues

Marcus Performing Arts Center

929 N. Water St., Milwaukee

Includes shows from the touring Broadway Series, Off-Broadway, and resident arts partners such as First Stage, Milwaukee Ballet, Florentine Opera Company, and more! Box Office: Mon-Fri 10-4; Ticketing Windows: Mon-Fri 12-4; 1 hour prior to curtain for most performances.


Telephone: (414) 273-7206


Miller High Life Theatre

500 W. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee

Downtown Milwaukee’s largest theater offers 4,087 seats and hosts a wide variety of concerts, family shows, performances and events, and features the historic Miss Lizzie’s grand bar and gathering space. Box Office Hours: Sat 12-4 and beginning at 12 pm on show days unless otherwise stated. Online ticket purchase; tickets may also be purchased in person at The Pabst Theater box office located at 144 E. Wells St., Milwaukee (Tues-Fri 12-6).


Telephone: (414) 908-6035


Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts

3270 Mitchell Park Drive, Brookfield

Current performing arts season, as of publication, includes the Mainstage Series (Bodytraffic, Danú–A St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, The Westerlies–Songbook, and Aaron Diehl–Stride & Ragtime); the Matinee Series (Steve March-Tormé–The Glory of Love, The Musical Romance of Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee, and Hollywood Revisited). Starry Nights free outdoor summer concerts are held at 6:30 pm on Friday evenings. Emerging regional music artists are featured in the center’s popular Studio Series. Special events and community performances as well. Box Office Hours: Tues-Fri 11-6; 2 hours before and 30 minutes after performances.


Telephone: (262) 781-9520


Skylight Music Theatre

158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee

Performances covering the full spectrum of music theatre. This season’s offerings include: Candide, School of Rock, Xanadu, Spring Awakening, and From Here to Eternity: The Musical. Also promotes creativity, inclusion and education through musical theatre via its ENLIGHTEN program. Box Office Hours: Mon-Fri 12-6; also open two hours before curtain.

Telephone: (414) 291-7800


Milwaukee Comedy

Online Box Office; Performance Venues Throughout Milwaukee

Live comedy production company featuring regional and national acts. Line-up includes the monthly comedy show, Keg Stand Up at Lakefront Brewery; the city’s longest running monthly show, Cask Comedy at Great Lakes Distillery; a Dandy Comedy Show and more! Homebase is The Laughing Tap comedy club, which features national headliners every weekend. Also produces the Annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival. Purchase tickets online.


CSz Milwaukee (ComedySportz)

420 S. 1st St., Milwaukee

A Milwaukee original, the city’s longest-running comedy show presents improvisational comedy as a sport – complete with referee, two teams and comic improv games based on audience suggestions. Matches held Fri & Sat 7:30 & 10 pm; Midnite Uncensored Shows on Sat. Offers adult improv workshops, teambuilding, and private entertainment.


Telephone: (414) 272-8888




527 N. 27th St., Milwaukee

In its 48th season at the intersection of ecology and community. Original interactive performances, events, dance theatre programs, community-building flash dances, and moving activations for all ages and abilities.


Telephone: (414) 651-4648



1661 N. Water St., Milwaukee

Celebrating over 30 years of serving the community by offering creative, engaging and beneficial dance experiences to more than 55,000 youth, adults and seniors annually. Nearly 90 weekly dance and dance fitness classes for youth and adults. DanceLAB year-round experimental venue for local and national artists.

Telephone: (414) 277-8480


Ko-Thi Dance Company

Various Venues, Milwaukee

Founded in 1969, Ko-Thi has an international reputation for innovative African and Caribbean dance that preserves, teaches, documents, interprets, and performs dance and music rooted in the cultures of the African Diaspora. Offers youth and adult studio classes, Drum Talk performances and workshops, ensemble productions and community-based events such as the concert WILDFIRE: Replay featuring the music and dance inspired by ancestral spiritual power.


Telephone: (414) 273-0676


Milwaukee Ballet

128 N. Jackson St., Milwaukee

One of the top ballet companies in the nation, the current season focuses on the theme of Transformation and includes: Dracula, Cinderella, a reinterpretation of its annual holiday performance of The Nutcracker, as well as its curated contemporary offerings of Genesis and MKE MIX.


Telephone: (414) 902-2103


UWM Peck School of the Arts - Dance

Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts

2419 E. Kenwood Blvd., Milwaukee

Performances, studio workshops and new works. Box Office: Mon/Wed/Fri 10-6


Telephone: (414) 229-4308

Wild Space Dance Company


820 E. Knapp St., Milwaukee

Critically acclaimed company that merges dance with visual art, built and natural landscapes, history and music to create emotionally charged, site-specific, collaborative performances that explore the human condition. Community outreach programs. Offers the Wild Arts: Summer Camp.


Telephone: (414) 271-0307


Early Music Now

759 N. Milwaukee St., Ste. 420, Milwaukee

37th season of lively connections with the past–across borders, across time! Historically informed performances of Medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque music. Nationally and internationally recognized. Ensembles perform in various venues. Current season includes: And the Sun Darkened; Beowulf; Wassail, Wassail! Music of the Yuletide Season; Shaping the Invisible; Seville to Isfahan; Crossing Borders: Italian & French Masterworks. Office Hours: Tues-Fri, 8:30-4:30.


Telephone: (414) 225-3113


Florentine Opera Company

205 W. Highland Ave., #201, Milwaukee

Founded in 1933 as the Italian Opera Chorus, the Grammy Award-winning Florentine Opera is the sixth-oldest opera company in the U.S. and Milwaukee’s oldest performing arts organization. The current season includes diverse offerings such as Wanderlust, Spotlight on Chaz’men Williams-Ali, La Bohème, María de Buenos Aires and Bronzeville Bohème. The Opera also offers Al Fresco and Spotlight performances, an Opera in Schools Tour and an outdoor Summer Studio Ensemble series. Performs mainstage at Marcus Performing Arts Center, but also at Historic Turner Ballroom and various other venues in the area. Box Office: Mon-Thurs 10-4.

Telephone: (414) 291-5700 x224


Milwaukee Musaik

8800 W. Bluemound Rd., Milwaukee

Celebrating more than 50 years! A consortium of musicians dedicated to original, engaging concert experiences of the classical canon juxtaposing timeless classics with the new and unfamiliar. Current concert season includes: All in the Family: Music by J.S. Bach & Sons, A Gala Evening with Pianist Joyce Yang, and the Golden Celebration Chamber Orchestra Concert. Performs at Wisconsin Lutheran College and Wauwatosa Presbyterian Church.


Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO)

212 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee

Among the finest in the nation, the MSO, led by Ken-David Masur, performs more than 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in its dedicated space at the Bradley Symphony Center in downtown Milwaukee and in venues throughout the state. Offers Pops, Salon Series, Feature Film Concerts, Family Events and more, such as Back to the Future Film Concert, Fever: A Peggy Lee Celebration, Nothin’ but the Blues, Sonic Symphony with the MSO, Indigo Girls, and Latin Fire! Office hours: Mon-Fri 10-4; Sat 12-5; windows open 90 minutes before performances.

Telephone: (414) 291-7605


Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO)

Milwaukee Youth Arts Center

325 W. Walnut St., Milwaukee

One of the largest after-school youth orchestras in the country, offering more than 40 ensemble and enrichment training options from string orchestras to steel bands, music theory and composition to 900 youth. More than 150 public performances for 25,000 community members.

Telephone: (414) 267-2950


Present Music

1120 N Market St., Milwaukee

Founded in Milwaukee and based here for more than 40 years, it’s one of the nation’s leading ensembles specializing in both the commissioning and performance of contemporary classical music by living performers. Current season offerings focus on women composers and include: Cello Cello, The Blue Hour and Honest Music. Venues: UWM’s Jan Serr Studio & Milwaukee Art Museum.


Telephone: (414) 229-4308


Racine Symphony Orchestra (RSO)

800 Center St., #313, Racine

One of Wisconsin’s oldest symphony orchestras in continuous operation. 92nd season includes: Lakeside Pops in August with film scores from Indiana Jones, Lawrence of Arabia, Vertigo, The Avengers, The Incredibles, Star Wars, The Mission and more. Fall Masterworks Concert and Holiday Pops Sing-A-Long, and the popular Musical Flights at Downtown Racine’s Uncorkt event. Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 9-3.

Telephone: (262) 636-9285


UWM Peck School of the Arts - Music

2400 E. Kenwood Blvd., Milwaukee

Presents a wide range of music, from small chamber ensemble concerts to large opera theatre productions, from classically leaning repertoire to musical theater and progressively contemporary works. Performances held at UWM’s Helene Zelazo Center.

Telephone: (414) 229-4308


Waukesha Choral Union

Live music classically performed at various Waukesha-area venues. Collaborations with Carroll University, secondary schools, youth choral groups, local arts organizations and congregations.

Telephone: (262) 238-3454


Wisconsin Philharmonic

234 W. Main St., #9, Waukesha

Current season includes: No Strings Attached: Celebrating the Philharmonic Winds, Brass and Percussion; Romantic Milestones; A Royal Christmas; Waukesha Janboree Family Concert; A Disney Spectacular; Songs of the Prairie and Starry Nights FREE Outdoor Concerts. Performs at the Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts and other venues.

Telephone: (262) 547-1858


Theater Companies

Acacia Theatre Company

2224 W. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee

Independent, non-profit, interdenominational theater company that integrates art and faith into a Christian world view. The current season offerings include Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, The House by the Stable, and The Agitators. Shows are performed at The Norvell Commons at St. Christopher’s Church (7845 N. River Road, Milwaukee). Tickets are pay-what-you-can.


Telephone: (414) 744-5995


First Stage

325 W. Walnut St., Milwaukee

First Stage is one of the nation’s most acclaimed theaters for young audiences and is the second-largest theater company in Milwaukee. The current season includes performances of Dream, Quickie! Dream!; The Forgotten Girl; The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical; Henry IV, Part I; The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical; Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!”; Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Musical; An Enemy of the People; Escape from Peligro Island and The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe. General Telephone: (414) 267-2929

Box Office: (414) 267-2961


Milwaukee Chamber Theatre

158 N. Broadway, 5th Floor, Milwaukee

One of Milwaukee’s largest nonmusical theatre companies comprised of primarily local artists. Current season offerings: Laughs in Spanish; Liberace!; A Moon for the Misbegotten; The Mountaintop; World Premiere: The Not-So-Accidental Conviction of Eleven Milwaukee “Anarchists”; as well as the annual HERE2PLAY  and Montgomery Davis Play Development series and its Young Playwright Festival. Performances are held at the Broadway Theatre Center in the Historic Third Ward.

Telephone: (414) 291-7800


Milwaukee Repertory Theater (Milwaukee Rep)

Associated Bank Theater Center

108 E. Wells St., Milwaukee

One of the first regional theaters in the nation, The Rep has provided more than six decades of world-class performances. Current season: Run Bambi Run; Country Sunshine; Parental Advisory; Dial M for Murder; Nuncrackers; Guys on Ice: The Ice Fishing Musical; Little Women; What the Constitution Means to Me; The Chosen; Piano Men 2; Nina Simone: Four Women and the annual performance of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, at the historic Pabst Theater. Ticket Office Hours: Mon-Sun, 12-6 and 15 min. after curtain on performance days.


Telephone: (414) 224-9490


Next Act Theatre

255 S. Water St.,

Milwaukee (Walker’s Point)

Engages hearts and minds with compelling, intimate and personal theatre intended to stimulate thought, foster the exchange of ideas, and promote new perspectives and understanding. The remainder of its current four-play season includes: Scarecrow and The Treasurer. Shares space and collaboration with Renaissance Theaterworks. Also produces Bombshell Theatre Co. summer shows: James and the Giant Peach; Disney’s Frozen Jr.; The 24-Hour Musical; The Prom; and Mean Girls Jr. Ticket Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 12-5.

Telephone: (414) 278-0765


Renaissance Theaterworks

255 S. Water St.,

Milwaukee (Walker’s Point)

Milwaukee’s women-founded, women-run professional company with Theater By Women For Everyone and a leader in gender equity in the arts. Intimate, thought-provoking productions awaken a recognition of what it is to be human with attention to women’s roles. The current season’s focus, “Change Your Scenery” features Witch: A Dark Comedy; The Wolves and L’Appartement.

Telephone: (414) 278-0765


Theatre Gigante


The “Theatre of Big Ideas,” offering over 35 years of innovative performance art integrating theater, dance, text and music.  Season highlights include: Peter & the Wolf & the One-Man Band; Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell; The Dogs, or The Paris Comedy; Three Other Sisters; and It’s a Wonderful Life. Performances held at UWM’s  Kenilworth Five-0-Eight Theatre, 2155 N Prospect Ave., and other venues. Ticket Link:


Telephone: (414) 961-6119


UWM Peck School of the Arts - Theater

2400 E. Kenwood Blvd., Milwaukee

Presents large-scale dramatic and musical productions in the 525-seat mainstage Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts and smaller, contemporary works at the black box Kenilworth Five-0-Eight Theatre. Current season offerings include: State Fair; The Moors; Macbeth; You on the Moors Now; Pipeline; Short Play Festival; and Once Upon a Mattress, as well as the First-Year Musical Theatre Spring Showcase.

Box Office Hours: M/W/F 10-6.


Telephone: (414) 229-4308