Best theater companies in Miami

Some people believe theater is dead in the Magic City, but a group of passionate directors, actors and other creators are working in venues from Kendall to the beach to bring the performing arts to their communities. From musicals to stand-up comedies and short plays, more than a dozen companies in the area provide unique theater. Whether you’re an arts major, a theater kid, or just want to try something new, you’ll enjoy these five companies’ use of creativity to entertain audiences and inspire future artists in the Magic City.

Entrance to the Miracle Theater (Javier Diaz-Garcia) 

Actors’ Playhouse
280 Miracle Mile
Coral Gables, FL 3313
(305) 444-9293

Actors’ Playhouse is undoubtedly one of the primary cultural references in the area. It is a leading production company in both dramatic and musical theater and offers a tremendous educational program for both children and adults. It has won the Theater Company of the Year award in South Florida from the Carbonell Committee for its immense impact on the community. In the 35 years since its establishment, it has staged more than 180 productions including comedies, thrillers and musicals. Actors’ Playhouse offers a summer camp that allows kids to immerse themselves in the acting world on and off stage just like professionals. The next show to open is “Bright Star,” which runs from March 26 to April 16. Tickets can be bought online and seniors over 65 get a 10% discount. 

Area Stage Company Performing “Belle” in the Adrienne Arsht Center (Sophia Morgan Photography courtesy of Area Stage)

Area Stage Company
5701 Sunset Dr Suite 286
South Miami, FL 33143
(305) 666-2078

Area Stage was established in 1989, intending to give people with artistic aspirations a chance to be trained in theater. It performs both timeless classics and lively productions for those who love the stage. Yet like everything in life, theater is not immune to change. After calling the Riviera Theater home for 12 years, Area Stage was forced to pack its bags and move due to the pandemic. But this wasn’t a setback. Rather it was an opportunity to reinvent itself and start a new story through local partnerships. They are now conveniently located in Sunset Mall. Area Stage is producing the Tony Award musical RENT in March at the ASC’s Black Box in Sunset Place.

Anna in The Tropics (Courtesy of Miami New Drama) 

Miami New Drama 
1040 Lincoln Rd
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 674-1040

Miami New Drama is a non-profit theater company with a professional and avant-garde approach. At the Historic Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road, Miami New Drama produces works influenced by Lincoln’s road’s busy streets and culture from the Miami art scene. The works are for all kinds of people regardless of their origin. This makes for vibrant stories. Recently the place has been home to its most significant theater production, “7 Deadly Sins.” In spring, MND is premiering “Defacing Michael Jackson,” set in Opa Locka during the ’80s with themes of personal discovery and social unrest. Prices range between $46.50 – $86.50 per person, depending on the seat.

 Local performers doing sketch comedy (Courtesy of Villain Theater) 

Villain Theater
5865 NE Second Ave.
Miami, FL 33137
(786) 391-2241

If Shakespeare’s tragedies and Broadway musicals aren’t your thing, then have a laugh with Villain Theater. An artistic organization whose primary purpose is to develop and enhance the creative skills of people interested in comedy and improv, this venue is meant for those who want a drink and enjoy entertainment with friends on a night out. With frequent open mic nights and variety shows, the fun never ends. It hosts live performances by comedy groups and comedians throughout the week. In addition, the tickets cost only $20 to $26 per person with free parking and no drink minimums. Tuesdays are Improv Comedy nights, where a variety of comedians come together to give the spectator a good laugh. Every Saturday it’s Tonight with Tarek – Stand – Up Comedy Variety Show, which brings a new guest to discuss the latest occurrences in politics and culture. 

City Theatre Summer Shorts acting company performing “21 Chump Street” (Courtesy of City Theatre)   

City Theatre Miami 
444 Brickell Ave
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 755-9401

Founded in 1996, City Theater is recognized for producing short plays and musicals averaging 10 minutes in length. “Summer Shorts” is their festival of short plays with works by renowned and emerging playwrights, during which an ensemble of actors performs in varying styles. Unlike long-format productions, which only follow one story, these works include a bag of tricks where they don’t know what they’ll get but will leave them wanting more. When most theater programs focus on the past and present, City Theater aims to inspire future playwrights. Its playwright development program features Homegrown hosts young minority playwrights from the Miami area where they write plays and show them to the community.

A Brazilian-American and Miami native, Elijah Pestana is pursuing his undergraduate degree in broadcast media and digital communication at FIU. He uses his knowledge within the performing arts, television , politics and higher education to pursue his deep passion for storytelling and entertaining others. He aspires to become a late-night talk show host, combining his gift of comedy and love for journalism to promote media literacy for future generations.

Javier Diaz-Garcia is a senior majoring in communication . After completing his studies would like to pursue a career in the Mental Health field .