If you want to take in live theater around South Barrington, you have many choices, from intimate community theater to large venues presenting national acts. Our Crème de la Crème team invites you to check out some of the best theaters in the area.

Illinois Youth Dance Theatre

Ballerina in red tying up ballet slippers.

Ballerina by Ralf Steinberger is licensed by CC BY 2.0

The Illinois Youth Dance Theatre, a non-profit dance company for young dancers, puts on shows featuring highly trained dancers. The public performances are focused on community outreach. Students work with professional instructors and guest artists from nationally known dance companies to present high-quality shows. Their performances use professional sets and costumes, bringing the audience out of the everyday and into the story. The Illinois Youth Dance Theatre is located at 1251 N. Old Rand Road in Wauconda.

McHenry Outdoor Theater

For a nostalgic movie experience, head to the drive-in McHenry Outdoor Theater. Golden Age Cinemas at the McHenry Outdoor Theater helps you create movie memories with your family or group. Step back in time to experience the entertaining and innocent days of the 1950s. See your next movie at 1510 Chapel Hill Road in McHenry.

Metropolis Performing Arts Centre

Metropolis Performing Arts Centre puts on a wide variety of musicals and plays. They also have a school of performing arts. Their community engagement branch provides arts education for students of all ages and abilities. You can see a show or sign up for a class at 111 W. Campbell St. in Arlington Heights.

Theatre Nebula

Founded to nurture the appreciation of the fine arts and theater in high school and college students, Theatre Nebula is a non-profit, non-equity company. Their productions explore diverse theatrical styles. To help achieve excellence in performance, these talented young people work with Theatre Nebula’s professional company and theater artists. Theatre Nebula’s plays introduce audience members to various theatrical literature and styles. The plays Theatre Nebula chooses to produce are selected for their insight into the history, the arts, or the human condition.

There’s often the opportunity for the audience members to participate in question-and-answer discussions after a performance. These discussions are led by a panel of experts and educators connected to the subject matters explored within the play. You can find Theater Nebula at 150 E. Wood St. in Palatine.

Children’s Theatre of Elgin and The Fox Valley Theatre Company

Focused on family-friendly performances, the Children’s Theatre of Elgin puts on various shows featuring performers in grades two to nine. The children’s theater shows are primarily based on children’s literature, fairy tales, or shortened versions of Broadway favorites. They also host the Fox Valley Theatre Company, whose performers are in grade nine and up to 20 years old. These cast members perform in more advanced productions, such as full-length Broadway-type musicals.

Children’s Theatre of Elgin’s shows are held at The Hemmens Cultural Center at 45 Symphony Way in Elgin. The Fox Valley Theatre Company performs at Elgin Community College Arts Center Blizzard Theatre at 1700 Spartan Drive, Building H, in Elgin.

James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts

James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art performing arts theater in the College of Lake County. They present high-quality artistic performances that encourage audience development, appreciation, and aesthetic awareness. Their mission is to serve Lake county and the surrounding areas by offering a variety of high-quality activities and artistic events. These events span a variety of disciplines and draw on different cultures to broaden audience enrichment and appreciation. The center is located at 19351 W. Washington St. in Grayslake.

Marriott Theatre

For musicals and children’s theater, head to the Marriott Theatre. This popular theater draws approximately 11 million people, sells more than 400,000 tickets a year, and has staged more than 180 productions. They’ve also received a record 500 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations. Their theater is widely acclaimed and focuses on fostering artists. They’re known for creating American and World Premieres on their stage, as well as being the main venue that launches Broadway show performances for the regional market.

Marriott’s Theatre for Young Audiences presents classic fairy tales, well-known musicals, and original works. These one-hour productions have introduced over 2 million children to a live theatrical experience. Both kids and their families get to take in the magic and joy of seeing live performances. The Marriott’s Theatre for Young Audiences has staged more than 75 productions, which have entertained children and garnered critical acclaim. The theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

Elgin Theatre Company

For quality entertainment in the northwest suburbs of Chicago of Elgin, check out the productions at the Elgin Theatre Company. They stage four plays per season, plus occasional special events. They put on diverse plays, including mysteries, popular musicals, comedies, and dramas. They also host Elgin Summer Youth Theatre and have run two playwriting contests for Elgin authors. Drama critics have rated Elgin Theatre Company as one of the best community theaters in the western suburbs. The Elgin Theatre Company performs at the Elgin Arts Showcase at 164 Division St., 8th Floor, in Elgin.

Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center

Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center is a community arts venue that hosts events and programs, including theater productions of musical and non-musical plays, dance recitals, staged readings, film screenings, and more. The space is also home to programs for children, the Palatine Concert Band, and other programs offered through the Palatine Park District, such as dance, theater, and the Palatine Children’s Chorus. Check out all their offerings at 150 E. Wood St. in Palatine.

Steel Beam Theatre

Steel Beam Theatre is a venue that specializes in adult and youth productions, including music and live shows. The stage productions range from old-time radio shows performed live on stage to classic theater and musicals. Their youth stage holds sing-a-longs and plays. They make it their mission to foster an appreciation of the arts in downtown St. Charles and the entire Fox Valley region. Visit them at 111 W. Main St., 2nd Floor, in Saint Charles.

With theater and dance productions right in your community, you have plenty of chances to see a live performance and enjoy the arts close to home. Our Crème de la Crème of South Barrington team hopes you find the time to enjoy a show at one or more of these theaters in and around our area.