Where to Enjoy the Performing Arts in Santa Cruz

Where to Enjoy the Performing Arts in Santa CruzIf you are new to Santa Cruz or are considering a move to the Santa Cruz area you are probably looking to learn more about Santa Cruz to help you settle in and feel at home. Once you find what you love to do in Santa Cruz we believe you will quickly fall in love with the area and begin to make it your home. If you love the performing arts let us help you get acquainted with the many different opportunities to catch a live performance in Santa Cruz County.

Performing Arts Venues in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz

Barn Theater at UC Santa Cruz

The first theater on the campus of the University of California Santa Cruz. The theater was once an actual working barn located on the Cowell Ranch in 1968. It is a 140-seat theater. Today it is a home stage for the student-run Barnstorm Production Company. Find out more about upcoming performances on the Barnstorm Theater Company website. 

Kuumba Jazz Center in Downtown

If you are a fan of live jazz music you need to check out the Kuumba Jazz Center. It has been a hub of live music in Santa Cruz since 1975. The venue holds over 130 concerts a year. They also offer educational opportunities to learn jazz skills. Check out the performance lineup on their website. 

Rio Theater in Midtown

Rio started as a premier venue to watch movies. Today it is a venue that offers a mix of performing arts and movies. Experience live music, cinema, comedy acts, and more at the Rio. Some shows offer adult beverages. Check out what is on the calendar at the Rio Theater website. 

Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in Downtown

The Civic Auditorium in downtown Santa Cruz is one of the largest performing arts venues in the county. It is home to a 2000-seat theater built in 1940. The auditorium has hosted several events through the years some of the most notable include the Miss California Beauty Pageant from 1966 to 1985 until protests put an end to hosting the pageant and a rock 'n' roll concert that ended in police action as some felt the dancing in the performance was suggestive.

Currently, the auditorium hosts several different types of events from live theater performances to music and even sports. It is home to the Santa Cruz County Symphony. You can find the lineup of events and performances on the  City of Santa Cruz website.

UCSC Music Center Recital Hall

If you're into live theatrical performances of music then checking out the recital hall at the music center in the college will not disappoint. This venue is specially crafted to create the best experience for live musical performances. It is an impressive area that features the best sound system and a motorized orchestra pit. Check out the website for a list of upcoming performances.

UCSC Theater Arts Mainstage

Just as the name implies the new CSC Theater Arts Main Stage is the center of live theater at the college. This venue opened in 1972 with a performance of Much Ado About Nothing. It was directed by Audrey Stanley who 10 years later became the founding artistic Director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz. It is an amazing place to catch a quality performance of budding theatrical artists. Check out the college events calendar to see what performances are coming up at the venue.

Aptos

Cabrillo College Performing Arts Center

The VAPA or Visual, Applied, and Performing Arts Complex at Cabrillo College is home to three performance venues. The Crocker Theater. The Samper Recital Hall. The Black Box Theater. All of these venues provide top-notch life performances with a large variety of events always going on throughout the year. There are of course also educational programs but there are not just classes available to college students there is a wide variety of other clubs and programs for community members to take part in if you would like to become a performer and not just a spectator. Check out the list of events available at Cabrillo College.

Watsonville

Henry J Mello Center

The Henry J Mello Center is an impressive performing arts venue located in the city of Watsonville not far from Santa Cruz. It is a large venue that hosts great performing arts events. 

These are just a small snapshot of some of the venues around Santa Cruz County to enjoy live performing arts events. There are many more. The performing arts is a vibrant scene in Santa Cruz as are other art mediums. If you love life music and theater you will find several opportunities to continue enjoying something you love as you move to Santa Cruz. 

If you are looking for a home in the Santa Cruz area, I am here to help. I am a local Santa Cruz realtor with decades of experience. Contact me anytime with all Santa Cruz real estate needs. Let's get started finding your perfect Santa Cruz home!

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