The 10 Best Places for Live Theater in New Mexico!

Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage,” and that its inhabitants “have their exits and their entrances.” There’s a dedicated group of professionals throughout New Mexico who take that phrase to heart. These people are helping to sustain the artistic community that keeps live theater viable and engaging. Let’s hear a round of applause for these 10 great places for live theater in the state. 

1. Popejoy Hall, Albuquerque, NM

With a seating capacity of close to 2,000 patrons, Popejoy Hall is the largest venue of its type in the state. It’s part of the University of New Mexico Center for the Arts which en-compasses the Rodey Theatre, Keller Hall, Experimental Theatre “X” and the University Art Museum. Popejoy Presents is a signature series of events that includes touring Broadway musicals, live theater dance, music from around the world and comedy and drama productions. With amazing acoustics and a great atmosphere and a mission to en-rich, educate and entertain the community, a night out here is worth the admission price.

2. The Engine House Theatre, Madrid, NM

True to its name, this 1900s building was an engine repair shed during the coal mining days that helped create the town. There are still pits inside for when the maintenance workers worked under the trains. Stains on the tin roof are from steam and soot from idling engines. The balcony is made from railroad tracks. It’s perhaps the only theater in the country that has a full-size steam engine on stage. The theatre comes to life in sum-mer when old-time melodramas are staged. It’s interactive theater: Cheer for the hero and heroine and boo the villain.

3. Lensic Theater, Santa Fe, NM

The storied history of the Lensic includes being a place that showed “talkie” movies and vaudeville acts. Built in the 1930s, it became an entertainment landmark in town. As so often happens, it fell into a state of disrepair only to be renovated by a group of dedicated preservationists who returned it to its Spanish-style splendor and transformed it into a first-class performance venue. Today, the theater is booked 200 nights a year with a variety of live presentations from theater to music to dance. In 2000, it was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as an official project of Save America’s Treasures, a piece of history that continues to be a hub for cultural events.

4. Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts, Alto, NM

This theater is a work of art in which you see works of art. More than 400 tons of white-flecked stone quarried in Spain was used in the outside construction, which glimmers at night from the light emanating from the crystal lobby. In addition, once inside it has ex-ceptional acoustics in this intimate 500 seat theater. Its mission is to enrich the cultural lives of the area’s residents and visitors and it does so by bringing Broadway dramas and musicals, country and rock music, as well as touring comedians through its doors. Free public tours available Tuesdays and Thursdays.

5. Santa Fe Playhouse, Santa Fe, NM

The Santa Fe Little Theater, as it was known when American novelist Mary Austin established it in the 1920s, is the oldest consistently-running theatre west of the Mississippi. Located in an historic adobe in the Barrio de Analco, the small 99-seat house creates a relaxed and informal atmosphere for both the audience and the actors. With a commitment to providing quality theater and performance for everyone, the Playhouse encourages first-time actors, writers, directors, designers and technicians opportunities to gain hands-on experience alongside seasoned professionals. Season performances range from melodrama to one-act plays to full-length dramas.

6. Roswell Community Little Theatre, Roswell, NM

In a town known for peculiarities, there’s nothing peculiar about a community theater that’s been around since the 1940s, a heyday for live theatrical performances throughout the country. The first players, known as The Roswell Players, traveled to rural schoolhouses and performed musical variety shows and melodramas. World War II interrupted the performance schedule and it didn’t get back on track until the 1960s. Today, the Players are considered the broader spectrum of artists who come to the Theatre to perform in mysteries, musicals, dramas, comedies and dinner theater. Recently the whole operation moved to a renovated facility in town, it’s new home.

7. Shuler Theater, Raton, NM

The tagline for the Shuler is “where theater comes to life.” If it weren’t for the efforts of those who like to save pieces of our past, this 100-year-old historic theater would have stayed dark. Now a state landmark, it has come alive with the sounds of plays, dramas, comedies, musical theater and concerts throughout the year. It’s also the home to the Santa Fe Trail School for the Performing Arts, a school for young people that presents three plays a year and a month-long summer workshop. Of note inside are the eight murals, showcasing historical scenes of Raton, from the Work Progress Administration (WPA) era created by artist Manville Chapman.

8. Silver City Community Theater, Silver City, NM

This small, developing theater company performs at various venues in the area including at Western New Mexico University. The troupe performs a mixture of live theater productions seasonally. Actors also perform for community fundraisers throughout the Grant County communities in an effort to enrich, educate and entertain the residents of Southwest New Mexico.

9. Los Alamos Little Theatre, Los Alamos, NM

For more than 70 years, this little theater has been staging community theater at is best. They feature local talent, ages six to 96, in everything from one-act plays to musical productions to comedies and tragedies. The company performs at the Performing Arts Center in town which they operate on behalf of Los Alamos County. They also host play readings, informal events open to the public, throughout the year.

10. The Growing Stage, Albuquerque, NM

There is nothing more engaging in theater than watching children in costume singing and dancing their hearts out across the stage. That’s what happens at the Growing Stage. It’s a feel-good family entertainment experience that will have you smiling as you enter and leave. Their summer intensive program has landed in the Top 5 of Albuquerque’s Best of the City awards for the last two years. Children ages seven to 18 learn how to cooperate, communicate, create and celebrate through participation in theater arts in year-round classes.

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PO Box 1233, Artesia, NM
The Artesia Community Theatre (ACT), a self-supporting division of the Artesia Arts Council, Inc. is endeavoring to bring various types of theatre ... Read More
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Mission:The mission of the East Mountain Centre for Theatre is to entertain, inform, educate, inspire, nurture, challenge and empower artists and a... Read More
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Mission: The Roswell Community Little Theatre is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the production and presentation of live theate... Read More
108 Spencer Road, Alto, NM
Mission: The mission of the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts is to enrich the cultural lives of South-Central New Mexico's residents and vi... Read More
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2710 Sudderth Ruidoso, Ruidoso, NM
Phyllis A. Strathmann, nicknamed "Mountain Annie" by her father many years ago because of her love of the little village town of Ruidoso, New Mexic... Read More
6913 Natalie North East, Albuquerque, NM
FRONT DESK HOURS Mondays         4:15-7:45pm Tuesdays         4:00-6:30pm Wednesdays    4:00-7... Read More
13170-B Central South East, suite 130, Albuquerque, NM
About Us:Once Upon A Theatre, a non-profit New Mexico corporation, is a touring theatre company dedicated to improving the education of children in... Read More
210 Yale Boulevard South East, Albuquerque, NM
About Us : Outpost Productions has been a non-profit arts organization since 1988. Since 1990, we've made our home at the Outpost Performance Space... Read More
1500 South Second Street Suite Four, Gallup, NM
The Gallup Performing Arts Center is more than a performance space, educational center, and festival committee. GPAC is the heartbeat of the commun... Read More
131 N. 2nd Street, Raton, NM
A History of the Shuler Theater Officially opening April 27, 1915, the Shuler Theater was cause enough to send city commissioners fleeing over ... Read More
P.O. Box 4751, Albuquerque, NM
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110 Gold Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM
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2900 Carlisle Blvd NorthEast, Albuquerque, NM
About The Vortex : The Vortex Theatre is a venue for classic, contemporary and cutting edge theatre. Our audiences can enjoy wonderful works for ... Read More
1670 Nectar Street, Los Alamos, NM
About Us: Los Alamos Little Theatre (LALT) is a not for profit 501(c)(3) community theater group.  We were founded in 1943 and have been cont... Read More
110 Abeyta Avenue West, Socorro, NM
About Us: The Socorro Community Theater, Inc. made its debut with "Macbeth" in the spring of 1994. Since that time SCT, an all volunteer organizat... Read More
9813 Fourth Street NorthWest, Albuquerque, NM
About Us: In 1957 the people of Corrales NM got together to create a Community Theater, and named it The ADOBE Theater. They acted, directed, hamme... Read More
423 Central Avenue NorthWest, Albuquerque, NM
History: The KiMo Theatre, a Pueblo Deco picture palace, opened on September 19, 1927. Pueblo Deco was a flamboyant, short-lived architectural styl... Read More
622 Central Avenue SouthWest, Albuquerque, NM
About Us: During its early years, the El Rey Theater was a popular movie theater, and also featured "The Hanger" restaurant, as well as several po... Read More
535 Cerrillos Road, Suite A2, Santa Fe, NM
TG creates a new kind of performance that is visual, explosive and full of surprise. The Grottesco Ensemble rekindles interest in live performance ... Read More
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