West Virginia Department of Commerce Performing Arts

Recent Pages: Performing Arts

Performing Arts

Go Back to Arts Add Sparks

Performing Arts

Performing ArtsHuntington

Performing Arts
Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center, Huntington

The Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center in Huntington is one of West Virginia’s premier arts establishments. The 3,000 seat theater, built in 1928 in Mexican baroque style, captured the opulence of the Roaring Twenties. The theater served as a venue for vaudeville shows and eventually was converted into a movie theater.

At the turn of the 21st century, competition from newer movie theaters nearly led to the Keith-Albee’s demise. But the community rallied around their beloved theater, raising funds to restore and remodel the site. Now called the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center, the theater serves as the venue for Marshall University’s Marshall Artist Series. It is host to an array of contemporary touring shows, from comedians to musicians to musicals – yet retains its breathtaking interior décor. The theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Huntington Downtown Historical District.

Performing ArtsElkins

Performing Arts
The Gandy Dancer Theatre performers

Visitors to Elkins can enjoy a Branson-style variety show at the American Mountain Theater. Each performances is a mix of country, gospel, pop and patriotic music, rounded out with family-friendly comedic impersonations. The theater’s popular shows include a Christmas Spectacular, Southern Gospel Series, and the History of American Music, which encompasses decades’ worth of music, from jazz and blues to modern rock and roll.

Elkins also is home to the newly opened Gandy Dancer Theatre and Conference Center, located at the Steer Steakhouse. The dinner theater seats up to 400 people and serves as a venue for topquality live entertainment. Sound systems and flat-screen, closed-circuit television monitors make it possible for all guests to have a front row view of the stage. The house band, Mountain Memories Show Band, performs shows of classical country, 1950s-era popular, bluegrass, gospel, oldtime rock and roll and comedy.

Performing ArtsGrandview
In Grandview, Theatre West Virginia was founded in 1955 as the West Virginia Historical Drama Association. Set at Cliffside Amphitheatre in Raleigh County, the company is famous for its long-running outdoor dramas, “Honey in the Rock” and “Hatfields and McCoys.” The venue also hosts children’s performances and rock and roll shows. For a different perspective, you can even go behind the scenes with a special backstage tour before the show. Shows run during the summer and fall.

Performing ArtsFayette County

Performing Arts
“Honey in the Rock”

Camp Washington-Carver, a mountain retreat located near Babcock State Park in Fayette County, hosts seasonal events from concerts to theater. The cultural arts center, which opened in 1942 as a 4-H camp for West Virginia’s African-American youth, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The camp’s Great Chestnut Lodge is the largest log structure of its kind in the world. Camp Washington-Carver is best known as host to the Appalachian String Band Festival, a five-day mountaintop gathering during which participants camp out and enjoy live music, dancing, workshops and more.

For more information on art, music and theater activities in West Virginia, visit wvtourism.com/ThingsToDo and wvtourism.com/Entertainment. You also can search for venues via Travel Planner.
Art Centers

Performing Arts

State Parks


Ripley - This Place Matters
Main Street Ripley’s restored Alpine Theatre placed 21st in the nation in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2011 “This Place Matters” competition. More than 260 historic buildings were entered.

Contemporary Theatre on Main Street

Contemporary Theatre on Main Street

Shepherdstown’s Contemporary American Theater Festival (CAFT) at Shepherd University is developing a national reputation as “the summer home for the American playwright.” In fact, two of five plays it featured in repertory last year were recommended for the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association new play award – a rare honor for any theater.

CAFT Associated Producing Director Peggy McKowen explained that while the festival has a growing subscription based from DC and Baltimore and draws people from 36 states and other countries, they value the community’s support.

“Being able to produce vital, new theatre would be an exciting career no matter where I would live. There are so few companies doing what we do,” she said. “But to have that opportunity to do that in Shepherdstown and to have the audience support for theatre and the arts that we have here is unique. Shepherdstown is a magical place.”

Visit catf.org for performance schedules and more information.