Montana's 8 Best Live Theater Venues!

Though certainly sparser than its northwestern neighbors, Montana’s theater scene is enlivened by its vibrant university culture and the perpetual muse of Big Sky topography. Smaller in scale, but no less charming or affecting, the humble community and college theaters throughout the Treasure State keep the thespian alive and well. 

1. NOVA Center for the Performing Arts, Billings, MT

This impressive non-profit complex is a merger of a preexisting theater and opera venue, providing an all-around intensive arts experience with live shows and extensive educational opportunities. The assets here are both the spaciousness and amenities afforded by the venue, as well as the variety of content: Shakespeare one night, improv comedy the next. The popularity of the site means a show, of some sort, is likely happening every weekend. 

2. Grandstreet Theatre, Helena, MT

Grandstreet has the premises, the 40 years of experience and the cast for some quality small-scale theatre. Helena’s artist-friendly climate engenders a supportive nature, both in terms of a public hungry for shows, and a young generation of students passionate about the subject. Classes are available as well, for both the uninitiated and young thespians pursuing the craft. 

3. Missoula Community Theatre, Missoula, MT

Approaching its third decade, this community lynchpin happened by accident. Owner Jim Caron, an unemployed actor, found himself stranded in Montana on the way to the west coast. Waiting for car repairs, on a whim, he auditioned for small role in a local troupe. He got the part, organized with his fellow actors, and developed a humble organization of producing local theatre and instruction. It’s this grassroots, MacGyver-style organization that propels this theatre: It’s all about having fun and making art in a casual atmosphere. 

4. Bigfork Summer Playhouse, Bigfork, MT

“Broadway in the Rockies!” claims the website. And given the venue and its gorgeous western backdrop, the claim isn’t far-fetched. The Playhouse’s founders sought to provide a venue for university theater students in which to perform during the offseason. These humble roots were truly all-inclusive: early employees worked, ate and slept in the venue. This grassroots core remains, but has since expanded into a 435-seat theater space, with a vibrant calendar sure to entertain the public and mentor the up-and-coming thespian. Look into an enjoyable evening via the Dinner & Show Package. 

5. Blue Slipper Theatre, Livingston, MT

For a half century, the Blue Slipper has provided community theatre for families and education and mentorship for children. Occupying an old newspaper building, circa 1901, and bookended by the charming patina of Livingston’s historic district, this entertainment relic bleeds vintage community theatre. In addition to the allure of its eclectic calendar, from old standards to live comedy, the Slipper is attractive for its seasonal offerings: The Holiday show is bucolic and nostalgic, and the Kids Writing Festival in the spring allows young artists to write, produce and act in their own production. 

6. Fort Peck Theatre, Fort Peck, MT

This nostalgic, barn-wood behemoth stands proud, having survived the decades, including a 1960s push to demolish and revitalize downtown. And throughout the summer, perhaps after a meal or a few libations, Friday-Sundays are happily spent enjoying some good live entertainment. Possessing such a strong connection to its community, this theatre promotes both local theatre and participation, but perhaps more importantly, the preservation of Montanan cultural history. Fort Peck is a great summation of smalltime, impassioned, local theatre. 

7. Opera House Theatre, Philipsburg, MT

The interior of the Opera House embodies that kitschy, eclectic kaleidoscope of early twentieth theatre: gold accents, flourishes of Art Deco pastels, an intimate, welcoming stage. Still employing a handful of the hand-painted backdrops circa 1900, the colors, shapes and creaky floorboards all ensure an authentic, if not entirely jovial, evening of entertainment. With most modernizations affecting the underlying structure of the building, sans some expansions in seating, the theatre is charmingly western nostalgic, harkening to the best aspects of frontier fun. 

8. Playmill Theatre, West Yellowstone, MT

For over 50 years, this humble spot has catered towards quality, family-friendly entertainment. This place is certainly a place for families and those seeking more accessible theatre experiences. The focus here isn’t merely on live entertainment, but more importantly, creating a friendly, brighter space from which to evade the drudges of reality. So volunteer, join the cast, or see a show. One may not have entered the building depressed, but she’ll certainly leave feeling elated.

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2801 3rd Avenue North, Billings, MT
Mission To bring the excitement of the performing arts to the people of the Northern Rockies and enhance the quality of life in Billings, Montana ... Read More
325 North Park Avenue, Helena, MT
Mission: Our mission is to produce a diverse spectrum of theatre of the highest quality, to provide hands-on learning experiences in all aspects ... Read More
1500 Rimrock Road, Billings, MT
About Billings Studio Theatre originated as a Sunday evening play-reading group in the homes of passionate early members. As membership in the fle... Read More
2317 Montana Avenue, Billings, MT
Our mission is to enhance the performing arts culture of the greater Billings region through education, development and performance. NOVA Center fo... Read More
201 Missouri Avenue, Fort Peck, MT
About: During the 1960’s, many changes occurred in and around Fort Peck, including the demolition and removal of many buildings and homes. A... Read More
6137 Moondance Road, Helena, MT
About The Montana Shakespeare Company brings the words and world of the Bard to the Great Northern Amphitheater in downtown Helena! With a company... Read More
526 Electric Avenue, Bigfork, MT
History: In September 1986, the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts Foundation announced a commitment to build a new home for the Bigfork Summe... Read More
600 2nd Street East, Whitefish, MT
Mission  To imagine without boundaries, to create vibrant professional entertainment and transformative arts education, to inspire the audien... Read More
2304 North 7th Avenue, Suite C-1, Bozeman, MT
About Us:The Equinox Theatre is entering it's 17th Season with a mission to create offbeat, thought provoking, heart-inspiring theatre that is mast... Read More
17 West Main Street, Bozeman, MT
Mission Statement:Montana TheatreWorks, which owns and operates The Ellen Theatre, is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting to the Gall... Read More
111 South Grand Avenue, Suite 222B, Bozeman, MT
Mission StatementThe mission of the Vigilante Theatre Company is to stimulate and promote interest in theatre, to educate both adults and children ... Read More
1018 East Griffin Drive, Bozeman, MT
For over 17 years we have continued to pursue and produce the highest quality of community theatre in the Gallatin Valley. We have not been satisfi... Read More
316 West Park Street, Butte, MT
The Butte Center for the Performing Arts is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation established to preserve the Mother Lode Theatre and the Orphan G... Read More
1 Central Avenue, Whitefish, MT
About Us: Whitefish Theatre Co. is enjoying its 33th year as a non-profit, community-based performing arts organization. This season Whitefish... Read More
200 North Adams Street, Missoula, MT
Vision: MCT fosters creativity and enhances innate capabilities in individuals all over the world by providing access to community-driven performi... Read More
410 Roosevelt Street, Missoula, MT
319 Main Street, Stevensville, MT
The Chantilly Theatre was founded in June of 1989. Located in beautiful downtown Stevensville, right on Main Street, the building was originally a ... Read More
P.O. Box 874, Deer Lodge, MT
The Rialto will always be in our hearts! Memories will carry us through this time of loss! Your generosity will carry all of us into the future. Do... Read More
113 East Callender Street, Livingston, MT
About The Park County Theatre Guild was organized and founded by Livingston native Don Johns, who was the driving force behind the theater for nea... Read More
120 South Broadway Avenue, Red Lodge, MT
The Roman Theater is a great venue for hosting your event, fundraiser or live performance. Our theater offers state of the art projection and Dolby... Read More
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