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Springfield Area Comes to Life with Vibrant Performing Arts Community

Wide shot of springfield symphony orchestra with conductor facing the audience

From soul-stirring symphony performances to theatrical productions both old and new, Springfield’s performing arts scene offers something for everyone.

Historic venues like the Gillioz, the Fox and the Landers Theatre continue their century-long tradition of welcoming audiences to experience the magic of drama, music and more. 

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Ozarks Lyric Opera, the Springfield Ballet and other fine arts organizations deliver breathtaking performances, along with educational and outreach activities to engage the community.

So pull back the curtain with us as we take a peek at all of the great ways to experience the performing arts in 417-land.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra

Offices: Creamery Arts Center, 411 North Sherman Parkway

Performances: Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts

Led by Conductor and Music Director Kyle Wiley Pickett, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra is Southwest Missouri’s largest professional regional orchestra. It all began in 1934 with a group of student musicians from Springfield High School under the direction of teacher James Robertson. Today, the orchestra enriches our community through breathtaking concerts, along with education and outreach activities.

Each season offers a variety of inspiring performances including six classical and three pops concerts. Audiences can look forward to the following events during the upcoming 2023-2024 season:

Springfield Little Theatre

The Landers Theatre, 311 East Walnut Street, Downtown Springfield

This nonprofit, volunteer organization presents live theatrical productions and works to preserve the historic Landers Theatre in downtown Springfield. Opened in 1909, the 527-seat Landers has played host to everything from vaudeville and silent films to performances by the Springfield Ballet and Springfield Regional Opera.

Springfield Little Theatre offers a variety of entertaining performances by an all-volunteer cast and crew. The upcoming 2023-2024 season will feature the following shows:  

Springfield Contemporary Theatre

Offices: 2025 E Chestnut Expressway, Suite D, Springfield 

Performances: Historic Fox Theatre, 157 Park Central Square, Springfield

The Springfield Contemporary Theatre specializes in contemporary productions as well as established works that can be re-energized through a contemporary lens. Performances take place at the legendary Fox Theatre, which has hosted movie screenings, vaudeville shows and more since it first opened in 1916. Today, the Fox is part of the History Museum on the Square in downtown Springfield.

Each production features the work of outstanding directors and local actors along with a strong lineup of guest professionals. The theatre emphasizes works by under-represented voices and works that address contemporary issues facing the Springfield community and the broader world.

This summer, audiences can see Pass Over by award-winning playwright Antionette Chinonye Nwandu. Upcoming performances take place on July 27-30 and August 3-6. Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday performances take place at 2 p.m.

This fall, SCT will present Big Fish, which is based on a novel by David Wallace and a film directed by Tim Burton. Performances are scheduled for September 8-10, 14-17 and 21-24.

Ozarks Lyric Opera

Offices: Creamery Arts Center 411 North Sherman Parkway, Springfield

Performances: Gillioz Center for Arts & Entertainment

For over four decades and counting, the Ozarks Lyric Opera has delighted audiences with a diverse repertoire presented in a variety of settings. Formerly known as the Springfield Regional Opera, OLO presents a variety of works and collaborations that make opera accessible to people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. 

Their most recent 2022-2023 season featured the iconic Don Giovanni with its beloved score by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. Other recent performances included an evening of French music, wine and hors d’ouevres with A Foreign Affair, and a showcase of pop and rock tunes in Opera Rocks

Stay tuned to their website and Facebook page for upcoming announcements for the 2023-2024 season!

Springfield Ballet

Offices: Creamery Arts Center, 411 North Sherman Parkway, Springfield

Performances: The Landers Theatre, 311 East Walnut Street, Downtown Springfield

Male and female ballet dancers on stage in springfield missouri

Founded in 1976, the Springfield Ballet offers thrilling performances along with dance education, outreach and collaboration. This nonprofit organization presents two full-length ballets each season. Audiences can catch special performances at events throughout the Springfield community, such as Artsfest and Cider Days. Dancers also collaborate with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.

The upcoming 2023-2024 season will feature the 38th annual presentation of beloved holiday classic The Nutcracker in December. Audiences are invited to tumble down the rabbit hole in the spring of 2024 as the ballet presents Alice in Wonderland in May.

Juanita K. Hammons Center for the Performing Arts

Missouri State University, 525 South John Q. Hammons Parkway, Springfield

One of Springfield’s premier venues, Juanita K. Hammons Center for the Performing Arts is the place to experience the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, along with a packed schedule of Broadway shows, concerts featuring well-known artists and more special events throughout the year. Upcoming concerts include rock legend Alice Cooper and an evening with American Idol stars Ruben and Clay.

The 2023-2024 Great Southern Bank Broadway season will feature the following exciting performances: 

  • Jesus Christ Superstar: November 6-8, 2023
  • Mean Girls: February 5-7, 2024
  • Shrek the Musical: March 19-21, 2024
  • Come from Away: April 12-13, 2024
  • Pretty Woman: The Musical: April 23-25, 2024

Visit the Juanita K. Hammons Center website for details on purchasing tickets for the Broadway season or other upcoming events.

Historic Gillioz Theatre

325 Park Central Square East, Springfield

Home to the Ozarks Lyric Opera, the Historic Gillioz Theatre is also the place to catch music, comedy, film screenings and other special events.

Established in 1926, the Gillioz was restored in 2006 as a nonprofit organization that celebrates the arts, entertainment and education for the benefit of our community. 

Upcoming appearances include Craig Ferguson, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Headhunters and Cheap Trick.

Want to learn more about what makes Springfield a fabulous place to call home? Download our free relocation guide today!

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