The Bustling Detroit Performing Arts Scene

Detroit is not only the birthplace of Motown Records, but it also has a long history in theater and music that predates the record label. From its historical venues, to its performing arts organizations, to the resources it offers those with an interest in the field, Detroit offers countless resources for those who have a passion for theater, music, dance and more. Find out what makes this city such a magical destination for those who are drawn to the stage. 


Detroit has a rich theatrical history featuring many historical venues that date back to the 1920’s. These include the Detroit Fox Theatre which opened in 1928 and was the first theater ever constructed with built in film sound equipment. It is one of the largest in the Fox Theater chain with a capacity of 5,045 and hosts operatic, symphonic and popular acts.

The Fox Theatre. Photo via  Wikipedia

The Fox Theatre. Photo via Wikipedia

The Detroit Opera House is another notable venue in the city. Opened in 1922, the 2,700 seat space serves as home to performances by the Michigan Opera Theater as well as a variety of other events. The opera house has also been utilized as a movie theater and has featured a number of well-known films. It has also hosted performances by many legendary musical artists.

The Detroit Masonic Temple is the world’s largest Masonic Temple and doubles as an event and performance venue. With beautiful architecture and passages you can get lost in, the venue makes performing arts events an experience. It features a over a thousand rooms including two theaters, two ballrooms, a bowling alley and a swim court. It hosts events including concerts and Broadway shows. 

The Detroit Masonic Temple is one of the city's most versatile venues. Photo via  Facebook

The Detroit Masonic Temple is one of the city's most versatile venues. Photo via Facebook

Performing Arts Education

Being that the performing arts culture is so prevalent in Detroit, it is fortunate that there are many groups that encourage performance, causing both the young and old to remain inspired. This includes the Mosaic Youth Theater. This is a performing arts group that seeks to empower the community’s youth through self expression. More than teaching these young performers useful life skills, Mosaic also studies the requirements necessary to reach internationally-acclaimed standards and gives their students useful tools to help them attain these goals. 

The Michigan Opera Theater is another organization that is essential in advocating the culture of performing arts in the community. They offer both entertainment and education in the community providing low cost admission for their performances to students. They also have classes that educate children and adults about various facets of the performing arts including dance, opera and theater. 

A performance by the Michigan Opera Theatre. Photo via  Facebook

A performance by the Michigan Opera Theatre. Photo via Facebook

The Ballet Detroit Foundation is a nonprofit organization that offers select groups of exceptional ballet students the opportunity to receive a world class dance education. The facility aims to bring in top instructors to teach a variety of classes to suit the dancer’s schedules and needs. 

The Detroit Institute of Music Education is nonprofit college that offers certificates and bachelor degree programs in Commercial Music Performance, Commercial Songwriting and Music Industry Studies. The organization partners with Falmouth University to validate its BA courses and Metropolitan State University to allow students to receive a BA through that school while paying higher DIME tuitions. Paying the higher tuitions will allow the students to receive financial aid for their courses.

The Detroit Institute of Music Education. Photo via  Wikipedia

The Detroit Institute of Music Education. Photo via Wikipedia

Performing Arts Groups

Out of the rich performing arts culture of the city comes many groups of professionals who offer top tier entertainment to the Detroit community. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is one example. Although the DSO calls the Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center home, they also perform throughout the metro Detroit area in many concerts and community events. They have also been featured on recordings accompanying many notable musical artists. 

A prominent name in the city’s dance entertainment is the Eisenhower Dance Detroit. The dancers in the company have worked with a number of well known choreographers to put together touring productions that have traveled the world. They have received many grants and awards for their work. They also offer classes for aspiring young dancers. 

The Detroit Concert Choir is currently in its 31st year of performances. They have collaborated with many soloists, musicians, artists and choral groups from the Michigan area. They are an international award winning vocal ensemble.

The Detroit Concert Choir. Photo via  Detroit Concert Choir

The Detroit Concert Choir. Photo via Detroit Concert Choir

Those that are visiting the Detroit area, that are fans of the performing arts, are in for a treat. The city clearly has so much to offer in entertainment. With a rich culture and a wealth of talent, Detroit has all anyone could want for performers and fans alike. Come see what us at J'adore are lucky enough to admire every day.