Things to do: Performing Arts
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Performing Arts

The Paramount Student Favorite
Box Office: 979-1333
215 E. Main St. (Downtown Mall)

With entertainment fare ranging from a Bill Cosby comedy show to a Yo-Yo Ma concert, the Paramount has become the premiere theater venue in town. The circa 1931 theater was restored and reopened in 2004.

Charlottesville Pavilion Student Favorite
Ticket Information: or 877-CPAV-TIX

This new concert venue on the Downtown Mall presents local and national performing artists, and features covered or open-lawn seating as well as state-of-the-art sound systems. The Pavilion also hosts community events such as wine festivals, movie screenings, and craft fairs, and is the site of Fridays After Five, a free concert series during the summer.

Jefferson Theater Student Favorite

Located on Charlottesville's historic Downtown Mall, the Jefferson Theater was established in 1912 as a live performance theater that played host to silent movies, vaudeville acts and a historic list of live performers, ranging from Harry Houdini to The Three 
Stooges. The Jefferson reopened in 2009 after a comprehensive restoration that highlights the 
theater's vintage architecture while modernizing its facilities. The theater features two full‐service bars on separate floors, a restored balcony, new central air and heating systems, and new restrooms throughout the facility. In addition, state‐of‐the art sound and lighting systems and treatments to the theater's acoustics make The Jefferson an excellent environment to experience live music.

Charlottesville/University Symphony Orchestra

This professional group of musicians from the University and the surrounding area gives five symphonic performances during the school year in Cabell Hall Auditorium Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Season and single tickets.


Photo courtesy of
Jack Looney,
C-VILLE Weekly.

LiveArts Theater
123 E. Water St.

Presents a variety of works from classic to contemporary. There are often inexpensive tickets available, and some nights are pay-as-you-can.

Charlottesville Municipal Band

Numerous concerts throughout the year with six performances on the Downtown Mall during warm weather months. Pop, semi-classical, classical, and some older jazz tunes. Auditions open to all.

John Paul Jones ArenaJohn Paul Jones Arena Student Favorite

Named Pollstar’s Best New Concert Venue of 2006, the John Paul Jones Arena has already featured such acts as Billy Joel, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake, the Blue Man Group, Eric Clapton, Kenny Chesney, and James Taylor. In addition to hosting UVA basketball games, the arena has become the area's premiere venue for concerts, comedy acts (like Daily Show host Jon Stewart), and family fare such as the circus and Sesame Street Live. The arena offers an email alert notifying patrons of upcoming events.

McIntire Music Department


There are a host of student musical groups at the University, including Black Voices, the University Glee Club, the University Jazz Ensemble, University Singers, Virginia Gentlemen, and the Women's Chorus. The McIntire Music Department has its own box office for tickets to University events. Regular tickets become available two weeks prior to the concert date. Student prices on student performances are generally low. Performances sponsored by the University are often free for full-time students with Arts$.

Southern Cafe and Music Hall Student Favorite

103 South First St. on the Downtown Mall

This venue features an array of young artists, usually for around $10 per show.

UVA Drama Department

Six major productions a year plus summer performances by the Heritage Repertory Theater.

First-Year Players

First-year law students are included in "first-years" for the purpose of this group, which produces one musical per semester.

Four County Players
(540) 832-5355

This community theater offers five productions a year, including Shakespeare at the Ruins (August) and acting workshops. Performances are held in the Barboursville Community Center.

Miki Liszt Dance Company

Hosts the First Friday Dance Series at the McGuffey Art Center.

Piedmont Virginia Community College Masquers
Off Route 20 S., just south of I-64

This drama department group of PVCC students and community residents stages two productions a year. PVCC Fine Arts & Performances. Auditions advertised in The Daily Progress.

Oratorio Society

Members from the University and the community perform three times a year. Auditions held in the fall.

Shakespeare on the Lawn

Performs Shakespearean works at open-air locations around the Lawn for free. Open auditions.


This comedy improvisation troupe performs every semester and can be invited to perform at events or parties in the University by a department for a fee and by students free of charge.

Charlottesville Ballet

Charlottesville Ballet is a professional ballet company, dance academy, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Founded in 2007, Charlottesville Ballet is the only full time professional dance company in the area and consists of ten professional dancers from across the United States.  Charlottesville Ballet Academy (CBA), the official training school of Charlottesville Ballet, is a nonprofit center for dance education and offers training in all dance genres for ages 3 through adult.  Charlottesville Ballet presents performances and events in Charlottesville and throughout the Central Virginia area.  Look for programming designed just for families in the Children’s Ballet Series, eclectic mixed-repertory performances in the Mainstage Series, and the annual holiday production of The Nutcracker Suite.

Photo courtesy of the Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau,


John Paul Jones Arena Named Pollstar's Best New Concert Venue, 2006

The new John Paul Jones Arena has already hosted Eric Clapton, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake, and the Blue Man Group. Schedule


Art$ Dollars

A $12 portion of each student's activities fee contributes to a program that yields the equivalent of $75 worth of tickets to UVA Music and Drama events and up to three Virginia Film Festival events. It also entitles students to a membership at the Bayly Art Museum and supports exhibitions and programs by students and visiting artists in the Department of Art. See Arts Dollars for more.


Sign up to receive a weekly e-mail with the latest UVA concert information. Write to with the subject line: subscribe.

Check out the University's Arts Page for the latest arts events, which are too numerous to mention here. Also try Monticello Avenue for a calendar of upcoming events and its Arts page for more resources.


Charlottesville and its surrounding areas have their share of celebs, including Sissy Spacek, Howie Long, Tim Reid and Daphne Maxwell Reid; authors John Grisham, Tami Hoag (mysteries), Jan Karon (Jessica Mitford series), and Rita Mae Brown (Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries); and former poet laureate Rita Dove.

The Hook 2003-2004 Annual Manual


The Virginia Film Festival

The stars are never more apparent than at the annual Virginia Film Festival in October. Besides special appearances by such luminaries as Anthony Hopkins, Nicholas Cage, and Roger Ebert, the festival features independent filmmakers and actually premieres some movies. Tickets are about the same as regular tickets for students. For details, see: or call 1-800-UVA-FEST. The schedule comes out in mid-September.


If you really love music, but your budget is limited, stop by Old Cabell Hall on the Lawn and sign up on the ushers' list. You will get calls periodically throughout the year, asking if you would like to usher for University concerts, including free admission to the concert.

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