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Tuesday, March 29, 2016 12:07 am

Performing arts

Where to find theater, dance and other cultural outlets

Susan Werner performs Saturday, June 25, at Sangamon Auditorium
Hoogland Center for the Arts

The city’s premier arts venue, the Hoogland Center for the Arts, is a magnet for practitioners and supporters of the arts. Named after the family that nurtured Family Video stores to nationwide prominence, the venue houses 18 different arts organizations. With four performance sites, two art galleries and meeting space galore, organizations coordinate schedules so that the space is used to advantage. For example, the Prairie Art Alliance’s H.D. Smith Gallery is often open extra hours so that theater-goers may spend time savoring its exhibitions before the curtain goes up. Hoogland is also home to the Springfield Area Arts Council, a nexus of information for artists of all stripes. A variety of organizations hold meetings at the Hoogland, thanks to its location, flexible accommodations and helpful staff. The Hoogland’s website provides an updated calendar of events and links to other area arts organizations.

Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 217-523-2787,

Sangamon Auditorium, UIS

Located on the campus of the University of Illinois Springfield, Sangamon Auditorium has hosted more than 2,000 events, including conferences, debates, major concerts, plays and musical shows. Legends who have performed at the 2,018-seat facility include Sarah Vaughn, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Donny Osmond, Hal Holbrook, David Copperfield, George Carlin, Juliet Prowse, Jerry Seinfeld and Arlo Guthrie.

For ticket information, call 217-206-6160 or 800-207-6960 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday or visit

The Springfield Ballet Company
Photo by Patrick Russell
The Legacy Theatre

A bright addition to the Springfield theater scene in recent years is The Legacy Theatre, operated by a private group that brought the long-shuttered Springfield Theatre Centre facility back to life. In addition to presenting shows by in-house company Roxy Theatricals and other local producers, The Legacy brings touring shows to Springfield and hosts concerts and movies in the intimate basement space.

For ticket information, check out The Legacy Theatre, 101 E. Lawrence, 1-800-838-3006.

Other entertainment

Theater: Springfield Theatre Centre,, 217-523-0878 holds shows at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 217-523-2787, as well as at The Legacy Theatre, 101 E. Lawrence Ave., 1-800-838-3006.

Musical theater: Springfield Municipal Opera Association, also known as the Muni, presents locally produced musicals in an outdoor amphitheater near Lake Springfield all summer long. The Muni is one of the largest all-volunteer community theater organizations in the nation. This summer’s lineup includes South Pacific, Sweeney Todd, Nice Work if You Can Get It and The Little Mermaid. Curtain time is 8:30 p.m. The theater is located at 815 East Lake Dr. For ticket information, call 217-793-MUNI or visit

Regional: Theatre in the Park at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site. This summer’s lineup includes Mrs. Lincoln Fights Back, The Last Five Years, Treasure Island, The Dixie Swim Club, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, Hello Dolly, Cats and My Heart’s Home.
New Salem park is on Highway 97, two miles south of Petersburg. For more information, call 217-632-5440 or 800-710-9290, or go to

Ballet: The Springfield Ballet Company performs at Sangamon Auditorium, UIS and the Hoogland Center for the Arts. For more information and a calendar of events, call 217-544-1967 or visit

Symphony: The Illinois Symphony Orchestra performs at Sangamon Auditorium, UIS. For tickets, call 217-206-6160; for all other info, call 800-401-7222 or visit

Fine arts: Springfield Art Association (see separate article on “Edwards Place”) has been the local leader in supporting the visual arts in the community for more than 100 years. The SAA, which recently merged with Prairie Art Alliance, offers classes through its School of Art, a number of gallery shows throughout the year as well as presenting local and visiting artists in the cozy DEMO Project space. 700 N. Fourth St., 217-523-2631,

Comedy: Donnie B’s Comedy Club, near Target in the Parkway Pointe shopping area, 3455 Freedom Drive, 217-391-5653,

Entertainment: Prairie Capital Convention Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, 217-788-8800,

Movies: Springfield has four motion-picture theaters. Three are operated by AMC Entertainment: Showplace Springfield 12, which features stadium seating; Parkway 8, which showcases a number of art and independent films throughout the year; and Showplace Springfield 8. The Route 66 Drive-In is on Springfield’s southern periphery, off Chatham Road or off the MacArthur Blvd. extension on Recreation Drive. For current listings, see and


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