Salem and the Mid-Willamette Valley boast a thriving arts scene—with student performers at nearby colleges, regal venues, and celebrated series that showcase dance, theater, live music, and more. So this spring, we’ve put together a few ideas for enjoying the area’s rich creative culture.
Willamette University Theatre, for starters, is always producing something new and interesting—with a season that includes three or four main-stage plays, one dance production, and occasional student projects. This spring, the university's students are offering a production of William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", a choral and orchestral performance highlighting sounds from around the world, and more. And while it doesn’t spotlight student works, the Smith Fine Arts Series at Western Oregon University is celebrating its 44th season with a variety of shows from touring musicians representing a wide range of genres—from Irish folk to blues and soul.
If you're looking for live theater in Salem, it's always worth seeing what's new with Enlightened Theatrics, a local nonprofit group that spotlights performers from a variety of backgrounds. The group's springtime performance, for instance, is "Rainbow Fish"—and features a cast made up of local elementary and middle school students; later this summer, area high school students will put on a production of "All Shook Up" (loosely based on Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night").
Pentacle Theatre, meanwhile, is a local community theater group that stages its shows in a cozy playhouse surrounded by Oregon oak and Douglas fir trees; the rest of its 2022 season ranges from Shakespeare to more modern fare.
And the 1,300-seat Elsinore Theatre in downtown Salem is known for variety—including films (some in Spanish), live concerts, orchestral performances, and comedy shows.