The black box theater at DCAC provides an essential platform for local, national, and international theatre groups, musicians, and performance artists. Perfect for intimate performances, the theater is a rough but ready space with lights, sound, and a modest backstage. Full length plays eligible for Helen Hayes nominations, find-your-own-venue Capital Fringe performances, monthly showcases, poetry readings, stand-up comedy, improv shows, independent film screenings, album release parties, and anything else people will sit down and watch are presented in our theater. We offer regular shows at 7:30pm, matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00pm as well as 10:0pm late shows on Fridays and Saturdays. Our space can also be rented for rehearsals, auditions, and photo shoots.

The theater is small, so everyone who uses it must be mindful of the others who use the space. All sets and props must be struck at the end of each performance to ensure that everyone has the same access to the full and open space. Performances are listed on our website and included in all of our regular press materials. Applications are accepted year-round, but for best selection plan ahead.

DCAC members receive a discount on tickets to theater events, as well as a discount on renting the theater. The discounted member ticket rate must be made available to DCAC members for both online and at the door ticket sales. Our members are a large and diverse group of art lovers; they support us and we hope to connect them to you.


7:30 pm Wednesday through Sunday (usage time 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm)
10:00 pm on Friday and/or Saturday (usage time 9:30 pm – 12:00 am)
3:00 pm on Saturday and/or Sunday (usage time 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm)


Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday at 10:00 pm
$230 ($200 for DCAC members*), artist keeps 100% of the box office.

Wednesday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 3:00 pm, Sunday at 3:00 pm or 7:30 pm
$180 ($150 for DCAC members*), artist keeps 100% of the box office.

Rehearsal rate is $20 per hour for groups performing at DCAC and DCAC members*, $30 per hour for others. Rehearsals must take place outside of the regular performance slots unless special arrangements have been made.

*Membership rates apply only to individuals or groups who have been a member for 1 year or longer.



    1. Carefully review the DCAC Theater Manual. (Updated 1/2020) We are serious about everything it contains.
    2. Decide on dates for your performance with your production team. It is advisable to also select alternative dates and plan for rehearsals if needed.
    3. Fill out the forms below or, if you prefer, download the PDF of the Performance Proposal Form and the COVID-19 Performance Safety Plan and email it to us.
    4. You will receive an email or phone call from the General Manager who will either confirm your dates or work with you to find alternate dates that work for you and DCAC.
    5. Once the dates are agreed upon we will send you a contract and box office information sheet. Review the contract carefully.
    6. Send back the signed contract, box office sheet, and deposit within two weeks. Keep a copy of the contract for your records. After signing this contract, you are responsible for payment of the full amount agreed upon, regardless of cancellation.
    7. Your show is now scheduled!
    8. Submit your press information (with photos, 300 dpi) to so that we can publicize your show.
    9. Schedule a technical walk through with your technical staff and director. Access to the space will not be granted until this occurs. If necessary, you will receive a key at that time and all technical or production questions will be answered.

Using the DC Arts Center Theater during the COVID-19 pandemic

We are eager to reopen and present live performances, but it will matter little if audiences think that it is not safe to come to a theater; they will simply stay away. We see it as our responsibility to ensure their safety and assure them that we are doing everything possible to protect them from the virus. Before you think about booking a performance at DCAC you must consider how you will protect our staff, your cast, your crew, and your audience. You will be required to submit a “Performance Safety Plan” which will provide us with important information in order to allow your performance to take place in our facility. We take these precautions to protect our staff and potential audiences, as well as striving to prove that performing spaces can safely operate in the District of Columbia.


The first thing to consider will be the restrictions placed upon us by the Government of the District of Columbia. As of yet there is no concrete guidance, but if we follow the lead of other states in a phased reopening, we can assume two things: we must maintain social distancing and we will be limited to the number of people who can gather. For our audience that means removal of seats so that no one can sit within six feet of one another, which will result in an audience of 8 people. You need to consider whether that amount of ticket sales is acceptable for your budget.

Those 8 people will need to have purchased their tickets and submit their contact information prior to coming to DCAC. We will not sell tickets at the door, and not allow people to enter without identification that matches the reservation list. Also, all audience members will be required to wear face coverings. If they arrive without a mask DCAC is prepared to provide one.

Your cast and crew

Your responsibility to your cast and crew starts before you arrive at DCAC. You need to know the status of each person who will be involved with your production. We will require the following information before you enter the building: