San Francisco is home to one of the best theater scenes in the country, featuring famous actors and award-winning productions in landmark venues, as well as performances in more intimate settings. Whether you’re visiting the Bay Area for the first time or a longtime resident, seeing a play is one of the top things to do in San Francisco.
The San Francisco Theater District is adjacent to the Union Square shopping district. The American Conservatory Theater is internationally recognized for its groundbreaking productions of classic and contemporary plays, such as Endgame & Play, an evening of two landmark plays by modernist master Samuel Beckett. The Actors Theatre of San Francisco specializes in 20th Century classics like David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. The Curran Theatre features stars like Kathleen Turner in High and Jonathan Pryce in Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker, as well as War Horse, which won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Play.
Other key theaters are located in Jackson Square, the Civic Center, Hayes Valley and SOMA. And beyond the theaters, Free Shakespeare in the Park is a Bay Area tradition that takes place every year at the Presidio and other San Francisco parks. The series is just one of San Francisco’s theater festivals held each year.
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Upcoming San Francisco Events
Through November 30
Skulls, a new, 4,000-square-foot exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences, features 640 different dead heads. Skulls on display range from an enormous African bull elephant to a tiny shrew, from frogs, fish, and birds to giraffes, warthogs, and walruses. Academy scientists use dermestid beetle larvae to quickly (and safely) clean delicate bones and visitors will be able to see these larvae scour dried flesh from animal bones.
Through October 26
The 2014 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival (YBGF) will present more than 90 free events including music, theater, circus, dance, poetry and children’s programs through Oct. 26. This year’s festival expands programming at Jessie Square in front of the Contemporary Jewish Museum to include poetry, dance workshops and salsa dancing. Yerba Buena Gardens is located between Mission, Howard, Third and Fourth streets in downtown San Francisco.
- America's Cup World Series
- Fleet Week San Francisco
- Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
- Castro Street Fair
- SF Italian Heritage Parade and Festival
- Treasure Island Music Festival
- American Indian Film Festival
- San Francisco World Music Festival
- San Francisco Green Festival
- International Taiko Festival
- San Francisco Hip-Hop Dance Festival
- San Francisco International Automobile Show
- Run Wild for a Child 5K and 10K
- Treasure Island Flea