A Night At the Theatre on Anna Maria Island

While most days on Anna Maria Island are hot and sunny, there are occasional days of cloud and rain, which might have you looking for indoor things to do on AMI. Rather than camping out in Anna Maria Island rentals with Netflix, head to one of the theatres near Anna Maria Island for a night of local performing arts.

Rain or shine, an evening at the theatre makes for a nice way to spend a night out while on vacation. Here are a few options, both on the island and in nearby Bradenton and Sarasota on the mainland:

Island Players

Opened in 1946, Island Players is the oldest community theater in the county, and the only one actually located on the island. This Anna Maria Island theatre is celebrating 70 seasons of quality performance, offering a number of shows, both long-time favorites, and newer shows.

The season has plenty of great shows to enjoy while on vacation. See some of Agatha Christie’s best plots, haunting tales of murder complete with a surprising twist at the end, come to life on stage. Or, chuckle through a French farce about infidelity and scheming spouses. Whether you’re into suspense, comedy, or something in between, Island Players has something for you.

Island Players is located at the corner of Pine Avenue and Gulf Drive in the City of Anna Maria, near the restaurant strip on Pine Avenue. Grab a quick bite to eat as the sun goes down, then walk down the block to watch a show put on by talented local actors. The exact address for the theater is 10009 Gulf Dr., Anna Maria, FL.

violin at anna maria island performance
Photo from Shutterstock

Manatee Performing Arts Center

The Manatee Performing Arts Center is one of the top theatres near Anna Maria Island. This center is a hub for culture, education, and, of course, performing arts, and serves all of Manatee County.

This art complex is home to two stages, on which many popular Broadway musicals and plays unfold. Catch a showing of crowd-pleaser Mary Poppins, Shirley Valentine, or Harlem Renaissance musical tribute, Ain’t Misbehavin’. If you don’t make it to any of this season’s performances, don’t worry. Each season has its own mix of plays, from family classics to musical hits to more contemporary works.

The Manatee Performing Arts Center is on 502 3rd Ave. West in Bradenton, a 20-minute drive due east of Anna Maria Island. It is situated on the Bradenton Riverwalk, which offers beautiful views along the Manatee River. Combine a play with a night strolling along the Manatee in downtown Bradenton.

Check Out Pet-Friendly Rentals

Anna Maria Island pet-friendly vacation rentals are becoming increasingly harder to find, but thankfully several of our top luxurious vacation home rentals are pet-friendly and will still allow your furry family member. Check out our Anna Maria Island pet-friendly vacation rentals and book your stay online.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

If you’re keen to explore the city of Sarasota, be sure to book seats at the Van Wezel, Sarasota’s premier playhouse. Sarasota is known as the state’s cultural hub, so it’s worth the 35-minute drive from Anna Maria Island rentals to immerse yourself in the performing arts of this city.

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is known for impressive, big performances, and lots of variety. Broadway, orchestra, and dance are the three main types of performances the Van Wezel offers. Expect everything from a musical version of The Lion King, to Celtic Trios, to pop-star concerts, to the Russian National Ballet.

Sarasota has a booming restaurant scene, making for a great place to enjoy the classic American date night: dinner and the theatre. Grab a bite to eat around the corner from the theatre at The Ritz Carleton lounge, Jack Dusty, or at the Van Wezel’s own Mattison’s Bayside.

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center is located at 777 North Tamiami in Sarasota, right on Sarasota Bay. Don’t miss their amazing annual lineup!