The Performing Arts in Lincoln

The performing arts community in Lincoln includes some of the region’s most talented musicians, actors, and dancers. Here is a look at some of Lincoln’s treasured creative outlets.


Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra

The symphony was first organized in the 1920s. There most recent change was a 2011 move to the Lied Center for Performing Arts. Since then, its audience size has doubled and the total number of unique households served has more than tripled.

The 2016-17 season of ten concerts includes several family concerts involving puppets and a comedian. Renowned cellist Zuill Bailey joins the symphony for a February concert, and their traditional holiday concert in December is a lovely way to get in the spirit of the season. For tickets and more information: (402) 476-2211 or

Haymarket Theatre
& the Nebraska Youth Theatre

Haymarket Theatre performances are often among the year’s best local theatre productions. For more than 13 years, professional repertory productions and high-quality children’s theatre have brought to the stage every facet of the human experience.

The Nebraska Youth Theatre produces full-length theatrical productions that offer young people the opportunity to learn what it takes to put together a play or musical.  For tickets and more information: (402) 477-2600 or

Nebraska Chamber Players

Now in its 20th year, Nebraska Chamber Players is made up of professional musicians dedicated to playing a unique brand of chamber music. Known for creative programming, the group has premiered commissioned works from composers across the country. The spirit of chamber music, performed in an intimate atmosphere, comes alive through each of the Nebraska Chamber Players’ gifted musicians. For more information: (402) 429-8227 or

The Lincoln Civic Orchestra

The Lincoln Civic Orchestra is a symphonic orchestra comprised of community musicians from around the Lincoln area. Formed in 1977 on the campus of Union College, the Lincoln Civic Orchestra became the resident orchestra at Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1987. The 70-piece ensemble regularly performs on the Nebraska Wesleyan campus with performances in the Fall, Winter and Spring, and travels to other communities with concert presentations. LCO aims to provide a quality symphonic experience for musicians and the community at large, through collaborative musical performances and education. Visit for more information.

Nebraska Jazz Orchestra

One of the region’s premiere big bands, the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra presents at least four concerts annually featuring the genre’s best musicians. The NJO features traditional big band classics from masters like Duke Ellington and Count Basie, as well as new compositions and arrangements from local talent. The NJO is committed to educating future musicians through sponsorship of the Young Artist Jazz Composition, the Young Lions All-Star Big Band, and the annual Nebraska Jazz Camp. For more information: (402) 477-8446 or

Angels Theatre Company

Made up of professional and amateur artists, the Angels Theatre Company has staged more than 50 productions since 2000. The company promotes original works, often with compelling social messages, and the best of well-known theatrical drama. They hold playwriting workshops with the Angels Playwriting Collective. For more information:

Sheldon Friends of Chamber Music

The SFCM, established in 1964, presents chamber music concerts, lectures, and masterclasses to introduce the public to live chamber music. Nationally-known and exceptionally talented musicians perform new works by living composers as well as a standard classical repertoire. For more information: (402) 435-5454 or

Lincoln Municipal Band

Now celebrating 100 years, the Lincoln Municipal Band is both Nebraska’s oldest professional music organization and its only professional wind ensemble. The LMB annually presents a series of free outdoor concerts at 7 p.m. on Sunday evenings during July and August. Held in the John Shildneck Memorial Bandshell in Antelope Park, these popular free concerts draw regular crowds of more than 1,500 and feature some of the capital city’s best instrumentalists and vocalists. The organization also holds the annual John Schildneck Young Artist Competition. For more information: (402) 477-7899 or

Nebraska Repertory Theatre

The Nebraska Repertory Theatre provides professional acting and production experience to University of Nebraska-Lincoln students and faculty in collaboration with professional artists-in-residence. For more information: (402) 472-4747 or

Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company

This December marks the 32nd year of the Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company presenting its annual staging of the holiday season classic, The Nutcracker. Dance students from southeast Nebraska star in the performances that also feature a live orchestra and nationally-known guest artists. In conjunction with performances, LMBC hosts Backstage at the Ballet, an artist-in-residency program at Lincoln elementary schools. LMBC also produces rotating spring ballets, Cinderella and Snow White, and holds a summer dance camp. For more information: (402) 477-8446 or

Capital Jazz Society Big Band

The Capital Jazz Big Band Society performs 3–4 nights a month at Vega in the Haymarket. This weekly big band provides an opportunity for jazz musicians of all ages to hone their chops by sight-reading and performing both classic and new big band literature. The Lincoln Jazz Series provides formal jazz groups with a venue to showcase their talents. Local, regional and national groups have performed as part of this series. The Monday Night Big Band and Lincoln Jazz Series are supported by the Capital Jazz Society. For more information: (402) 477-8008 or

Flatwater Shakespeare Company

The Flatwater Shakespeare Company wants to share William Shakespeare’s plays and other classic works with Nebraska audiences. Since 2001 the company has not only presented classics such as Hamlet and Macbeth, but has also been committed to educating youth about the unique language and stagecraft of Shakespeare in a hands-on manner. Past performances includ Much Ado About Nothing and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, a collaboration with the Crooked Codpiece Company. For more information: (402) 473-2897 or or read more on page 79.

Plainsong Folk Festival

The Plainsong Folk Festival is a showcase for the unique cultural value of folk music. Held annually since 2002, the festival features folk music with roots ranging from Celtic to bluegrass, singer-songwriter to folk-rock. This year’s theme was Kaleidoscope. Visit for more information.

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