Visit the Theaters of Managua

While the primary purpose of theater may be to entertain, it can also be used to educate, highlight social issues, provide food for thought and encourage creativity. In Nicaragua’s capital city, Managua there are a number of theaters offering a variety of performances. These include the Rubén Darío National Theater, the Theater Justo Rufino Garay, and Theater Victor Romeo.

Inaugurated in 1969, the Rubén Darío National Theater was one of the few tall buildings in Managua to come through the 1972 earthquake relatively undamaged. Featuring several rooms and exhibition halls, the building is the venue for a variety of functions, in addition to presenting theater productions. Book presentations, conferences, fashion shows and art exhibitions are some of the events that take place in this impressive building. The Crystal Room, so named because of the two large crystal chandeliers that light the area, is a popular venue for art exhibitions, presentations and small concerts. The Main Hall of the theater can seat up to 1,200 people, with acoustics designed to enhance the performance on the large stage. Three balconies overlook the lower seating area, with the presidential seats being located in the center of the main balcony. It has been the venue for many renowned local and international singers, dancers and theater groups. The program at the theater is constantly changing, offering fresh entertainment to theater-loving audiences.

The Theater Justo Rufino Garay is known for offering alternative theater to smaller audiences. It has seating for 150 people and its stage is equipped with high-tech special effects and lighting. Professional and amateur, national and international performers have entertained audiences at the theater, which is named in honor of a Sandinista soldier who used the theater to bring attention to the revolutionary war in Nicaragua. The war ended in July 1979 with the Sandinistas taking power. The theater also screens alternative and classical films every Wednesday, and is host to the International Theater Festival which takes place early in September each year.

With space for up to 100 audience members, the Theater Victor Romeo presents alternative dance, theater and music by local and foreign artists, both professional and amateur. It is located in the building of the non-profit organization, the Association of Contemporary Dance, which has as its goal the promotion of Nicaraguan art and culture. It is also a venue for teaching dancing, theater and music.

So, when visiting the city of Managua, be sure to include a visit to one of its theaters and experience an aspect of culture in this vibrant South American country.