The Discovery Theater is a theater for children run by the Smithsonian Institute. Originally opened as a small puppet theater, the Discovery Theater works to give children diverse learning experiences on stage, putting on productions that allow children to discover and learn about different cultures, science, and diversity while having fun. Today, the Theater continues to offer numerous performances, striving for scientific and cultural accuracy, as well as the most fun that children can have learning.
The Discovery Theater initially did
not have its own building or its current purpose. At its founding in 1964, the
Discovery Theater was the Smithsonian Puppet Theater, a small show for children
that was performed in a small space in the Natural Museum of American History.
The Puppet Theater worked to bring learning to children just as the rest of the
Smithsonian strived for, and in became so popular that it was moved to the Arts
and Industries Building in 1979. With its new space, the Smithsonian Puppet
Theater renamed itself the Discovery Theater, as it began to feature new kinds
of performances, such as acoustic music, mimes, storytelling, and other such
events. This was merely a small part of the Theater’s mission to make learning
accessible to children, however.
By 1995, the Discovery Theater
began including performances that focused on cultures and heritage, as well as
performances that made math and science simple and accessible. It was the
inclusion of these new programs that made the Discovery Theater more accessible
as a location for learning, and it was made immensely popular among parents and
teachers, as well. As the Theater gained a great deal of visitors, it is no
surprise that by 2004, the Discovery Theater was in need of some renovations.
Soon after it closed, the Discovery Theater re-opened with newly refurbished amenities
and a boutique performance space that gave the Theater expanded opportunities
to fulfill their mission of spreading knowledge.