Historic Asolo Theater
“It has come across the sea to become one of the most important exhibits in a museum noted especially for its dramatic and spectacular collection of Baroque painting, and to serve as a brilliant setting for plays, concerts, lectures, and motion picture programs that are part of the cultural advantages the Ringling Museum offers to students of the fine arts, and to the public.”
A.Everett Austin, Jr.
First Director of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
An 18th-century treasure in a 21st-century venue, the Historic Asolo Theater is a work of art in its own right. The palace playhouse was created in Asolo, Italy in 1798 to honor the 15th-century exiled Queen Catherine Cornaro of Cyprus. In the late 1940s, the theater was dismantled and brought to the Ringling Estate in Sarasota. From this important stage sprang much of the theater, the opera, and the music that distinguishes this Gulf Coast city as one of the nation’s leading cultural centers. Today the theater features a diverse performance schedule including theatre, dance, film, music, and lectures.
In 2006, after years of painstaking restoration, America’s only 18th-century European theater was reset in the John M. McKay Visitors Pavilion just inside the historic Cà d’Zan Gatehouse on the Ringling Museum estate.
The Historic Asolo Theater now functions as a performing arts venue, presenting a diverse roster of theater, music, dance, film, and lectures. View the Performance Calendar to see what is playing today!