Historic Asolo Theater

This beautiful jewel-box theater was originally constructed in 1798 inside a Renaissance-era palace in Asolo, Italy.  It remained there until 1931, when it was dismantled to make way for a cinema. The theater’s historic paintings, decorative panels, ornate proscenium, and gilded stage boxes remained in storage until The Ringling purchased them in 1949 and reassembled them at the museum. The Historic Asolo Theater had its debut Sarasota performance in 1952, becoming the birthplace for performing arts in the region.  Over the years, the Historic Asolo Theater has been lovingly restored and equipped with twenty-first-century technology that allows for high-quality productions within a truly special historic setting. 


This vibrant part of the museum’s year-round programming presents relevant and provocative time-based art across a range of performance disciplines that include dance, music, theatre, puppetry, mixed media and performance art, as well as contemporary circus arts.

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The Ringling’s curated selection of films has something for everyone! Film offerings range from National Theatre Live recordings to art films to cinematic works chosen to complement the museum’s collection, current exhibitions, performances, or community-based projects.


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Theater Box Office

The Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion provides a welcoming entrance to the Historic Asolo Theater. The box office is located in the rear of the Glass Pavilion.

Hours: 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM Daily

Phone: 941-360-7399

Email:  [email protected]

Selecting Accessible Seating

Please contact the Box Office for assistance with selecting accessible seating, or for other accessibility inquiries related to the theater.

For visitors who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

The Historic Asolo Theater is equipped with a loop system to assist those with hearing aids or cochlear implants equipped with telecoils (T-Coil). By turning your hearing aid to “T” for reception, you will be able to hear our performances with enhanced amplification and clarity.

For visitors who do not have the T-Coil system, assistive listening devices and cochlear implant adapters are available for visitors attending events in the Historic Asolo Theater. To obtain an assistive listening device, please ask at the Box Office upon arrival.

Please note that the first two rows of seats on the first tier and the entire third tier of seats are not looped.

Artist in Residence

The Ringling Artist in Residence program is a residency in which choreographers, composers, circus artists, theater makers, and other practitioners are given the opportunity to generate ideas, experiment with new artistic language, and invest in the performance of tomorrow.

These residencies reinforce the essentials for artistic creation, which are surprisingly lacking for today’s practitioners: time, space, and resources to experiment and iterate while prototyping works for public presentations, exhibitions, and tours. The Ringling’s 66-acre campus provides a serene setting and creative environment for artists to develop and design their work.

This program is by invitation of The Ringling curatorial staff. We are not currently taking applications for the program.

Past Artists

Annalisa Dias and Tara Moses: May 18-25, 2022

Randy Valdes: October 5-12, 2020

Rosie Herrera and Leah Verrier Dunn: October 2020-2021

John Sims: Sept 11-20, 2020

Joseph Keckler: 2020

One Location. Endless Experiences.


Visit the Museum of Art, Circus Museum, Ca' d'Zan, Bayfront Gardens.
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