Things are looking promising for the Carter Barron Amphitheater, a once-popular outdoor venue tucked away in the District’s Rock Creek Park. While the amphitheater was forced to close in 2017 due to structural concerns, pressure from D.C. residents and civic groups to reopen the space has finally ignited the National Park Service’s restoration efforts.
From 1950 to 2017, the amphitheater played quite a large role in D.C. entertainment, hosting big musicians including Ella Fitzgerald and Bruce Springsteen. The venue also hosted a popular Shakespeare production for years, among various other theater performances.
As Deputy Superintendent for Rock Creek Park Brian Joyner shared in a news statement, “part of the charm and appeal of this place is being able to walk into the woods here and kind of drop into nature and this outdoor space.”
That said, in the spirit of accessibility that comes with an outdoor venue like this, performances in the space will continue to be affordable to visitors following the reopening.
Should the National Park Service’s restoration plans go according to schedule, the amphitheater will be on track to host performances once again in 2026. Since the weight capacity of the stage was a major factor in the closing, a large portion of the revival efforts will focus on rehabilitating the stage.
The restoration of the Carter Barron Amphitheater will certainly enhance the already-enticing Rock Creek Park, drawing more visitors into the area.
For more information on the history and revival of the amphitheater, check out the National Park Service’s website.