By Camden Layell | Photos by Paul Jones

Are you in the mood for culture? Or do you simply want to get your jam on? Whether a play, concert or even a drag show, there’s entertainment of all kinds —that won’t break the bank — just steps away in downtown Harrisonburg as well as surrounding areas in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Artful DodgerArtfulDodger

Want to show off your dance moves? For a $5 cover, you can go to the Dodger’s dance parties, featuring DJ Jekyll on Fridays and DJ Fayo on Saturdays from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. If jazz is more your scene, the Dodger hosts the JMU jazz band every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for free. Go to the events page at to check for updates on what’s coming up.

Downtown Music 34

Located at 34 South Main St., Downtown Music features performing arts ranging from concerts to theatre and drag shows. The venue usually hosts at least one event a week, with tickets running $5 on average. Bands range from blues and metal to hip-hop and more. Weekly events include the No Strings Attached improv group performing on Mondays, Contra Dance lessons on Tuesdays and Old Time Jazz sessions on Wednesdays. Check out Downtown Music’s Facebook page or for a full schedule.


Blackfriars Playhouse

The American Shakespeare Center at the Blackfriars Playhouse in historic Staunton is sure to make you love Shakespeare. The internationally acclaimed company entertains patrons with six shows a week, roughly 51 weeks a year. The theatre holds the distinction as the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s original theatre in London. Each play is performed under Shakespeare’s original staging practices, the most notable feature being universal lighting (meaning the audience shares the same lighting as the performers). Performances include “A Mad World, My Masters,” which runs Feb. 23 to April 7, and “Dido, Queen of Carthage,” which runs March 14 to April 7. Go to for more information and to purchase tickets.