Smith Center Blog

Education and Outreach

Teacher Impacts Las Vegas with Oct. 1 Fundraiser

When Kelly Wagner first heard about the Oct. 1 mass shooting, the teacher immediately thought, “I could’ve been there.” Wagner had faithfully attended the Route 91 Harvest music festival every prior year, she explains, and decided to take a break in 2017. Wagner says, “I knew we had to do something.”

Inside the Theater

How to Stay Social with the Arts, At a Distance

The pandemic not only brought about the temporary closure of The Smith Center and numerous other performance venues, but many other arts activities remain on hold under public health guidelines. To fill this void for now, The Smith Center offers a few ideas for staying social with the arts, while still keeping a safe distance.

Inside the Theater

Creating the First Broadway Musical, By Accident

The words Broadway and musical have nearly become synonymous since the mid-19th century. Broadway productions now set the highest standard for musical theater, with many performers aspiring to take part as a lifelong ambition. This grand tradition launched with one paradigm-shifting show — the first Broadway musical. And it happened by accident.

Inside the Theater

A Vegas Musician’s Guide to Surviving the Orchestra Pit

When audiences experience touring Broadway productions at The Smith Center, they relish the booming and sweeping melodies flowing from the hidden compartment beneath the stage. But little do many realize, the musicians tucked in this underground space must grapple with numerous challenges to provide a polished, flawless sound.

Discovering The Smith Center

From Dust to Dreams – The Story Behind The Smith Center’s Opening

You have probably made special memories at The Smith Center over its first eight years. This would never have happened without a group of community leaders who met over 20 years ago. This small band of visionaries convened at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas to discuss founding a world-class performing arts center in their community.

Inside the Theater

The Invention of the Orchestra Pit

Most theater and dance performances feature live musicians tucked in a sub-stage orchestra pit, blasting and crooning melodies that enhance the show without audiences often realizing it. But this wasn’t always so. As part of The Smith Center’s ongoing blog series exploring the history of theater magic, discover how the orchestra pit originated.

Education and Outreach

Teachers’ Top Tips to Help with Distance Learning

After initial weeks of conquering technology and building student relationships through screens, teachers have a strong grasp of what helps students thrive during at-home learning… And what does not. The Smith Center polled award-winning educators for insights to help us all navigate the remote learning environment.

Education and Outreach

Teaching Students Compassion For Animals, And For Each Other

Kim Law cares for as many as 150 animals in her role as head of the Zookeepers Club at Mabel Hoggard Elementary School, a club that teaches students compassion and more. To celebrate her inspiring work, The Smith Center honored Law as one of the top 20 teachers for its fifth-annual Heart of Education Awards.

Inside the Theater

How Opera Changed Theater Forever

While audiences today delight in colossal and mesmerizing set pieces, all of this would have baffled audiences from the age of William Shakespeare. Performances in this golden era featured spartan stages, with no sets and often no props. Explore how eye-popping visuals and captivating music eventually became intertwined with theater as we know it today.

Performances and Artists

Audiences Nationwide Celebrate Civil Rights Icon

The Smith Center joins dozens of other performing arts centers nationwide in hosting a virtual screening and live panel discussion of the new documentary “John Lewis: Good Trouble.” This initiative aims honor the life and legacy of one of the country's most renowned civil rights leaders: legendary U.S. Representative John Lewis.