Like so many other downtown areas across the country,  Greenville's downtown was going the way of the dinosaur until the mid-80s, when the city's enterprising mayor initiated talks of a performing arts center. The result was the Peace Center for the Performing Arts, 70% of which was privately funded.

The center opened in 1990 and has been hosting world-class performers and performances ever since. Luminaries such as violinist Itzhak Perlman and magician David Copperfield have filled the centers seats to capacity. The center has also hosted productions of such productios as the musical Phantom of the Opera. Peace Center is located on Main and Broad Streets in the heart of Greenville; its heart in more ways than one.

Culturally-speaking, Greenville is bursting at the seams with performing arts and related offerings. Centre Stage, Greenville's Professional Theater, offers a full subscription season of music, comedy, drama and special events such as chamber music concerts, film screenings and art exhibitions. It's week-long New Play Festival attracts entries from around the country and abroad and each year features a playwright of national calibre as its playwright-in-residence. The theater is located on River Street, at the terminus of West Court Street.    The Warehouse Theatre is another professional theatre venue, founded in 1974 by a small group of actors and theatre artists wanting to bring the art of theatre into a more intimate relationship with audiences. The Warehouse Theatre is located on Augusta Street, in the West End Historic District of downtown.  Greenville Little Theatre (GLT), located downtown on College Street, at Heritage Green, is another professional venue offering numerous plays throughout the year.  The South Carolina Children's Theatre (SCCT), Greenville's main theatrical organization geared toward children, has become wildly popular with area families, and regularly sells out performances.  SCCT performs in the Gunter Theatre at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts in downtown.  An interactive dinner theatre, Cafe and Then Some, located on the corner of College Street and Laurens Street, offers an unforgettable experience you're sure to enjoy.

The Greenville Symphony Orchestra (GSO) has been making beautiful music for 59 years, from full-out orchestra productions to small ensembles of their finest musicians. The orchestra's main venue is the World-class Peace Concert Hall, the main facility at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts.  Since 1999, Russian-born Maestro Edvard Tchivzhel has directed the orchestra to a higher status, in both performance quality and enthusiasm among the Greenville community. 

Another fine orchestra is the Carolina Pops Orchestra www.carolinapops.com  conducted by Maestro Arthur Field.  This professional orchestra entertains the public with light classical, show and movie and symphonic rock.  Field is a master of costume changes and keeps the evening lively.  The Carolina Pops has been sold-out  since its inception in 2005.  Master composer Jay Bocook also conducts the orchestra, which performs an array of Bocook's and Field's arrangements including popular favorites. 

The South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities is located directly next to Falls Park on the Reedy, in the West End Historic District of downtown.  This is a complete campus with resident students and faculty.  The school offers many performances and displays to the public.

 The Upstate Shakespeare Festival has been an integral part of life in Greenville's cultural scene since 1995.  The organization provides a series of free outdoor performances in Falls Park on the Reedy called, "Shakespeare in the Park."