Tue, July 7

DPAC Concludes 2019 / 2020 Season as One of the Nation’s Top Five Theaters

DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) concluded its 2019 / 2020 season as one of the nation’s top five theaters according to two leading publications that cover live entertainment events and venues. 


In DPAC’s 12th year of operations under the direction of Nederlander and PFM, the theater held 155 events and sold out 77 performances, while welcoming a total of 335,769 guests in what was an abbreviated season.


In January 2020, DPAC welcomed the premiere of its highest rated Broadway show ever, Come From Away.  DPAC guests rated this unforgettable true story a 98.2 on a 100 point scale, higher than any previous Broadway show presented at DPAC.


Based on current mid-year rankings, DPAC is nationally recognized as the #3 U.S Venue by Venues Now and the #5 U.S. Theatre by Pollstar.  These top-five rankings place DPAC, which has a capacity of 2,712 seats, among much larger theaters in major markets including Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY (Capacity: 6,015), Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL (Capacity: 3,600), Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA (Capacity: 4,665),  Park Theatre at Park MGM, Las Vegas, NV (Capacity: 5,200), and The Anthem, Washington, DC (Capacity: 6,000).


Additionally, Triangle publications and organizations, including the Triangle Business Journal, Carolina Parent, and Durham Magazine have continued to honor DPAC as the region’s best venue for live entertainment.


Bob Klaus, General Manager of DPAC, said, “At DPAC, our top priority is to ensure each guest who enters our venue has a positive, unforgettable experience celebrating the joy of live entertainment.  We are proud to have had the chance to serve over 300,000 guests this past season, and we look forward to welcoming each of them back again.”

DPAC Shows Dedication to Community Engagement Programs


In addition to presenting a wide array of national touring events and superstar entertainment, DPAC participated in a variety of community engagement activities this past season including:

  • Raising over $56,000 for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle of the Triangle to provide meals to families in need. 
  • Hosting a blood drive in partnership with the Blood Connection, collecting over 800 donations, which will be used to save 2,400 lives in Triangle area hospitals.
  • Donating hundreds of tickets to local non-profit and charitable fundraisers, such as TROSA, Durham Public Schools, Durham’s First Responders and Duke University’s “Doing Good in the Neighborhood” program.
  • Continuing DPAC For All, a program that offers reserved select balcony seating for $20 (plus taxes) per ticket, exclusively for residents of Durham to most Broadway shows.  This program provides theater experiences for Durham residents who would otherwise be unable to attend Broadway shows.  This season, over 1,740 seats were sold at a discounted price of 20% to 75%.
  • Beginning a new initiative, the DPAC Inclusion Project, a special program that provides a DPAC VIP experience to deserving community members who serve to make a difference in the Triangle.  Six recipients had the opportunity to enjoy the magic of live entertainment at DPAC, as a small reward and recognition for their service in our communities. 
  • Hosting Next Stop BROADWAY®, a week-long musical theater program for 80 participants, ages 10-17, consisting of classes, workshops, and rehearsals focused on classic Broadway show.
  • Bringing the arts closer to local students and senior citizens.  DPAC’s most special ticket donation program, Discover Broadway connects donated tickets from season members with disadvantaged Durham Public School students and their parents letting them experience their first-ever Broadway performance.  In addition, DPAC’s Golden Ticket offered tickets to seniors living in Durham public housing complexes.
  • Coordinating educational workshops with casts and crews from touring Broadway productions. These specially organized workshops gave local students in Durham Public Schools, including C.E. Jordan High School, Riverside High School, Southern High School, and Durham School of the Arts, and Durham universities, such as North Carolina Central University, the opportunity to work directly with touring Broadway professionals.
  • Working with area youth through DPAC’s Performing Arts Ambassadors.  This program selects 20 passionate Durham high school students to serve as Ambassadors during the DPAC season.  These students get the opportunity to volunteer, attend shows, and report their experiences on a blog on DPAC’s website, while also having behind-the-scenes access to participate in exclusive meet and greets, interviews with touring shows, job shadowing and more. 

This season, DPAC continued its mission of presenting one-of-a-kind live entertainment events with blockbuster Broadway, concert and comedy events.  Disney’s smash hit Aladdin topped the list as DPAC’s highest-attended Broadway event this season.  Tina Fey’s hilarious musical Mean Girls came in second, followed by the unforgettable true story Come From Away.   


Top Five Shows – SunTrust Broadway at DPAC  2019 / 2020*

  1. Disney’s Aladdin
  2. Mean Girls
  3. Come From Away
  4. A Bronx Tale
  5. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

*July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020


Along with DPAC’s direct from New York Broadway shows, the venue also saw a diverse line-up of concerts, comedy, and special events throughout the 2019 / 2020 season. 


Brad Saks, Director of Programming – Concerts and Comedy, said “The DPAC stage had many memorable evenings throughout the 2019 / 2020 season. Sebastian Maniscalco became the first comedian in DPAC’s history to sell out four consecutive shows, and Durham’s Sylvan Esso performed two sold out shows to cap off their highly successful WITH tour.  Our team is actively working to create another memorable and creative 2020 / 2021 season.  Stay tuned!”


DPAC presented a total of 73 concerts, comedy, and special events this season with 38 sellouts.  Legendary Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band was the top-selling concert act of the 2019 / 2020 season performing to a sold out crowd this past August.  R&B powerhouse Charlie Wilson followed making his third appearance at DPAC, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons rounded out the list of top concerts with a special performance featuring many of their 71 chart-topping hits.


Sebastian Maniscalco made DPAC history as the first comedian to perform four shows in a row in March, becoming the top comedy event, followed closely by Tom Segura and Jay Leno.  The top-selling special events included Ira David Wood III’s A Christmas Carol, A Magical Cirque Christmas, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.


Top Fifteen Concert Events – 2019 / 2020 Season*

1. Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band

2. Charlie Wilson   

3. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

4. The Last Waltz Tour 2019

5. John Prine

6. Sylvan Esso Presents WITH (2 Shows)

7. The Doobie Brothers

8. Tony Bennett

9. Bob Weir and Wolf Bros

10. The Temptations and the Four Tops

11. Gladys Knight

12. Kevin Gates

13. REO Speedwagon

14. Il Divo

15. Kansas

*July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020

Top Five Comedy Events 2019 / 2020 Season*

1. Sebastian Maniscalco (4 Shows)

2. Tom Segura (2 Shows)

3. Jay Leno

4. Jo Koy

5. Lewis Black

*July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020


Top Five Special Events 2019 / 2020 Season*

1. Ira David Wood III’s A Christmas Carol (6 Shows)

2. A Magical Cirque Christmas (2 Shows)

3. Neil deGrasse Tyson

4. Carolina Ballet’s The Nutcracker (3 Shows)

5. The Hip Hop Nutcracker (2 Shows)

*July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020

Rachel Traversari, Senior Director of Marketing, said, “On behalf of Team DPAC, we would like to thank our guests for a magical, memorable season.  As we prepare for the opening of our 2020 / 2021 season, we look forward to being together at DPAC again.  And together is our favorite place to be.”


Link to Venue Photos: https://bit.ly/2019-20_VenuePhotos

Link to Broadway B-roll & Photos:  https://bit.ly/2019-20_TopBroadway
Link to Concert Photos: https://bit.ly/2019-20_TopConcerts
Link to Comedy Photos: https://bit.ly/2019-20_TopComedy
Link to Special Event Photos: https://bit.ly/2019-20_TopSpecialEvents
Link to Community Photos: https://bit.ly/2019-20_CommunityPhotos