“Panem et circuses” – what attracts guests in a dinner theatre?

Dinner theatre is a form of live entertainment that includes a meal along with a staged play or a show. The Madrigal dinner in the Middle Ages might be considered the earliest dinner theatre. Modern dinner theatre most likely developed from the popular supper clubs of the 1940s and 1950s, in which nightclubs combined a world-class dining room with a headlining cabaret act, variety show, or big band entertainment. As the popularity of these clubs waned, new owners renovated the buildings to accommodate stage plays.


After dinner theatre boom in the 70s and decline in 80s-90s, the 21st century brought the revival of dinner theatres. There is a lot more variety (and not just variety shows, pun intended) in the types of shows performed. Circus productions and Broadway musicals are amongst them.


In 2014 Cirque du Soleil launched a new resident show in a custom-build theatre at Vidanta Riviera Maya. Being a theatrical and culinary experience, the show woke up an interest for dinner theatre experiences as resort entertainment all over the world. Adding new senses – taste and smell – to the entertainment experience allows makes it multi-sensory and unique for every spectator.


“Bread and circuses”, as Romans were saying, is what people desire. A dinner theatre provides exactly that. A dinner theatre is a very intimate experience. The setup that requires food service can only accommodate a limited number of tables to be served, so the venue can’t be too big, and the tables are located relatively close to the stage. Resorts can showcase the best of their culinary experience together with entertainment experience for their guests all under one roof.


Contact yulia@creativiva.com to discuss introducing a true dinner theatre experience with Creativiva productions at your resorts.

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