Resident Companies

The historic Zeiterion is home to three independent performing arts organizations: Zeiterion Theatre, New Bedford Festival Theatre, and New Bedford Symphony Orchestra.

The building is owned by the City of New Bedford and is managed by the Zeiterion, which presents the majority of performances. The Zeiterion’s two Resident Companies — New Bedford Festival Theatre and New Bedford Symphony Orchestra — share our stage and produce world-class performances in their respective specialties.

Learn more about these remarkable companies below.

New Bedford Festival Theatre

Bringing the best of Broadway to the SouthCoast for more than 30 years!

Festival Theatre is a professional regional not-for-profit performing arts organization dedicated to producing a varied selection of the best of musical theatre – from the classics to the contemporary. We engage the best local and national talent available, thus nurturing theatre artists. Responding to the diverse needs of the artistic community and the public, we serve as a cultural resource to enrich the community, the state, and the region. Festival Theatre is the winner of the NETC Moss Hart Award as Best Theatrical Production in New England for Les Miserables, Hairspray, and Mary Poppins.

Festival Theatre founder Armand Marchand and Artistic Director George Charbonneau were at the helm of the organization for 30 years. Their final production, Mama Mia, was in 2018 and broke the Zeiterion's house record with over 9,000 patrons. In May 2023, Armand and George were awarded Honorary Doctorates from Bridgewater State University for their exemplary 50-year record of presenting and producing the highest level of professional theatrical work for the Southcoast.

Visit New Bedford Festival Theatre at

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New Bedford Symphony Orchestra

With our enticing selection of classical and pops concerts, there’s a concert for every music lover.

The New Bedford Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to the proposition that classical music can enrich and transform lives. That is why we are very pleased to offer you exciting, moving, and beautiful music. It is also why we remain committed to expanding the educational programs we offer to children in our region—last year more than 8,000 children benefited from our music programs! And finally, it is why we continue to build strong relationships with other music and cultural organizations in our region. We believe collaboration makes all organizations, and our community, stronger. Whether you are a first-time concertgoer or an NBSO regular, we welcome you to our community of music!

Visit the NBSO at

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