Frequently Asked Questions
Why the Mead Center?
Nestled along the waterfront in the historic Southwest neighborhood of Washington, D.C., the Mead Center for American Theater offers a unique blend of breathtaking views, stunning architecture, theatrical history, and world-class hospitality.
Your guests will be impressed from front door to stage door. Enclosed by a 56’ glass wall, the Mead Center houses the fully-restored and historic Fichandler Stage and Kreeger Theater, the brand-new Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle, and nearly 15,000 square feet of lobby, meeting and event space.
A magnificent, custom-designed carpet in hues of red, orange and yellow spans the first floor lobbies and Grand Lobby. Perched atop the roof of the Kreeger Theater, the third floor café offers a birds-eye view of the entire Mead Center and features a contemporary rock garden. The center is completed by the open-air Terrace, which offers breathtaking views of the Waterfront and Washington Monument.
And naturally, we offer the most innovative and profound productions of American theater in the county. We invite you to make the Mead Center your premiere Washington, D.C. theatrical event destination by enhancing your next dinner or reception with a group sale purchase to a current show.
From intimate pre-theater dinners to spectacular galas…from business meetings to conferences…the Mead Center is a dramatic setting for your next event.
What are the rental fees? How much time do they permit?
The rental fees for special event and reception spaces are proportional to the total number of hours the space is used – events longer in duration, or requiring more set-up and breakdown time, are subject to an increase in the rental fee.
Basic rental fees start with a six- or eight-hour rental period and assume three hours for load-in and space set-up, up to two or up to four hours of total guest/event time, and one hour for breakdown and load-out. Weddings and facility buy-outs start with a minimum ten- or twelve-hour rental period, and assume longer event periods.
For specifics, please contact our Events Team.
What time can events start and end?
Load-in may not start before 7:00 AM, and all events must conclude by midnight. All caterer or third party breakdown and load-out must be completed by 2:00 AM. Events requiring load-in before 7:00 AM or extending past midnight must be approved in advance of the event date, and may be subject to an additional facility fee.
How do I secure a room and date for booking?
A space may be held for up to two weeks and holds must be requested in writing. To secure a space, we ask that you sign a License Agreement, and provide a deposit of 50% of the rental fee, a security deposit and Certificate of Insurance.
Are the theaters available for rental? If so, are there any restrictions?
Yes! Theaters are available for rental, but are subject to availability around our season calendar. Please enquire for availability and procedures.
Do you offer parking? Are you located near a Metro station?
The Mead Center has a small, private parking garage and parking may be arranged at $20 per car; on-site parking is subject to availability. Your guests may also park at the 1101 4th Street, SW garage, or utilize the ample metered parking available along Maine Ave. We are conveniently located just 2 blocks from the Waterfront Metro Station on the Green line.
Am I required to use an approved caterer for my event?
The Mead Center maintains a list of approved caterers, from which you must choose. All food must be provided by one of the four approved caterers, and all alcohol beverage service must be provided by an approved caterer. The Mead Center works with the best caterers in the Washington, DC metro area, and we are certain you will be as pleased with their offerings as we are! Please see Page 4 for contact information.
What about other vendors? Is there an approved or preferred list for A/V, floral, valet parking, lighting or other event design vendors?
You are free to choose your preferred vendor for these services, subject to approval in advance by Mead Center management. We generally require that third party vendors schedule a site visit at least 2 weeks prior to the event to discuss event policies and procedures with our Special Events Team.
Are there any restrictions regarding caterers and third party vendors that I should be aware of?
Our preferred caterers are well-versed in our facility policies and procedures, and are sensitive to the particularities of our event rental spaces. Please note that for all vendors, load-in and load-out times are limited to the window during which you have rented the space. Do consider this restriction when selecting a third party vendor for A/V, equipment rental, lights or other needs, as the Mead Center cannot store any equipment of any kind on-site.
What types of dÉcor are restricted at the Mead Center?
The following items are not permitted: fog, dry ice, or bubble machines; helium balloons or any item which may float; the tossing of raw rice, seeds, paper cut-outs, flowers petals, glitter, confetti or any item smaller than 2” in diameter.
Votive and hurricane candles are permissible, provided that flames are completely enclosed. Candles may not be incorporated into floral décor for any reason. Candles are not permitted in our theaters.
I’m interested in having my wedding at the Mead Center. Is it an appropriate venue?
The Mead Center provides some of the most highly-desirable event space in the Washington, DC Metro area. With beautiful views of the Waterfront and the Washington Monument, stunning architectural elements, custom carpets, and hospitality catered by some of the best companies in the nation’s capital, a wedding at the Mead Center is an affair to remember.
While we are a unique, modern and non-traditional venue, the nature of our primary mission (theater) imposes limitations on the flexibility of our reception spaces. Please note that the Grand Lobby and Richard's Place are only available when we are performance-free, and that we may have restrictions and limitations on music in the Molly Smith Study and Bank of America Lower Lobby until performances have concluded for the evening. If you are interested in hosting your wedding at the Mead Center, please reach out to our Special Events Manager to discuss the possibilities and schedule a site visit.
Can I have a band or other live music at my event?
The addition to an event of amplified music, bands, DJs, or the equivalent may be permitted on a case-by-case basis with the stipulation that volume is at all times subject to the discretion of Mead Center management. Excessive volume (as determined solely by Mead Center management) is prohibited at all times. Live music is prohibited on the Terrace at all times.
Do you have equipment that I can use or rent for my event?
Yes, the Mead Center offers a variety of items including AV equipment, staging, dance floors, and a limited inventory of tables and chairs. The Events team is happy to provide a list of equipment available for rental.
My group would like to see a show before/after our event. Is this possible?
Absolutely! We offer discounts starting at 30% for groups of 10 or more, and our Group Sales office would be happy to coordinate ticket purchases for you.