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Just in time for election season, Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center present the 25th Anniversary production of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning juggernaut. Sexuality, religion, and politics collide at the beginning of the AIDS crisis in one of the most celebrated plays of the 20th century. Don't miss Part I: Millennium Approaches & Part II: Perestroika, presented in rotating repertory.
Rosalind is banished to the Forest of Arden and discovers Orlando and a world of passion and possibility in one of Shakespeare's most cherished romantic comedies. When she disguises herself as a rustic shepherd, enchantment abounds and blossoms into an exploration of the beauty and complexities of young love.
A small house is besieged by an apocalyptic storm. Great trees crack and splinter, garbage shatters windows, a deer impales the car windshield, and the wind hurls a trampoline into the living room. While their family home collapses all around them, a prodigal daughter and her zealous relatives try to pray their way to safety.
The Second City renews its long-running, hugely-successful partnership with Woolly Mammoth by shining the light of satire on a nation eclipsed by its own divisiveness. In Black Side of the Moon, a cast of Chicago's funniest and most audacious African American sketch and stand-up artists—the first of its kind ever assembled by the troupe—deconstructs and reconstructs Blackness through comedy, illuminating the challenges of the past and the promises of the future. Where are we headed as a country? We'll see you on the In Black Side of the Moon!
Coming of age is never easy—but it sure can be hilarious. Eugene Morris Jerome is 15, lives in Brooklyn, and thinks of little else but playing for the Yankees… and girls, of course. But he's more likely to become a short story writer than a short stop. Eugene's witty commentary about his life, his overworked father, his overbearing mother, his overconfident brother, and his overly gorgeous cousin, makes this tender journey through puberty both poignant and joyful.
A riveting psychological drama from one of America's master playwrights, Arthur Miller. Sylvia Gellburg has suddenly, mysteriously, become paralyzed from the waist down, and her husband, a self-denying Jew, can't figure out why. Set in Brooklyn throughout the rampage of Kristallnacht in 1938, this rare and gripping drama demands we confront our fears, our assumptions, and our anguish. Miller balances private and public morality in this astonishing and electrifying play about being American, being married, and coming to terms with one's own identity.
When Annie and Peter decide to adopt, they set their sights on a child from Africa. But just how much of Africa are they willing to bring into their home? Long-buried secrets surface, surprising new tensions with old friends arise, and their marriage is put to the test — all in the face of one startling choice.
Religion can draw us together, or it can pull us apart. Twenty years ago, Pastor Paul's church was a modest storefront. Now it houses thousands, with a coffee shop in the lobby and a baptismal font as big as a swimming pool. Today should be a day of celebration, but Pastor Paul is about to preach a sermon that will shake the foundation of his congregation's beliefs. Backed by a live choir, The Christians is both an epic and unexpectedly intimate drama. This provocative new play offers an unflinching look at faith of any denomination—and its power to unite or divide.
A young orphan girl being raised by a warm but eccentric aunt is spending a tender first Christmas without her parents. While searching the attic for ornaments to decorate her aunt's tree, she discovers a theatrical trunk once used by her puppeteer grandfather. When the extended family gathers on Christmas Eve, the contents in the trunk reawaken memories and spur the renewal of a long forgotten family tradition—the re-enactment of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. A production that breathes fresh new life into a timeless holiday classic.
Nearly four decades after its startling debut, Cloud 9's audacious, playful take on sexual politics resonates anew with its prescient exploration of power and perception. The repression of colonial Africa and the liberation of late-1970s London intersect in Caryl Churchill's revolutionary masterwork. Bending time, gender, and genre, this nimble modern classic embraces the confusion and complication of identity: What forces define who we are—and at what cost?
Betty is rich. Betty is lonely. Betty's a dutiful wife, but Betty's busy working on her truck. Betty wants to talk about love, and Betty wants Betty, but Betty needs to hit something. And Betty keeps using a small hand mirror to stare into parts of herself she's never examined. Meanwhile, Betty decides to stage a production of that play-within-a-play from…what's it called? Summer's Midnight Dream?
In Collective Rage, five different women named Betty collide at the intersection of anger, sex, and the "thea-tah." Award-winning playwright Jen Silverman's absurdist romantic comedy is at once hysterical, inspired, and boldly uncompromising. When you're done laughing, you'll be ready to deliver a knockout blow to a thousand different well-worn tropes about female identity…and dare them all to say "Boop."
In 1941, the German physicist Werner Heisenberg traveled to Copenhagen to meet his Danish counterpart, Niels Bohr. Old friends and colleagues, now they find themselves on opposite sides in a world war and embroiled in a race to create the atom bomb. Why Heisenberg went to Copenhagen, and what he wanted to say to Bohr, are questions that have intrigued and divided historians and scientists ever since. Michael Frayn's Tony Award-winning play about this historic meeting is a classic of modern drama—a meditation on friendship and moral responsibility, intellectually dazzling, and deeply moving that journeys through the realm of science and beyond.
Join Anne Frank, her family, the Van Daans and more for a vivid, dynamic exploration of the "banality of evil" and the ever-present flame of hope in the story of a Jewish girl in Amsterdam during World War II, and their desperate attempt to preserve humanity in an inhumane world. Directed by Derek Goldman (Grounded), an artist with a national reputation for bringing the lessons of the Holocaust to life.
Gabe and Karen, Beth and Tom. Two couples. Friends from way back. Countless meals. Shared vacations. A family. They thought they were in this together. For life. Things Change.
Full of life, warmth, laughs and wisdom, Dinner with Friends examines the lives of two couples and the repercussions of divorce on their friendships. With wit, compassion and consummate skill, playwright Donald Margulies weighs the cost of breaking up and of staying together.
Peter's Alley Theatre Productions opens its 5th Season with this Pulitzer Prize winning comedy-drama that is quickly becoming a modern classic.
André is 80 and a man of his own mind. He's quick with a joke, especially one with an edge, and used to dominating conversations and relationships. But things are getting strange: His trusted watch goes missing, reappears, and is lost again. His daughter's stories don't quite add up. His furniture is disappearing and there are strangers at his table. The incomparable Ted van Griethuysen stars in Florian Zeller's internationally acclaimed and theatrically thrilling exploration of who we are to ourselves when our signposts disappear.
In Fred's American Diner on a busy English motorway, people dream of better lives. Chloe wants to emigrate, Melissa dreams of university, Heather wants to rebuild her life, Sunny wants Heather. And someone is going to kill Fred. You'll find friendly staff and get service with a smile, but not far beneath lies a deadly secret in this dark comedy.
In The Goldfish by Shuping Yang, follow the journey of a Chinese son as his scandalous cousin pays him a sudden visit before his wedding night. Witness the golden son's dilemma unfold as he faces clashes between traditional Confucian values and Western notions of individuality. B.W.A. (Black Woman's Anonymous) by Whitney Geohagan and April Monu explores what it means to be an African American woman in America, addressing the deep-seated issues these women face.
Master dramatist Tom Stoppard's newest play follows Hilary, a young psychology researcher at the prestigious Krohl Institute for Brain Science. As she and her colleagues grapple with the 'hard problem' of defining consciousness, a thorny decision from Hilary's past fuels her controversial stances—and a few suspect choices. Bristling with intellectual energy and searing wit, The Hard Problem explores the difference between our brains and our minds, the nature of belief, and how to reconcile hard science with lived experience.
Isaac, a veteran, returns to his childhood home and discovers that his family's been transformed. His timid mother, freed from the constraints of her marriage, has begun a crusade to subvert the patriarchy, and his sister has become a trans male anarchist who uses the pronouns ze and hir. Meanwhile, his abusive father now wears clown makeup and downs estrogen pills…against his will.
Obie Award-winner Taylor Mac's black comedy flips the script on gender power dynamics and asks a key question: does destroying the past really free you from it? It's a sly kitchen-sink drama covered in glitter, and you'll laugh your way through to an answer.
Emotion and evolution collide in Sarah Treem's thought-provoking play about science, family, and survival of the fittest. On the eve of a prestigious conference, an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. The air crackles between the eminent professor and the maverick graduate student, whose theories might just change the way we regard sex itself. This exhilarating and keenly perceptive play, by the writer of hit TV shows In Treatment and The Affair, grapples with difficult choices faced by women of every generation.
Samantha and Leo are a team—best friends and roommates, fat girl and gay guy against the world—until a new friend upends their cozy co-dependent diet of mutual self-loathing and Grey's Anatomy marathons. An ode to the complications of friendship in its many fucked-up forms, with a special nod to a kind of love that sometimes looks a lot like rage. Produced as a part of Studio R&D, Studio Theatre's new works initiative
Covert operative Valerie Plame is racing to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the unthinkable happens. With the country at war, her cover is blown and she must navigate a media frenzy, the CIA's search for answers and her diplomat husband's dogged pursuit of the truth. Inspired by true events, Intelligence is a political thriller that explores the cost of deception and the consequences of speaking truth to power.
The Queen is dead. After a lifetime of waiting, Prince Charles ascends the throne with Camilla by his side. As William, Kate and Harry look on, Charles prepares for the future of power that lies before him…but how to rule? Written primarily in Shakespearean blank verse, this modern history play explores the people underneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of Britain's democracy and the conscience of its most famous family.
A standing double-date quickly becomes a hilarious farce as four friends unburden their hearts and reveal their secret passions. But is anything really what it seems to be? An intense, furtive video chat with what might be an exiled author, living on the run while escaping persecution, slowly upends both their world and ours. Can we recover what's been lost in translation? This U.S. premiere by "Chile's most acclaimed playwright-director of the last two decades" (LA Times) is a disquieting exploration of the limitations of art in grappling with the suffocating effects of an oppressive regime. Politically charged and emotionally urgent, it dares us to question whether we can truly understand other cultures…because just when we think we get Kiss, it gets us instead.
Nothing is funnier than family dysfunction. The Schwartz family has been on their last legs since Papa died a year ago. Norma's husband isn't speaking to her, Herb and Bonnie are having baby troubles, and Simon wants to be an astronaut. Throw a sexy wanna-be Hollywood starlet into the mix, and you've got the recipe for a yahrzeit gone perfectly wrong. Can Judaism hold this family together? Theater J Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr makes his DC directorial debut in this rollicking, absurd, and thoughtful comedy with a whole lot of heart.
There are people who eat and there are those that get eaten. First in line to be served is Regina Hubbard, clawing her way to wealth with her equally calculating brothers. When their plan to control the local cotton mill is thwarted, they'll turn to ever more devious schemes, even as it further divides their family. Starring Emmy Award winner Marg Helgenberger (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Lillian Hellman's classic tale of greed, betrayal and all the sordid ties that bind takes sibling rivalry to unimaginable heights and reveals how far a ruthless family can bend the rules before they break each other. Part of the Lillian Hellman Festival.
Provocative director Liesl Tommy brings Broadway savvy, storytelling flair and a revolutionary sensibility to "The Scottish Play," Shakespeare's exploration of murderous ambition, fiendish equivocation and a love of terrifying intimacy. In a world beset by civil war and invasion, Macbeth and his artful lady begin a series of murders, plunging us into the darkest night of the soul. Storms rage, fires burn and night blankets the earth in this tale of sound and fury, accompanied by Shakespeare's richest poetry.
Playwright Andrew Hinderaker weaves a thrilling and theatrical story about a talented magician who has risen to the top of his profession by maintaining absolute control over his performances – as well as his love life. But when his lover forces him to confront his fears, along with his washed up magician father, his act might never be the same. Watch card houses fall apart and reassemble, and be prepared to be amazed again as Hinderaker and actor Brett Schneider weave a magical spell that ends in a secret and powerful testament to the profundity of performance and hope.
Set two years after the iconic Pride and Prejudice, Miss Bennet follows your favorite characters as they gather at Pemberley, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. But this holiday, all eyes are on Mary Bennet, who has come into her own as a confident woman with curiosity, wit, and talent…and perhaps even a love story. Miss Bennet is a Christmas story of family, young love, and bright futures you won't want to miss!
Set sail on the holiday season's biggest adventure! Melville's classic tale of man's obsessive battle against nature comes to life in "a triumph of grand theatrical imagination, deep thought, superb acting and eye-popping, ingeniously deployed physical daring" (Chicago Sun-Times). Innovative staging fused with bold trapeze and acrobatic work turn this seafaring classic into a death-defying experiment in aerial storytelling. Climb aboard with Captain Ahab and the crew of the good ship Pequod in this harrowing and intoxicating quest for the great white whale.
As a teenager in Jamaica, Staceyann Chin lived in fear of an unwanted pregnancy. As a lesbian performance poet in Brooklyn in her ever-later 30s, she craves nothing more than a child…only to face twists of love, biology, and health insurance. A hilarious, intimate, and heart-shaking story of the best-laid plans and hairpin turns with a magnetic performance from Staceyann Chin (Def Poetry Jam).
Natural Causes is a dark comedy featuring British dry humor. Vincent, a suicide merchant, suspects he is being used to commit a murder. Despite multiple attempts, the only thing poisoned is a rubber plant. Will anyone actually drink the potion?
Aaron Posner has crafted his latest re-imagined Chekhov to radically intersect with its Russian progenitor. While Three Sisters plays out in one theatre, half the cast is also performing upstairs in another: Same building, different theatre... No Sisters! While Olga, Masha, and Irina yearn for Moscow, the rest of the household and its hangers-on grapple with their own heartache and longing, bit players in a world whose focus is elsewhere. No Sisters explores the screwed up, endlessly fascinating psyches of Chekhov's lovelorn, world-weary misfits and broken dreamers in a wildly funny play about wildly unhappy people. Commissioned as a part of Studio R&D, Studio Theatre's new works initiative.
The "play that changed American theater forever" (New York Times) finally comes to Arena Stage. Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking masterpiece follows the Younger family yearning for a better life far from the cramped confines of their Chicago tenement. Hope arrives in the form of an unexpected financial windfall, but family ties are strained when they realize they have differing definitions of the American dream—but which dreams get realized and which deferred? A Raisin in the Sun paints the African-American experience in brilliant and powerful strokes, as vibrant and vital today as it was in 1959.
The lawyer: a young, brilliant, courageous woman who argued Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court. The plaintiff: a complex, single woman seeking to end an unwanted pregnancy. After the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion, it's their divergent journeys after the victory that best reflect the subsequent polarization in American culture. With shocking turns and surprising humor, Roe illuminates the difficult choices women make and the passion each side has for its cause.
An evening of original plays by Jonelle Walker and Leticia Ridley that focus on women as victims and perpetrators of both systematic and physical violence, in the present as well as in the past.
This magical retelling of the Nativity story combines beautiful music and a moving story for the holiday season. Folger Consort, the award-winning early music ensemble in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, performs festive medieval English tunes against the backdrop of this engaging mystery play adapted by Mary Hall Surface (LIFT: Icarus and Me and Goodnight Moon). Set in the English countryside, The Second Shepherds' Play beautifully weaves together the stories of the shepherds, a sheep thief and his cunning wife, and the miracle in a humble manger in Bethlehem.
A stage littered with liquor bottles and café chairs seamlessly transforms itself from the bistros of Paris to the banks of the Irati River; a long bar table roars to life and charges a champion matador; an out-of-control dance party takes off during a night of nonstop revelry. As the story winds its way through France and Spain and lands in Pamplona where bullfighting and the fiesta rage in the streets, Hemingway's narrator carries the heavy burdens of a war injury and his inability to have the woman he loves; a woman whose amorous escapades he follows with bemused but painful fatalism.
Created by acclaimed theatre ensemble Elevator Repair Service, The Select (The Sun Also Rises) is the third in a trilogy of literary adaptations along with Gatz (The Great Gatsby) and The Sound and the Fury.
Reason and passion collide in Jane Austen's beloved tale of sisterhood and romance. When sudden financial straits force the Dashwood family to move to a distant cottage, sisters Elinor and Marianne become ensnared in heart-wrenching romances. Directed by Eric Tucker, this all-new production of the critically acclaimed play is produced in conjunction with the Folger Shakespeare Library exhibition Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity.
Seen by over ten million people worldwide, this wildly popular comedy keeps every audience laughing as they try to outwit the suspects and catch the killer. New clues and up to the minute improvisation deliver a different show every night.
Do our belief systems stem from our environment, or are some prejudices hard-wired into us? With barbed wit, Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly) explores the unavoidable nature of racism and other sticky subjects in the controversial and fiercely funny new play Smart People. Four intellectuals—a doctor, an actress, a psychologist and a neurobiologist studying the human brain's response to race—search for love, acceptance and identity in a complex world where political correctness comes face-to-face with cold hard data.
Three brothers and their father gather for Christmas to drink eggnog, play video games, and wrestle. But when one brother seems to buckle under the pressures of achievement, it becomes clear that these men are wrestling with something larger than each other. From one of the most daring writers in America comes a razor-sharp comedy that confronts the complexities of identity and hypocrisies of privilege.
Stuck in a backwater town, three sisters and their brother search for meaning amidst missed opportunities and misplaced dreams in the everyday clutter of lackluster birthday presents, pushy in-laws, and underwhelming suitors. Three Sisters pitches the sublime against the ridiculous, the romanticized past against an idealized future, and the individual against the unknowability of life itself in Chekhov's tragicomic masterpiece about life's heartbreak and absurdity.
"You do what you think is right and let the law catch up." So said Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who – long before Antonin Scalia – changed the face of American jurisprudence. He argued and won the Brown v. Board decision, ending racial segregation in the schools, after a long and strategic journey that began with ending the "separate but equal" mandate in Maryland law schools. Spend an evening with the late Justice at this one-man show, and consider just how far we've come… or have we?
Fortune strains the bonds of friendship. Timon is a wealthy and popular aristocrat with but one flaw—an excess of generosity. Sparing no expense on lavish parties, expensive gifts, and charity, Timon later suffers a downturn of fortune and friendship. Robert Richmond directs Shakespeare's tragic satire about the fickleness of prosperity, with Ian Merrill Peakes in the title role.
The story of a successful career-driven superwoman in the early years of the 1980s in Margaret Thatcher's England. Marlene has just earned a big promotion over a male co-worker. She and a restaurant full of history's most famous women celebrate the virtue and bemoan the sacrifices required to be a "top girl" in a man's world. In the episodes that follow, we meet many of the women (and girls) in Marlene's world and learn the steep costs that often followed success of women in the 80s. It's been 35 years yet Top Girls remains surprisingly relevant filled with questions we still are trying to answer.
Suzan-Lori Parks won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for Topdog/Underdog, a thrilling and intimate drama about two African-American brothers – Lincoln and Booth – who, in their struggle to gain a foothold in 21st century America end up turning on each other as they fight for scraps from the table of joy. For this 15th anniversary production, Suzan-Lori has given us permission to cast the show, for the first time, with two actresses of extraordinary talent: Obie™ Award-winner Jessica Frances Dukes and Helen Hayes Award-winner Dawn Ursula.
This production of A View From the Bridge is produced by Center Theatre Group, and will tour exclusively to the Kennedy Center following the Los Angeles engagement. Direct from its hit run on Broadway, this dark and passionate tale of family, love, and duplicity explores 1950s America in a small Italian-American Brooklyn neighborhood. Longshoreman Eddie Carbone is obsessed with his 17-year-old niece Catherine. When she falls in love with a newly arrived immigrant, Eddie spirals into a jealous rage that consumes him, his family, and his world.
Golden Globe Award winner Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl) leads an ensemble cast as Fanny Farrelly in Lillian Hellman's suspenseful masterpiece Watch on the Rhine. With America on the brink of entering World War II, Fanny's daughter escapes to the D.C. suburbs with her German husband, a man deeply involved in anti-fascist movements. But with an Eastern European guest with ulterior motives also living in their midst, tensions rise as it becomes clear that no one's safety can be guaranteed—at home or abroad. Part of the Lillian Hellman Festival.
Fifty-five years since its New York premiere, Ford's Theatre presents Edward Albee's classic Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. George and Martha invite Nick and Honey to their home after a faculty party. What awaits their late-night guests is not a welcoming nightcap but tempestuous verbal sparring fueled by alcohol and 20 years of marital dysfunction. Filled with acerbic wit, Albee's play is both wildly funny and heart-wrenching, exposing the fears and secrets of both couples as the lines between reality and illusion blur. Aaron Posner directs and Holly Twyford stars as Martha in the masterpiece that The New York Times asserts "set a brave new standard for truth-telling."
When Eric falls for the handsome Wilson on the subway, he doesn't know what he's in for. Because Wilson is also Nina, a rising drag star in The House of Light, and when a competing house calls a ball for midnight, Eric is drawn into battle. Part turf war, part pageant, all conquest, Wig Out! is a mesmerizing trip into the heart of African-American drag ball culture by way of Ovid, Jay-Z, and Destiny's Child. From the acclaimed author of The Brother/Sister Trilogy and Choir Boy comes a dazzling spectacle about the timeless desires to be desired, find your home, and dominate anyone who throws you shade.
There is no way to avoid tragedy, loss or their aftermath. Yet we still hope that when faced with inescapable grief, something miraculous can emerge to ease our pain and guide us back to the joy of life. Few writers have experienced loss so suddenly and profoundly—or chronicled it as beautifully—as Joan Didion. Based on her award-winning memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking follows the iconic American author, portrayed by Academy Award and Tony Award nominee Kathleen Turner (Arena's Mother Courage and Her Children), as she learns to reconcile the natural instincts that drive us to bargain with the universal forces that giveth and taketh away.