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Set ten years later, 91-year-old grandmother Vera Joseph takes center stage when, after a tragic loss on a cross country bike trip, her 21-year-old grandson Leo shows up at her apartment. As a one-night stopover turns into an extended stay, these unlikely roommates frustrate, bewilder, and—eventually—connect with each other. In ways funny, raw, and heart-wrenching, grandmother and grandson find the common identity each needs to move forward.
Emma Joseph is young, ambitious, talented, and about to put the ideals of her politically leftist, New York family into action. But a long-buried secret about her much-loved blacklisted grandfather threatens her work and throws her principles—and loyalties—into question. As the family, including grandmother Vera, wrestle with their legacy, Emma must chart her own course forward.
Based on the beloved film, Akeelah and the Bee tells the story of an independent 11-year-old from the Chicago projects whose razor-sharp mind keeps her one step ahead of the game in the neighborhood … but is it enough to get her to the top? Akeelah must turn to family, friends and a few unlikely mentors if she's going to survive the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Playwright Cheryl L. West (Pullman Porter Blues) and director Charles Randolph-Wright (Ruined) bring this spirited adaptation to life this holiday season.
Inspired by the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948, this absurdist allegory satirizes the way in which people can be manipulated into accommodating their own destruction. In the play, fires are becoming something of a problem, popping up all over town, but Mr. Biedermann has it all under control. A respected member of the community, he tries to live a life of blameless middle-class decency. It is this sense of bourgeois propriety that renders Biedermann defenseless when two strangers finesse their way into his home and settle in. But when they start filling his attic with petrol drums, will he help them light the fuse?
UMD has partnered with the Big Ten Conference schools to create a new playwriting and performance initiative. Known as the Big Ten Theatre Chairs, the group will commission, produce and publicize new plays in an effort to influence the national dialogue about women playwrights and aim to produce higher-caliber plays that are effective tools for teaching theatre students.
The program's first commissioned work, Good Kids, is written by Naomi Iizuka, one of the nation's most acclaimed young authors and head of playwriting at the University of California, San Diego.
Good Kids explores a casual sexual encounter gone wrong, and its very public aftermath. Who is telling the truth? Whose version of the story do you believe? What does that say about you? This play responds to actual events that went on to generate a national dialogue.
Welcome to the Jernigan Gals' Quilting Corner. Gathering at their childhood island home off the coast of Georgia, four disconnected sisters meet to create a family quilt to honor their recently deceased mother. When their reunion turns into a reading of their mother's will, everyone must grapple with a troubling inheritance. Stitched with history and ritual, laughter and tears, will their "blood quilt" bind the family together or tear them apart forever? Inaugural resident playwright Katori Hall (The Mountaintop) is once again "fearlessly redefining theater" (Washington Post) with this funny and fierce world premiere.
When a group of small town residents enrolled in a community center drama class begin to experiment with seemingly harmless theatre games, hearts are quietly torn apart, and tiny wars of epic proportions are waged and won. Love triangles, family troubles, and personal triumphs abound in Baker's critically acclaimed play hailed by the New York Times as "absorbing, unblinking, and sharply funny."
Politics and family make for polarizing bedfellows in this juicy new play and recent Off-Broadway triumph. Georgetown hostess, Hester Ferris, runs in an elite circle, opening her home for political foes to lay down arms and raise a glass. When her son's formidable, conservative wife comes on the scene, the parlor pleasantries of D.C.'s past descend into entrenched posturing and an ultimatum that could implode the family. Follow the Ferris clan from the end of Carter's presidency through the Reagan era and into Obama's game-changing inauguration in this "smart, literate and funny" (New York Times) inside look at the theater of politics and the politics of conversation.
On a stormy night in Bellarica, Mexico, two baby girls are born—one into a life of privilege and one into a life of poverty. When the newborns are swapped by a former beauty queen with an insatiable lust for power the stage is set for two outrageous misfortunes to grow into one remarkable destiny. "A writer of comedic skill" (Variety), Helen Hayes Award-winning playwright Karen Zacarías (The Book Club Play) infuses the Mexican telenovela genre with music, high drama and burning passion to make for a fast-paced modern comedy. Part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival.
From Ayad Akhtar comes the "breathtaking, raw and blistering" (AP), Pulitzer Prize-winning play about the clash between modern culture and ancient faiths. The son of South-Asian immigrants, Amir has worked hard to achieve the American Dream—complete with a successful career, a beautiful wife and $600 custom-tailored shirts. But has he removed himself too far from his roots? And when a friendly dinner party conversation rockets out of control, will the internal battle between his culture and his identity raze all that he's worked so hard to achieve? Hailed as "terrific, turbulent, with fresh currents of dramatic electricity" (New York Times), this incendiary examination of one's self and one's beliefs will leave you breathless.
From the Engel twins, who created the smash hit Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, comes a new look at one of our country's most beloved voices, who captured the frustrations of her generation by asking, "If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits?" Erma Bombeck dispensed wit and wisdom for more than 30 years as the most widely syndicated humor columnist in America. Discover the story behind the award-winning humorist who championed women's lives with charm and humor that sprang from the most unexpected place of all—the truth. Part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival.
One of the top ten plays of London in 2013, (Guardian, London Evening Standard), Grounded is the story of an ace fighter pilot who becomes pregnant and gets reassigned to operating drones from a windowless trailer on an Air Force base in the desert outside Las Vegas. Hunting terrorists by day and coming home to her family by night, the boundaries between reality and the screen – between the desert where she lives and the desert where she fights – blur until the pressure becomes impossible to bear.
Set in East Berlin, both before and after the fall of the Wall, The Human Capacity follows the journey of a Stasi officer as he seeks redemption from the woman whose life he shattered. Both torturer and victim find themselves caught in a struggle to reconcile the horrors of their past with their hopes for the future. The play is a searing look into a society and a family in turmoil, and an exploration of the human capacity for cruelty, perseverance and forgiveness.
A hilarious and heartbreaking play about romance, resilience, taking chances, and moving on.
King Hedley has returned, but to reign for how long? With an angry scar down the length of his face and seven years of prison haunting him, King has a chance to lock away his past and achieve an entrepreneurial dream. But Pittsburgh's Hill District is an unforgiving place, and the return of Elmore, a scheming conman armed with a derringer and family secrets, could strike a fatal blow to King's second coming. The eighth installment of August Wilson's acclaimed play cycle examining Black America, King Hedley II is one of his most stirring and ferocious explorations of fate, honor and the daily struggles of American life.
Some stories have to be sung. Writer/performer Benjamin Scheuer uses his guitar—actually, six guitars—in this wholly original musical experience that tells a coming-of-age story that "lifts the spirit" (Time Out New York). The award-winning songwriter inspires and disarms with his raw wit and emotional depth as he leads you on a rock 'n' roll journey from boyhood to manhood, through pain and healing, to discover the redemptive power of music. Don't miss the show the New York Daily News calls "an irresistible winner." Much like its hero, The Lion roars.
Grace is 27 and her life is not as perfect as she'd planned. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are her only friends, and she's just market research for them. Or maybe they're going to save her?
Four-time Helen Hayes Award winner Edward Gero (Red) returns to Arena Stage as one of America's most brilliant and polarizing figures: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. When a bright, liberal, Harvard Law School graduate embarks on a nerve-wracking clerkship with Justice Scalia she discovers him to be both an infuriating sparring partner and an unexpected mentor. How will their relationship affect one of the most incendiary cases ever to reach the nation's highest court? From Charles MacArthur Award winner John Strand (Lovers and Executioners) comes this daring new work about passionate people risking heart and soul to defend their version of the truth.
It's a day like any other at the Shear Madness salon, when the lady upstairs gets knocked off. WHOdunit? Join the fun as the audience matches wits with the suspects to catch the killer at this wildly popular comedy whodunit.
When a former black revolutionary and political prisoner decides to reunite with his daughter, he discovers that fatherhood might be the most challenging revolution of all. The Huffington Post names Morisseau as a "direct heir to the magical wordsmiths named Lorraine Hansberry, Tennessee Williams, and August Wilson" for her vibrant exploration of the point where the personal and political collide. Morriseau is a 2014 recipient of the Kennedy Prize for Drama.
A group of close friends shares everything: drinks, secrets and laughs. But when rumors of layoffs shake up the local steel mill, the fragile bonds of their community begin to fray and a horrific crime sends shock waves across two generations. This gripping world premiere by acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Ruined) explores America's industrial decline at the turn of the millennium by examining the inhabitants of one Pennsylvania town who still struggle to reclaim what's lost, find redemption and redefine themselves in a new century. Co-commissioned with Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play (and the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama League and the Drama Desk), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a "sunny new play about gloomy people" (New York Times). Siblings Vanya and Sonia live out their days in an endless, bleak tableau in Bucks County, PA. All seems numbingly mundane until in sweeps hurricane Masha, their fading movie star sister, with her shiny new boy toy and a big announcement. Satirizing characters and themes from Chekhov's classics, Christopher Durang's latest madcap masterpiece serves up family drama with comic savagery and poses the question: if you could choose your family, would you necessarily choose your family?