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Signature Theatre kicks off the Heidi Thomas Writers' Initiative with a complex and intriguing look at an American worldview created in the wake of September 11.
For the last 12 years — or 4,380 days — Malik Djamal Ahmad Essaid has been held without charge by the United States government at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. As he languishes in his cell, his interactions with those on the outside are juxtaposed with historical events in a riveting exposé of the most dangerous prison of all: fear.
With a graceful poetry and a fluidity that spans time and place, Washington, D.C., playwright Annalisa Dias delivers a searing and timely critique of power, humanity, and what it means to be American.
Ray leaves his job as a classically trained French chef to take care of his dying father, a Korean immigrant who never appreciated Ray's culinary accomplishments. Food, which normally unites people, painfully divides Ray from his father, even as it serves as the key to memory and identity for all the characters in this off-Broadway hit. If the language of food lets Ray down, he's even more vexed by the Korean language. Ray calls upon his estranged girlfriend, Cornelia, for translation services when his non-English-speaking uncle arrives with a sackful of strange ingredients intended for a soup to nurse Ray's father back to health. This life-affirming and perceptive drama from one of the country's most important playwrights distills the flavors of rich characters and intense relationships.
Sandro Botticelli is devoted to beauty, sensuality, and pleasure. While painting "The Birth of Venus," however, the limits of his dedication are put to the test by the arrival of a conservative priest leading a populist revolution in Lorenzo de' Medici's Florence. When his full-throttle, decadent ways catch up to him, will the famed artist sacrifice his work...or the life of his young apprentice, Leonardo da Vinci?
Botticelli in the Fire is an ambitious modern story that sets the present political moment ablaze. Woolly Mammoth Theatre's production marks the American premiere of this new work by Canadian Jordan Tannahill.
A beguiling new musical version of E.B. White's beloved classic story about Wilbur, the little pig who becomes famous with the help of his clever spider friend Charlotte. With music and lyrics by Broadway composer Charles Strouse (Annie, Bye Bye Birdie) and a book by national award-winning children's playwright Joseph Robinette, audiences will thrill to a musical score which includes "Eating," Wilbur's humorous yet poignant song about growing up; "Who Says We Can't Be Friends?," an enchanting duet between Wilbur and Charlotte; "Welcome to the Zuckerman Barn," featuring all the story's unforgettable animals in a hand-clapping, toe-tapping hoe-down; and "Summer," a haunting, nostalgic chorus number which evokes a time and place from everyone's childhood. With its lessons of friendship, loyalty, and truth, Charlotte's Web is a gift for audiences of all ages.
Could you name a hundred things that make life wonderful? A thousand? How about a million? A seven-year-old child confronted by his mother's attempted suicide makes a list of things to live for that grows from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. From "ice cream" (No. 1 on the list) to "the alphabet" (No. 999,997), Every Brilliant Thing elicits as much laughter as it does tears in creating its catalogue of gratitude with a unique theatrical style. In this remarkable one-person show, those watching become custodians of the list, co-conspirators in the child's plot to hold back the darkness, and members of an ensemble that creates the evening's story.
It's winter in Minnesota, and an immigrant Zimbabwean family is preparing for the wedding of their eldest daughter, a first-generation American. But when the bride insists on observing roora, a traditional bride-price ceremony, it opens a deep rift in the household. Rowdy and affectionate, Familiar pitches tradition against assimilation among the members of one devoted family. Which will prove stronger: the customs they keep…or the secrets they've kept buried?
Familiar — the third Woolly Mammoth Theatre production of playwright Danai Gurira's (Eclipsed) work — is the company's entry in the Women's Voices Theatre Festival.
Robert Schenkkan's Tony Award-winning play All the Way set the stage for President Lyndon Baines Johnson's sudden ascent to the White House. In its Washington, D.C., premiere, The Great Society brings the second half of Schenkkan's epic story to its harrowing conclusion. As America is divided by civil rights protests and the anguish of the Vietnam War, LBJ struggles to maintain his relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., keep his political opponents in check, and complete a raft of impossibly ambitious social policy projects. This political thrill ride explodes the America of our past to better understand the America of today.
In the wake of his father's abrupt death, Hamlet returns home from university to find his personal and political world changed as he never imagined it could be — his mother remarried, his uncle on the throne, and a world seemingly gone insane. When his father's ghost appears and demands vengeance, the increasingly desperate Danish prince must decide between submission and resistance...acceptance and vengeance...and life and death.
Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) stars as Hamlet under the direction of Michael Kahn. Together they give life to one of the greatest characters of Western literature as he walks the line between madness and inspiration.
The legendary Royal Shakespeare Company returns to the Kennedy Center for the first time since 2007 with the Bard's searing tragedy of murder and revenge.
A student is called home from university to find his life turned upside down. He had the world at his feet, but now everything has changed. Who can be trusted; who can be believed? Sent by the ghost of his father to avenge his father's brutal death, Hamlet's mission to expose the truth is a perilous journey of madness, murder, and lost love. What will ultimately become of a young man sent to kill? This production's 2016 world premiere in Shakespeare's home of Stratford-upon-Avon, featuring rising star Paapa Essiedu in the title role and directed by Simon Godwin, won raves for both Godwin's vision of Hamlet's Denmark as a state in West Africa and Essiedu's revelatory portrayal.
There is a Japanese proverb that says, "The nail that sticks out is the one that gets hit." In 1941, one American, the son of Japanese immigrants, was the nail threatened by the hammer of the United States government. Reeling from the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and driven by fear and prejudice, America placed its own citizens of Japanese ancestry in internment camps. A play for our times, Hold These Truths tells the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, the American who defied an unjust court order to uphold the values on which America was founded. Filled with hope and buoyed by unquenchable patriotism, Hirabayashi's unflinching defiance will leave audiences cheering the strength of the individual and his dedication to his own unalienable rights.
Stephen Karam's The Humans is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter's apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle prewar duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan's deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed with humor and compassion in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play.
Playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker explores the contradictions between our founding fathers' ideals and the realities of freedom in America. Christian, a Quaker pacifist, defies his family to fight in the American Revolution. Susannah, an enslaved woman, is tempted to fight for the British when they promise her liberty. On their travels, Christian and Susannah cross paths with Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, and Sally Hemings. These encounters force them to confront the compromises America makes after the promise of equality. Wertenbaker takes audience members from Revolutionary War battlefields to Paris to Monticello, Jefferson's home. Nataki Garrett (Woolly Mammoth's An Octoroon) directs this American premiere, which is part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival.
Note: This show is recommended for ages 15 and up.
In the midst of the holiday bustle, young Brooklyn couple Elias and Jenny escape on a much needed getaway to a cozy bed-and-breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. However, under the watchful eye of the cheery, if slightly off, innkeeper, a ghost seems to haunt their crumbling relationship.
With her trademark rough-edged humanity, observant humor, and lyrical beauty, playwright Annie Baker (The Flick) blends the hyper-real with flickers of the supernatural in a quietly suspenseful and transfixing work.
He's young, he's broke, and his wife is going to have a baby. To make matters even more desperate, Casey is fired from his gig as an Elvis impersonator in a run-down, small town Florida bar. When the bar owner brings in a drag show to replace his act, Casey finds that he has a whole lot to learn about show business — and himself. Featuring a fierce and fabulous cast of queens, The Legend of Georgia McBride celebrates finding your voice and singing your own song.
In a small South African tea shop in 1950, two black men and a white boy joke and dance together, defying the brutalities of apartheid through their joyous love. But festering issues of family, race, and power are not so easy to ignore, and a single phone call can trigger catastrophe.
Winner of the Drama Desk and London Evening Standard Awards for Best Play, "Master Harold"…and the Boys reveals the profound personal consequences of oppression.
What does "home" mean and what will we do to protect it?
Noura challenges our notions of belonging, shame, and sacrifice through a portrait of Iraqi immigrants in New York. As Noura and her husband, Tariq, prepare to celebrate a traditional Christmas, she looks forward to welcoming a special guest — Maryam, a young Iraqi refugee. But the girl's arrival opens wounds the family has tried to leave behind, forcing them to confront where they are, where they've been and who they have become.
In this world-premiere production, award-winning playwright and performer Heather Raffo (9 Parts of Desire) draws on personal stories of Arab American women responding to A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen's classic drama of one mother's struggle to balance her duty with her identity.
The martyred heroine of France fought and defeated the besieging English at Orleans, was captured and taken prisoner in Burgundy, and put on trial and burned at the stake — all by the age of 19. Depicted as neither witch, saint, nor madwoman in George Bernard Shaw's compelling play, Joan of Arc is instead an illiterate farm girl whose focus on the individual rocks the church and state. Led by director Eric Tucker, four actors perform over 25 roles in Bedlam's riveting, stripped-down production.
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.
Our Learning Theater Ensemble tackles Hans Christian Andersen's longest and most highly acclaimed tale that has inspired numerous films and adaptations from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to Disney's Frozen! This classic tale of bravery and friendship follows the journey of young Gerda as she attempts to rescue her best friend Kai from the clutches of the Snow Queen. With the help of some unique friends and little magic, Gerda is determined to break the Snow Queen's spell and melt the ice that has taken hold of Kai's heart before he is lost to her forever!
Some wounds refuse to heal. Mary Kathryn Nagle's daring new work, which debuts as the fourth production in Arena Stage's Power Plays initiative, travels the intersections of personal and political truths as well as historic and present struggles. Sarah Ridge Polson, a young Cherokee lawyer fighting to restore her Nation's jurisdiction, must confront the ever-present ghosts of her grandfathers. With shadows stretching from 1830s Cherokee Nation (present-day Georgia) through Andrew Jackson's Oval Office to today's Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, Sovereignty asks how high the flames of anger can rise before they ultimately consume the truth.
Rebellious drama queen Diwata, out and proud Howie, and nerdy but intense Solomon are outcasts in their Puritanical town of Salem…Oregon. Linked by a local sex scandal, the unlikely trio join forces to expose the truth. Secrets become currency, blogs are belted, and "bathing suit areas" exposed in this dark comedy about what, if anything, it means to be an adult.
DC Area Professional Premiere
It's 1969, and the civil rights movement is sending tremors through Pittsburgh's Hill District. At the center of the community is Memphis Lee's diner, slated to be demolished — a casualty of the city's renovation project. Confronted with a rapidly changing world, Memphis and his regular customers struggle to maintain their solidarity and sense of pride. From Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson comes this masterpiece about everyday lives in the shadow of great events, and of unsung citizens who are anything but ordinary.
At Hanover Middle School, two teachers get shockingly down and dirty with a lesson about race, sex, and power. The quick-witted duo goes round after round on the mat of our nation's history in an R-rated, far-reaching, and absolutely unflinching comedy. Underground Railroad Game is a fourth-wall-breaking, audience-implicating experience. Viewers will never forget which side of history they were on.
Mae is a sweet-natured woman with just a little baggage — a $600 million inheritance. When her womanizing boyfriend Henry dallies with her protective aunt, the world seems too much with her. Both women become the object of ridicule and scandal — but Henry has a plan to win the heiress back.
In the lush and opulent land of the Hamptons' one percent, where money and status determine everything, can love conquer all? Freely adapted from William Congreve's classic play, The Way of the World is a sparklingly witty physical comedy illuminating the foibles of the upper class.
Convinced of his queen's unfaithfulness, King Leontes of Sicilia imprisons her, exiles his newborn daughter, and schemes to have his closest friend, King Polixenes, murdered. With the passage of time comes realization, revelation, and redemption — as well as a growing romance between the children of both kings. Incorporating a variety of inspired theatrical techniques, this production of The Winter's Tale presents a rich and emotional story of human folly, hope, and resurrection filled with unexpected surprises.
From the dawn of time, women have been demonized, feared, and objectified whenever their power challenged the traditional order. Weaving a thread from the Salem Witch trials through modern-day politics, this world premiere musical examines the complex and compelling stories of women who've been labeled as witches throughout the centuries. Building on their beautifully crafted productions of The Turn of the Screw, Monsters of the Villa Diodati, and Kaleidoscope, Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith bring us their next highly anticipated "Bold New Work."
Winter indoor soccer. Saturdays. Over quad stretches and squats, a team of young women prepare to defend the Wolves' undefeated record, their banter spilling from tampons to genocide to the pressures of preparing for their adult lives. With an ear for the bravado and empathy of the teenage years, The Wolves explores the violence and teamwork of sports and adolescence, following a pack of 16-year-old girls who turn into warriors on the field. The play's acclaimed author is the Studio Theatre-commissioned Sarah DeLappe.