Metro Weekly

Stage: Fall Arts Preview 2017

Every play, musical and performance on stages around D.C. this fall!

Stage — Illustration: Scott G. Brooks

Michael Urie as Hamlet, Tom Story as God, and Holly Twyford singing Sondheim. Those are just three of the biggest developments with obvious gay appeal in local theater this season.

Also impressive is the reprise of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, a commitment by participating companies to present at least one play by a female writer. Since the first round a mere two years ago, contributions from women have become a more common sight. So much so, in fact, that most participating companies in the festival have two or more female-driven works on the boards. Politics is also more on display this season, with plays reflecting present-day realities and drawing parallels to the past.

And yet, as ever, traditional song-and-dance musicals are everywhere — from A Chorus Line to The Wild PartyChicago to Mean Girls. Not to mention a certain little orphan obsessed with tomorrow.

ADVENTURE THEATRE MTC

7300 MacArthur Blvd
Glen Echo, Md.
301-634-2270
adventuretheatre-mtc.org

  • How I Became a Pirate — A boy learns the ropes of being a swashbuckling (but smelly) pirate in an adaptation of Melinda Long’s book (9/22-10/22)
  •  Frosty the Snowman — Jason Schlafstein directs the famous wintertime tale about the jolly happy soul who had fun in the sun one day until he melted away (11/17-12/31)
  •  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day — Cara Gabriel directs a stage adaptation of Judith Viorst’s book about a disastrous day in a boy’s life and the hope for better days ahead (2/9-3/31)
  •  Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt — A testy sister and her know-it-all little brother are in a competitive search for gold on Artichoke Island, based on the books by Megan McDonald (4/20-6/3)
  •  Tinker Bell — The story of Peter Pan from the feisty fairy’s point of view, in a world premiere adaptation by Patrick Flynn and directed by Nick Olcott (6/22-8/20)

ARENA STAGE

1101 Sixth St. SW
202-488-3300
arenastage.org

  • Native Gardens — Neighborly rivalry escalates into an all-out border dispute, challenging everyone’s notions of race, privilege and where to draw the line on good taste in Karen Zacarias’ hot-button comedy. Blake Robison directs a co-production with Guthrie Theater (9/15-10/22, Kreeger Theater)
  •  The Price — One of theater giant Arthur Miller’s most personal plays, a penetrating family drama revived by director Seema Sueko and starring veteran Hal Linden as a wily antique dealer (10/6-11/12, Kogod Cradle)
  •  The Pajama Game — In an unusual twist, artistic director Molly Smith turns over directing reins for this season’s Golden Age Musical to Alan Paul, who has proven his mettle with musicals at Shakespeare Theatre Company. Choreographer Parker Esse joins to try to rouse interest in this classic battle-of-the-sexes (10/27-12/24, Fichandler)
  •  Nina Simone: Four Women — Christina Ham’s play with music explores how the “High Priestess of Soul” found her true voice and helped define the sound of the Civil Rights Movement (11/10-12/24, Kreeger)
  •  Sovereignty — An examination of Washington’s historical (mis)treatment of Cherokee Nation and the present-day consequences by Mary Kathryn Nagle. Part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, also the fourth in Arena’s politically minded Power Play commissioning series (1/12-2/18)
  •  The Great Society — Jack Willis reprises his role as President Lyndon Baines Johnson in the sequel to Robert Schenkkan’s Tony-winning All The Way. Kyle Donnelly directs the epic political thrill ride (2/2-3/11, Fichandler)
  •  Hold These Truths — A play for our times, Jeanne Sakata’s inspirational true story focuses on a man who defied his government and the unjust and utterly un-American policy of interning Japanese Americans during World War II. Jessica Kubzansky directs (2/23-4/8, Kogod Cradle)
  •  Two Trains Running — Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson’s masterpiece, set in a black Pittsburgh neighborhood during the Civil Rights Era, showing the impact of social change in the lives of everyday people (3/30-4/29, Fichandler)
  •  Snow Child — A magical new work, based on a novel by Eowyn Ivey, set in Alaska and with a score combining backcountry string-band traditions and contemporary musical theater (4/13-5/20, Kreeger)

BALTIMORE CENTER STAGE

700 N. Calvert St.
Baltimore, Md.
410-332-0033
centerstage.org

  • The Christians — A poignant drama about personal faith and organized religion from promising new playwright Lucas Hnath. Features multiple choirs from area churches (9/7-10/8)
  •  Play Lab Fall 2017 — Readings of two gripping one-act plays from Baltimore playwrights Miranda Rose Hall and Rachael Knoblauch (9/22-24)
  •  Shakespeare in Love — Lee Hall’s adaptation of the bawdy Oscar-winning film from 1998 riffing on and celebrating the Bard (10/19-11/26)
  •  Lookingglass Alice — Go down the rabbit hole with the whole family in this holiday season offering, adapted by David Catlin (11/30-12-31)
  •  White Rabbit Red Rabbit — A different actor reads Nassim Soleimanpour’s script cold for the first time at each performance in what Entertainment Weekly called “a dazzling, transcendent piece of alive-and-kicking avant-garde theater.” Presented in Center Stage’s most intimate space and dedicated to bold, new, progressive voices (12/13-23, Third Space)
  •  Skeleton Crew — Dominique Morisseau’s drama, set in Detroit during last decade’s Great Recession, vividly portrays the modern labor struggle in a changing America, revealing the real people on the factory line. Nicole A. Watson directs this contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival (1/25-3/4)
  •  Mobile Unit: Twelfth Night — A production of the Bard classic presented by the company’s ensemble, focused on bringing theater to the city’s underserved communities, including the homeless and the elderly (3/22-3/25, Third Space)
  •  George Orwell’s Animal Farm — Some animals are more equal than others in the classic dystopia. May Adrales directs an adaptation by Ian Wooldridge of a work with political resonance today (3/1-4/1) TBA — The season, and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s tenure as artistic director, will end with a major new project that “promises to get you up on your feet singing and dancing along to music of the 1960s and 1970s” (5/3-6/10)

CONSTELLATION THEATRE

1835 14th St. NW
202-204-7741
constellationtheatre.org

  • The Wild Party — Allison Arkell Stockman kicks off the season with an award-winning Off Broadway musical, Andrew Lippa’s steamy prohibition tale of passion and insatiable appetites with a sensational jazz/vaudeville/gospel score (9/21-10/29)
  •  The Skin of Our Teeth — Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic saga that was far ahead of its time in mixing farce, burlesque, satire and absurdism. Mary Hall Surface directs (1/11-2/18)
  •  The Caucasian Chalk Circle — Few companies do epic adventure on an intimate scale as fantastically as Constellation. This Brecht tale, with vivid characters, high-stakes scenarios and live music, should put that award-winning theatrical sleight of hand into sharp relief (4/12-5/13)

EVERYMAN THEATRE

315 West Fayette St.
Baltimore, Md,
410-752-2208
everymantheatre.org

  • Butterfly — A French diplomat becomes enchanted with a divine Peking opera star, but she’s got a secret, one she keeps for much of their relationship in David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award-winning drama (Now-10/8)
  •  Intimate Apparel — Beth Hylton and Dawn Ursula star in this turn-of-the-century tale about a talented African American seamstress and the romance she shares with a Jewish fabric merchant. Written by Lynn Nottage and directed by Tazewell Thompson (10/18-11/19)
  •  The Revolutionists — Marie Antoinette, assassin Charlotte Corday, playwright Olympe de Gouges, and Caribbean spy Marianne Angelle comedically clash in Lauren Gunderson’s French Revolution-based comedy (12/6-1/8)
  •  Long Day’s Journey into Night — Published posthumously, Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece remains one of theater’s most gripping, heart-wrenching dramas (1/31-3/4)
  •  Aubergine — A Korean family struggles to relate across emotional and cultural divides, but it’s the food they share that leads to understanding in Julia Cho’s drama. A co-production with Olney Theatre (3/14-4/15)
  •  The Book of Joseph — The discovery of a stash of letters stamped with Swastikas opens clues to an untold family history spanning multiple generations. Based on Richard Hollander’s book Every Day Lasts a Year: A Jewish Family’s Correspondence from Poland (5/9-6/10)

FOLGER THEATRE

201 East Capitol St. SE
202-544-7077
folger.edu

  • Antony and Cleopatra — After his unprecedented in-the-round staging in Folger’s Elizabethan Theatre of Richard III three years ago, meticulous director Robert Richmond will do it again, creating an intimate, immersive entree into epic tale of love and war (10/10-11/19)
  •  The Way of the World — Theresa Rebeck’s loose adaptation of William Congreve’s 17th-century comedy of manners illuminates the foibles of the one-percenters (1/9-2/11)
  •  The Winter’s Tale — Aaron Posner directs the fanciful romance and tale of redemption (3/13-4/22)
  •  Saint Joan — Four actors perform over 25 roles in a stripped-down production of George Bernard Shaw’s Joan of Arc tale. A special engagement from New York’s brilliant theater company Bedlam, responsible for last year’s Sense & Sensibility (5/12-6/3)

FORD’S THEATRE

511 Tenth St. NW
202-347-4833
fordstheatre.org

  • Death of a Salesman — Craig Wallace is Willy Loman in the Pulitzer-winning Arthur Miller classic about the cost of chasing the American dream. Stephen Rayne directs (9/22-10/22)
  •  A Christmas Carol — Wallace returns for his second year as Ebenezer Scrooge in the perennially popular Dickens tale (11/16-12/31)
  •  Jefferson’s Garden — Timberlake Wertenbaker’s sweeping drama set during the American Revolution follows the journey of a pacifist and a slave as they cross paths with Thomas Jefferson, George Mason and Sally Hemings. Part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival (1/19-2/11)
  •  The Wiz — Responsible for Studio Theatre’s exhilarating Wig Out, director Kent Gash eases on down the road with Charlie Smalls and William F. Brown’s Tony-winning “Super Soul” retelling of The Wizard of Oz (3/9-5/12)

FORUM THEATRE

8641 Colesville Rd.
Silver Spring, Md.
240-588-8279
forum-theatre.org

  • Love and Information — A fast-moving kaleidoscope of intimate whispers, philosophical exchanges, and life-changing revelations by more than 100 characters trying to make sense of what they know. Written by sharp British playwright Caryl Churchill and directed by Forum’s Michael Dove (9/28-10/21)
  •  The State — An experimental theatrical event in which text from Bulgarian playwright Alexander Manuiloff is used as a jumping-off point for audience members to become players and co-authors and change the piece each time it’s presented (Opens 11/1)
  •  Nat Turner in Jerusalem — Imagining the anti-slavery rebel’s final night in a jail cell in Jerusalem, Virginia, reckoning with what has passed and what the dawn might bring (3/14-4/7)

GALA HISPANIC THEATRE

3333 14th St. NW
202-234-7174
galatheatre.org

  • Don Juan Tenorio — A sensual and contemporary retelling of Don Juan’s vampire-like burning passions, brimming with poetic text and echoes of romantic and religious drama. Directed by José Carrasquillo (Now-10/1)
  •  Blancaflor — A prince promises to complete a series of impossible tasks in order to return to his kingdom in this charming Spanish fairy tale (10/7-21)
  •  La Foto (A Selfie Affair) — Two families are changed forever when a selfie is sent to one person but shared by another. A world premiere directed by Abel Lopez (2/1-2/25)
  •  En el tiempo de las mariposas (In the Time of the Butterflies) — The Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic were elegant, wealthy, and inspired resistance cells against a dictatorial regime until their murder (4/12-5/13)

KEEGAN THEATRE

1742 Church St. NW
202-265-3767
keegantheatre.com

  • Stones in his Pockets — In this wicked tragicomedy, two men meet when working as extras on a big American movie being shot in Ireland (9/23-10/15)
  •  Top Girls — Caryl Churchill’s award winning, fantastical masterpiece places five women from different time periods in a single confine (11/4-12/2)
  •  An Irish Carol — The Keegan holiday tradition continues with a limited engagement of Matthew Keenan’s popular homage to Dickens (12/14-31)
  •  Unnecessary Force — In a cheap motel room, an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant, while in the room next door, two undercover cops wait to catch the meeting on videotape. Confusion ensues in Paul Slade Smith’s farce (1/19-2/20)
  •  Chicago — Yes, Chicago. Who wants to take bets on how long this will extend? (3/10-4/7)
  •  The Undeniable Sound of Right Now — In 1992 Hank is struggling to keep a legendary rock club going amid changing times and changing tastes (5/5-27)
  •  Other Life Forms — A world premiere comedy about the trials of online dating by local playwright Brandon McCoy (6/15-7/7)
  •  The Bridges of Madison County — A musical based on the best-selling novel, with music by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Marsha Norman (8/4-9/2)

KENNEDY CENTER

202-467-4600
kennedy-center.org

  • Wilderness — A production derived from the real-life stories of six families, and including narratives that explore issues of mental health, addiction, and gender, and sexual identity. Video and projection design combines sweeping landscapes with documentary footage and an evocative folk rock score (10/12-15, Family Theater)
  •  The Book of Mormon — Extremely funny and surprisingly moving, the Tony Award–winning Best Musical comedy from the creators of South Park is worth a repeat viewing — or a first (10/24-11/19, Opera House)
  •  Gobsmacked! — Reigning world champion beatboxer Ball-Zee and an international cast of world-class vocalists weave stories through all forms of a cappella, from traditional street corner harmonies to cutting edge, multi-track live looping (11/24-26, Eisenhower)
  •  The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens — A wicked parody of A Christmas Carol (12/5-31, Theater Lab)
  •  Private Confessions — Liv Ullmann directs the National Theater of Norway in a stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman 1996 film, with added material to include diaries the renowned director kept during the film’s production. U.S. Premiere (12/6-9, Eisenhower)
  •  An American in Paris — The 2015 Tony-winning musical based on the classic film, directed by Christopher Wheeldon and featuring a magical George and Ira Gershwin score (12/12-1/7, Opera House)
  •  The Illusionists — The very impressive magic show, helmed by a group of experts, returns after a sold-out 2015 engagement (12/27-1/7, Eisenhower)
  •  The Humans — An uproarious, hopeful, heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Stephen Karam’s play won the 2016 Tony for Best Play (1/9-28, Eisenhower)
  •  On Your Feet — Essentially, the Gloria Estefan story helmed by a powerhouse team: director Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) and writer Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman) (1/9-28, Opera House)
  •  Broadway Center Stage: Chess — A staged concert of the rock opera from ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (2/14-18, Eisenhower)
  •  Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival — A thrilling national festival that brings together participants from student theatre programs around the country (4/19-22)
  •  After the Rehearsal and Persona — Two Ingmar Bergman screenplays brilliantly reimagined for the stage by celebrated Belgian director Ivo van Hove (4/19-22, Eisenhower)
  •  Hamilton — Not just a musical, it’s a theatrical lifeforce at this point, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s breathtaking, visionary musical settles in for a four-month run. Tickets go on sale to KenCen members in Feb. 2018 and to the general public in March (6/12-9/16, Opera House)
  •  The Color Purple — An all-new Broadway production directed by John Doyle (7/31-8/26, Eisenhower)

METRO STAGE

1201 N. Royal St.
Alexandria, Va.
703-548-9044
metrostage.org

  • The Wizard of Hip — Thomas W. Jones II revives his one-man show about an everyman’s quest to stay relevant and revered (Now-9/17)
  •  Are You Now or Have You Ever Been… — A fictionalized glimpse into the mind of Langston Hughes during the communist-purging McCarthy era. Carlyle Brown’s timely play is enlivened with an original blues score by William Knowles (10/5-11/5)
  •  Christmas at the Old Bull and Bush — Catherine Flye’s cheery holiday tale centers on patrons at a pub telling corny jokes and singing British music hall songs and Christmas carols (11/17-12/24)

MOSAIC THEATER

1333 H St. NE
202-399-7993
mosaictheater.org

  • The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith — Miche Braden reprises the role she originated Off Broadway in reimagining of bisexual blues pioneer’s final performance (Now-9/24)
  •  Vicuna & An Epilogue — A Trump-inspired satire by Jon Robin Baitz (Other Desert Cities), the gay playwright assaulted by a Trump supporter after the inauguration. (11/1-26)
  •  The Real Americans — Dan Hoyle brings to life the characters he met traveling outside “the liberal bubble,” part of Mosaic’s “Transformational Journeys” and staged in repertory with Draw The Circle (11/10-12/22)
  •  Draw The Circle — Mashuq Mushtaq Deen portrays members of his conservative Muslim family and friends reacting to his coming out and gender transition (12/1-24)
  •  Queens Girl In Africa — Erika Rose plays a woman finding her place in war-torn Nigeria in this sequel from Caleen Sinnette Jennings to Queens Girl in the World, a New York Times-certified hit from the first Women’s Voices Theatre Festival two years ago (1/4-28)
  •  Paper Dolls — Meet five Filipino guest workers who care for elderly Orthodox men in Israel by day — and headline a drag show by night. A “karaoke musical” based on a 2006 documentary, part of Mosaic’s 2018 Voices From A Changing Middle East Festival (3/29-4/22)
  •  Hooded, Or Being Black for Dummies — A special encore remount of Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s irreverent comedy after its sold-out run earlier this year (5/2-6/3)
  •  The Vagrant Trilogy: The Hour of Feeling (Part I), The Vagrant (Part II) — Mona Mansour explores the life and events of a displaced Palestinian family spanning four decades. Part of Voices From A Changing Middle East (5/31-6/24); The Vagrant Trilogy: Urge for Going (Part III) — “A Special Event Presentation,” examining the cost of collective dreams deferred as the family lands in a refugee camp in Lebanon in Mansour’s conclusion (6/18-20)

NATIONAL THEATRE

1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
202-628-6161
thenationaldc.org

  • Mean Girls — A new musical adapted from Tina Fey’s hit film stops in Washington en route to Broadway. The hottest ticket in town, good luck trying to “fetch” one (10/31-12/3)
  •  Les Misérables — Cameron Mackintosh’s recent revival of the musical phenomenon returns (12/20-1/7)
  •  Something Rotten! — The Bottom brothers struggle to compete with the runaway success of their contemporary William Shakespeare. Adam Pascal (RentAida) stars as the Bard in this Tony-nominated musical romp (2/6-18)
  •  Waitress — The Washington premiere of Sara Bareilles’ Tony-nominated musical (5/15-6/3)

OLNEY THEATRE CENTER

2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd.
Olney, Md.
301-924-3400
olneytheatre.org

  • In The Heights — Lin-Manuel Miranda’s electrifying Tony-winning hit musical before Hamilton, starring Robin De Jesús in a co-production with Round House Theatre (Now-10/22, Mainstage)
  •  Our Town — The townspeople become Japanese-style puppets in Aaron Posner’s eccentric take on the seminal classic by Thornton Wilder starring John Hudson Odom as the guiding Stage Manager (10-4/11/12, Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab)
  •  Annie — The 40-year-old musical that has turned countless kids into theater queens and geeks (11/8-12/31, Mainstage)
  •  Aubergine — A chef struggles with how to care for his dying father, a Korean immigrant with no taste for his son’s fancy French fare. A co-production with Everyman Theatre (2/7-3/4, Mainstage)
  •  Every Brilliant Thing — Developed with actor Jonny Donohue, Duncan MacMillan’s unusual one-person play pivots on interactions with the audience, collectively examining a child’s reaction to his depressed mother and helping build a list of things worth living for. Michael Dove directs (2/28-3/25, Theatre Lab)
  •  The Crucible — Arthur Miller’s opus on the Salem witch trials remains as timely and cautionary a tale as ever: a reminder of what can happen when fear runs amok and truth is bent to political convenience (4/18-5/20, Mainstage)
  •  The Invisible Hand — The power of the free market is put to the test in a thriller by Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhta (5/9-6/10, Theatre Lab)
  •  On The Town — Three sailors on shore leave romp around New York. Olney’s Jason Loewith revives this early musical with an exuberant score by Leonard Bernstein in the year of the composer’s centennial. It’s a heck of a show (6/20-7/22, Mainstage)
  •  The Pirates of PenzanceH.M.S. Pinafore — Chicago’s innovative company the Hypocrites returns with its wild takes on two classic Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, staged in repertory (7/11-8/18, Theatre Lab)

REP STAGE

10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, Md.
443-518-1500
repstage.org

  • The Heidi Chronicles — Wendy Wasserstein’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy traces the coming of age of a successful art historian as she tries to find her bearings in a rapidly changing world (Now-9/24)
  •  Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill — A celebration of Billie Holiday, as seen through one of her final performances, four months before her death (11/2-19)
  •  All She Must Possess — Part of the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival, an examination of the life of Miss Etta Cone, who voraciously collected art and curios from around the world and was a one-time lover of Gertrude Stein’s (2/8-25)
  •  True West — The late Sam Shepard’s explosive, darkly funny American classic (4/26-5/13)

RICHMOND TRIANGLE PLAYERS

1300 Altamont Ave.
Richmond
804-346-8113
rtriangle.org

  • Cloud 9 — Caryl Churchill’s period-hopping puzzle, a smart and delightfully showy farce twisting gender and race (9/27-10/21)
  •  The Santaland Diaries and Season’s Greetings — Two of David Sedaris’ most beloved pieces in a holiday production starring Jacqueline Jones and Robert Throckmorton (11/15-12/16)
  •  Corpus Christi — Terrence McNally’s provocative comedy parallels the New Testament’s tale of the life and death of Jesus, only focused on a young gay boy in 1950s Texas (1/31-2/24)
  •  The Normal Heart — Larry Kramer’s searing, Tony-winning drama about AIDS, a central work to the history of the LGBTQ movement and its theater (4/18-5/12)
  •  A Chorus Line — The musical that celebrates the dancer — and the theater queen — in us all, one of the first Broadway hits to feature a major gay character in a fully realized way (6/6-7/7)

ROUND HOUSE THEATRE

4545 East-West Highway
Bethesda, Md.
240-644-1100
roundhousetheatre.org

  • In The Heights — The co-production with Olney Theatre of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first musical has been such a wild success, it’s been extended to Oct. 22 (Now-10/22, at Olney)
  •  I’ll Get You Back Again — A struggling stand-up comedian sits in for her dead father as the bassist for his seminal psychedelic rock band and the experience evokes powerful memories in this rock and roll comedy directed by Rachel Chavkin (Broadway’s Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812)(10/4-29)
  •  The Book of Will — What if Shakespeare’s works had been lost forever? A hilarious and heartfelt story inspired by true events surrounding Shakespeare’s First Folio. Directed by Ryan Rilette (11/29-12/24)
  •  Handbagged — What kind of conversations did Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher have? Playwright Moira Buffini imagines the things said between two powerful women behind closed doors in the U.S. Premiere of this hit British comedy (1/31-2/25)
  • Master Harold”… And the Boys — Athol Fugard’s masterpiece is set in a small South African tea shop in 1950, two black men and a white boy defying the brutalities of apartheid (4/11-5/6)
  •  The Legend of Georgia McBride — The owner of a run-down bar in the Florida Panhandle hires his cousin’s drag show to attract more customers. Directed by Tom Story (6/6-7/1)

SCENA THEATRE

1333 H St. NE
202-399-7993
scenatheatre.org

  • Julius Caesar — Company kicks off its 31st season with its first foray into Shakespeare, with a modernized take on the classic tragedy drawing present-day parallels (Now-9/24)

SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY

450 7th St. NW
202-547-1122
shakespearetheatre.org

  • The Lover and The Collection — Michael Kahn directs two darkly comic short plays by Harold Pinter (9/26-10/29, Lansburgh)
  •  Twelfth Night — Following a shipwreck, quick-witted Viola assumes the disguise of a page boy for Duke Orsino and finds herself at the center of a gender-bending love triangle in one of the bard’s best romantic comedies. Directed by Ethan McSweeney (11/14-12/20, Harman)
  •  Hamlet — Michael Kahn directs Michael Urie as the morose Danish prince in what is sure to be a spectacular highlight of the season (1/16-2/25, Harman)
  •  Noura — A departure for the Shakespeare, dealing with the timely topic of Iraqi immigrants living in New York (2/6-3/14, Lansburgh)
  •  Waiting for Godot — Samuel Beckett’s absurd, anarchic exploration of time is one of theater’s greatest modern masterpieces. Production design by Druid (4/17-5/20, Lansburgh)
  •  Camelot — Alan Paul, who helmed the magnificent Kiss Me, Kate, directs this Lerner and Loewe classic about King Arthur’s court (5/22-7/1, Harman)

SIGNATURE THEATRE

4200 Campbell Ave.
Arlington, Va.
703-820-9771
sigtheatre.org

  • A Little Night Music — Sondheim’s uncharacteristically hopeful show about love and romance, focused on a love triangle among Bobby Smith, Will Gartshore, and, in her singing debut, Holly Twyford (Now-10/15, Max Theatre)
  •  An Act of God — Touted as “a sinfully funny whirlwind of comedy heaven,” from a former writer for The Daily Show and starring Tom Story as the divine one with a lot to tell us (10/3-11/26, Ark Theatre)
  •  Crazy for You — A feel-good musical comedy for the holidays, with boisterous and beloved songs by the Gershwins (11/7-1/14, Max)
  •  4,380 Nights — D.C. playwright Annalisa Dias offers a critique of power, humanity and what it means to be an American in her examination of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center and our post 9/11 world. Part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival (1/16-2/18, Ark)
  •  Light Years — Robbie Schaefer of folk band Eddie from Ohio premieres his deeply personal tale of immigration, passion for music and steadfast bond with his father (2/1-4/17, Max)
  •  John — A ghost haunts a couple on their retreat in Gettysburg, a quietly suspenseful play with the kind of sly, observant humor about humanity that playwright Annie Baker is known for (4/3-29, Max)
  •  Girlfriend — Matthew Sweet’s power-pop music becomes the background for a tender tale of a college-bound jock and his aimless, first-time boyfriend in small-town Nebraska circa 1993. Matthew Gardiner directs (4/17-6/10, Ark)
  •  The Scottsboro Boys — Joe Calarco directs Signature’s take on Kander & Ebb’s final musical collaboration, a breathtaking critique of a true story of racism and injustice from 1931 (5/22-7/1, Max)

STUDIO THEATRE

1501 14th St. NW
202-332-3300
studiotheatre.org

  • Skeleton Crew — As rumors spread of a shutdown at one of the last auto plants in Detroit, a tight-knit family of workers face what they’re willing to sacrifice to survive. Patricia McGregor directs Studio’s production of Dominique Morisseau’s timely work (Now-10/8)
  •  The Effect — Is it love or just a side effect of the new antidepressant drug two volunteers in a clinical trial have been put on? Lucy Prebble’s play is part of the alternative Studio X series (10/4-29)
  •  A Short Series of Disagreements Presented Here in Chronological Order — A brand-new show by British monologist Daniel Kitson, written in this particular time, for this particular place. A Studio R&D-supported, Studio X production (11/2-25)
  •  Curve of Departure — Family members gather in a hotel room in New Mexico on the eve of a funeral. A gently comic play about what binds us to others from the writer/director team behind The Wolfe Twins (11/29-1/7)
  •  The Wolves — Sarah DeLappe’s play follows a pack of 16-year-old girls who turn into warriors on the field. Part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival (1/17-3/4)
  •  Translations — British army engineers arrive in 19th-century rural Ireland to draw new borders and translate local place names into the King’s English. A modern classic from Brian Friel reminding us of how personal the political can be (3/21-4/22)
  •  Vietgone — Vietnamese-American playwright Qui Nguyen recreates his parents’ 1975 refugee camp romance in a high-octane comedy. Part of Studio X (4/25-5/20)
  •  The Remains — A comedy about the tragedy of loving starring Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock). David Muse directs a world premiere from Ken Urban (5/16-6/17)

SYNETIC THEATER

1800 South Bell St.
Crystal City, Va.
800-494-8497
synetictheater.org

  • The Adventures of Peter Pan — A high-spirited and acrobatic interpretation (10/18-11/19)
  •  Hansel and Gretel — A magical, wordless production of the Brothers Grimm fairytale, a transporting tale in the woods suitable for all ages (12/1-23)
  •  The Trial — Two unidentified agents from an unspecified agency arrest a man for an unspecified crime in Kafka’s century-old work (1/17-2/18)
  •  Titus Andronicus — Synetic founder Paata Tsikurishvili tackles this revenge-driven tragedy as the 13th entry in the company’s celebrated “Silent Shakespeare” series (4/25-5/27)
  •  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz — Premiering the Synetic New Voice Series with a collaborative adaptation of the L. Frank Baum classic (7/11-8/12)

THEATRE ALLIANCE

2020 Shannon Pl. SE
202-241-2539
theateralliance.com

  • Word Becomes Flesh — Hip-hop, dance, and music are used to explore what it means to be a black man in the 21st century. An encore production (Now-10/8)
  •  The Raid — Two American icons debate — white abolitionist John Brown and black abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass. Directed by Colin Hovde (2/8-3/18)
  •  Flood City — Set amid the Great Flood of Pennsylvania in 1889, Gabrielle Reisman’s play looks at disasters, corporate responsibility, and a community’s resilience (5/10-6/17)

THEATRE J

1529 16th St. NW
202-777-3210
theaterj.org

  • Sotto Voce — Love transcends all borders in Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz’s passionate and lyrical drama about a young Cuban man’s research into the fate of a ship of Jewish refugees that fled Nazi Germany only to be denied entry into both Cuba and the United States (10/3-29)
  •  The Last Night at Ballyhoo — Set amid the Atlanta Jewish community in 1939, this beautiful, comedic, and enthralling romance is by Alfred Uhry, the writer of Driving Miss Daisy (11/29-12/31)
  •  Everything is Illuminated — Based on the best-selling novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, this stunning adaptation tells the story of a young man who sets out to find the woman who might or might not have saved his grandfather (1/11-2/4)
  •  Becoming Dr. Ruth — Holly Twyford directs Naomi Jacobson as America’s favorite sex therapist in this one-woman show (2/21-3/18)
  •  Roz and Ray — A gripping medical drama about a doctor at the onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, as Dr. Roz Kagan offers a new miracle drug to save Ray Leon’s hemophiliac twins (4/3-29)
  •  Trayf — By day, Zalmy is the rabbi’s loyal foot soldier. By night, he sneaks away from his Orthodox community to roller-skate, dance in discos, and listen to rock and roll (5/30-6/24)

WASHINGTON STAGE GUILD

900 Massachusetts Ave. NW
240-582-0050
stageguild.org

  • Widower’s Houses — An ambitious young doctor falls in love with the daughter of a predatory real-estate speculator, in George Bernard Shaw’s first play (9/28-10/22)
  •  A Child’s Christmas in Wales and Other Stories — An evening of works adapted from Dylan Thomas, Charles Dickens, AA Milne, and Louisa May Alcott adapted by Bill Largess (11/24-12/17)
  •  See Rock City — In the height of World War II, Raleigh and May, the young couple from last season’s Last Train to Nibroc, return home to Kentucky to figure out their lives. Wood Van Meter and Lexi Langs reprise their characters from Nibroc (1/18-2/11)
  •  Alabama Story — A librarian in segregation-era Alabama purchases a new children’s book for the library, leading to a crusade against the book. Based on a true story from the ’50s (3/22-4/15)

WOOLLY MAMMOTH

641 D St. NW
202-393-3939
woollymammoth.net

  • The Arsonists — Written as a reflection on the rise of both Nazism and Communism, Max Frisch’s classic comedy has a new relevance in today’s world. The cast features Woolly’s artistic director Howard Shalwitz, making a long-awaited return to the Woolly stage (Now-10/8)
  •  Nothing to Lose (But Our Chains) — Second City presents a hilarious and harrowing story of how one black man went from six years in a state prison to a six-figure job in corporate America to a new life as an activist and satirist. Performed by Felonious Munk and a cast of Chicago’s sharpest comedians (11/11-12/31)
  •  Familiar — An immigrant Zimbabwean family prepares for the wedding of their eldest American-born daughter, who insists on observing roora, a traditional bride-price ceremony. Part of the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival (2/5-3/4)
  •  Underground Railroad Game — Two middle school teachers get shockingly down and dirty with a lesson about race, sex, and power. An unflinching comedy from Ars Nova (4/4-29)
  •  Botticelli in the Fire — While painting “The Birth of Venus,” the famed artist is put to the test by the arrival of a conservative priest leading a populist revolution in Lorenzo de’ Medici’s Florence. By acclaimed Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill (5/28-6/24)

For more Fall Arts Preview Stage listings, visit metroweekly.com/features.

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.