Metro Weekly

Happenstance Theater presents “Bon Voyage: A Happenstance Escapade” on Bastille Day

Happenstance Theater takes a Democracy-laden trip to France with its latest production

Happenstance Theater: Bon Voyage, A-Happenstance-Escapade — Photo: Leslie Swan

Sabrina Mandell was shocked when Happenstance Theater, the company she runs with husband Mark Jaster, won three 2016 Helen Hayes awards for Impossible! A Happenstance Circus. This year the company garnered two more Helen Hayes, for Moxie: A Happenstance Vaudeville.

“We are so not part of the conventional theater world that it’s just surprising to be acknowledged within that context,” Mandell says. “It felt very unexpected.”

The company is a leader in the growing field of “devised theater,” a collaborative process in which all members of a troupe contribute at every level, from concept to writing to directing to acting. “We can’t do any of it without all of us,” says Mandell.

Happenstance’s latest show, Bon Voyage, follows a ragtag group of “six dreamers who meet on the road to Paris at the end of the 19th century.” Initially, the show was shaping up to be little more than a “summer show for families.” But it quickly altered course.

“It was hard to imagine doing a show these days that was just fluffy and light entertainment without some kind of acknowledgement of the state of the world,” says Mandell. So in came the character of Marianne, “the Goddess spirit of France and liberty,” who shares ideas about democracy, humanity, and civility.

The play opens on Bastille Day, the French equivalent of America’s 4th of July, although it wasn’t planned that way. Mandell says it was just the type of coincidence that inspired the company’s name in the first place.

“It was happenstance! Isn’t that crazy?”

Bon Voyage: A Happenstance Escapade opens Friday, July 14 and runs to July 30 at Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway in Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org.

[ninja-inline id=73197]


Please Support LGBTQ Journalism

As a free LGBTQ publication, Metro Weekly relies on advertising in order to bring you unique, high quality journalism, both online and in our weekly edition. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced many of our incredible advertisers to temporarily close their doors to protect staff and customers, and so we’re asking you, our readers, to help support Metro Weekly during this trying period. We appreciate anything you can do, and please keep reading us on the website and our new Digital Edition, released every Thursday and available for online reading or download.

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

Leave a Comment:

Drink

To

 Pride!

Get Your Favorite

Pride Cover on a Mug!

15% OFF!

FREE SHIPPING!

LIMITED TIME ONLY!

2004-2019

The Latest Edition of Metro Weekly is Out!

 

Read It for Free Now!