506 shows and other fascinating facts from DC’s 2016 theatre scene

When we say our region is one of the busiest theatre hubs in America, what does that really mean? We dove into our own records for 2016 to find out. We were amazed with the results, and present them here. Remember, these are performances which DCTS has covered from the Washington DC region to Baltimore. We have included the CATF festival as well as DC’s Source festival and Capital Fringe. For operas, we extended our reach to upstate New York for the Glimmerglass Festival but aren’t including our reviewed NYC shows.

So just how busy was this theatre season?

Number of shows reviewed

291 Plays
52 Musicals
50 Operas

Plus 113 category-defying Capital Fringe shows

Tell me more about those Capital Fringe shows
Get ready to be impressed:

Julianne Brienza just told us that since the first Capital Fringe festival in 2006, they have paid out $2 Million to artists.
In 2016, 25,668 people saw 610 events performed by 4,200 artists who received $158,815 from Capital Fringe.

Okay – If we threw a cast party for every actor seen on our stages this year, but couldn’t afford all those Fringe performers, how many invites would we send?

Actors whose performances we reviewed (non-Fringe shows):

Plus these fascinating facts:

One invitee to that imagined cast party would come with her protective service. Supreme Court Justice and opera devotee Ruth Bader Ginsburg performed in Daughter of the Regiment this year.

58 Actors were in 4 shows

7 actors were in 5 shows

3 actors were in 6 shows

and 1 actor appeared in a record-setting 7 shows

Wow!  Who did 7 shows in a year?
Dawn Ursula

How’d she do that?
Stay tuned. We’ll let you know.


These shows were extended due to box office demand:

Proof at 1st Stage
Lobby Hero at 1st Stage
A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Avant Bard
Sense and Sensibility at Folger Theatre
Come From Away at Ford’s Theatre
Satchmo at Mosaic Theater DC
Mary Poppins at Olney Theatre
Evita at Olney Theatre
Father Comes Home from the Wars at Round House Theatre
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Round House Theatre
The Collaborators at Spooky Action Theatre
Happy Hour at Spooky Action Theatre
Silver Belles at Signature Theatre
The Flick at Signature Theatre
Wild Sky from Solas Nua
Straight White Men at Studio Theatre
Hand to God (5 extensions) at Studio Theatre
Bad Jews (2015 run extended into 2016) at Studio Theatre

Think about it. 18 shows, some with multiple week extensions means we likely had an extra 30 weeks of shows this year.  


Wait! Haven’t I Seen That Before?

Plays produced more than once in 2016:

Christmas Carol: (3) Toby’s Dinner Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Chesapeake Shakespeare
plus 4 riffs on Christmas Carol: Second City’s Twist Your Dickens at The Kennedy Center, Christmas Carol Memories at Creative Cauldron, An Irish Carol at Keegan Theatre, Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas at Olney Theatre Center

Romeo and Juliet:  Synetic Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Annapolis Shakespeare, Chesapeake Shakespeare

Midsummer Night’s Dream: Folger Theatre, Avant Bard

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof:  Compass Rose, Round House Theatre

Othello:  Chesapeake Shakespeare and Shakespeare Theatre Company


Most often produced:

William Shakespeare:  17
Tennessee Williams: 4
Finegan Kruckemayer: 3

Finegan Kruckemayer???
Yes. Check it out.

Okay, but what’s the +sign for?
11 shows were written collectively by companies

How many plays by women were produced?
62 or 30% of the total.

Credit is due to Venus Theatre who this year, as they do every year, produced a season of 4 plays by women  and to Rep Stage which produced 3 out of their 4 plays in 2016 by women writers. 

Composers of Musicals or Operas

Most often heard:

Richard Wagner: 4
Arthur Sullivan: 3

Book (musical) or Libretto (opera)

Richard Wagner: 4


Richard Wagner: 4
I’m sure you’ve caught on by now. Wagner dominated the categories because of the Washington National Opera’s performance of his Ring Cycle

We are greatly indebted to Tim Treanor who compiled all the data.

As fascinating as these numbers may be, they can’t convey the true purpose of theatre which is the experience that those plays, playwrights, and performers have given to audiences.
Coming next, we’ll bring you our staff’s Most Memorable Productions, Most Memorable Moments, a lookback on Hispanic Theatre and more.


Lorraine Treanor About Lorraine Treanor

Lorraine Treanor has been editor of DC Theatre Scene since 2006. She has produced plays and concerts in her hometown of Chicago, and twice in the Capital Fringe festival. Her daughter Nina Norris is an artist working in Chicago. Life's a blast because she shares it with writer Tim Treanor.


  1. Just received this email from Finegan Kruckemeyer:

    It’s surreal to see my name in such company!

    A nice surprise on a pre-Christmas morning, and a lovely thing to have been a part of your city’s arts calendar over the year – happy to report that all three productions (and the two locally-created ones in particular) proved great fun to be a part of.

    Cheers, and happy holidays to you and yours.

    Check in with him at http://finegankruckemeyer.com/



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