Subtitled “An In-Depth exploration of D.C. Theater in Three Acts”, Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks will host a series of three Monday night panel discussions with artistic directors, actors, playwrights and directors. On his popular Twitter feed (@petermarksdrama), Marks wryly described the outcome of the sessions: “in which we solve all of the theater’s problems.”
According to the press release, the series is the brainchild of Molly Smith, Arena Stage Artistic Director, who approached Marks last year with the idea of creating a convivial forum to “air issues of particular concern to the American Theater and its playgoers.”. “Out of Peter’s own writing and through conversations with him it became clear that Washington is the perfect place to host in-depth discussions about the big issues we all face as a theater community,” Smith shared. To which Marks added, “Nothing is more stimulating to me than conversations with smart theater people, and this feels like a great moment to talk about where Washington stands as a theater town.”
Joining Marks for the first edition of The Summit, Monday, February 17, will be some of the region’s leading artistic directors. Along with Smith, participants will include Michael Kahn of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Ryan Rilette of Round House Theatre, Eric Schaeffer of Signature Theatre, Paul R. Tetreault of Ford’s Theatre and Paata Tsikurishvili of Synetic Theater.
Guests for The Summit:
Monday, February 17: Artistic directors Molly Smith (Arena Stage), Michael Kahn (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Ryan Rilette (Round House Theatre), Eric Schaeffer (Signature Theatre), Paul R. Tetreault (Ford’s Theatre) and Paata Tsikurishvili (Synetic Theater).
Monday, March 24 -Actor’s nightVeteran stage, film and TV actress Helen Carey; Shakespeare and Studio Theatre stalwart Tom Story; Woolly Mammoth company member Kimberly Gilbert; Signature Theatre sensation Nova Y. Payton, who will be starring in Arena Stage’s upcoming Smokey Joe’s Café; and theater and TV star Richard Thomas.
Monday, April 28 – playwrights and directors: Rachel Grossman, ringleader of the District’s innovative audience participation troupe, dog & pony dc, just back from the company’s NY performance of Beertown; David Muse, Studio Theatre artistic director and director of Tribes; frequent Woolly Mammoth director/playwright Robert O’Hara (Antebellum and Bootycandy); Ari Roth, Theater J artistic director and author of last season’s Andy in the Shadows; and D.C.-area playwrights and members of Arena Stage’s inaugural Playwrights’ Arena collaborative writing group Norman Allen (Nijinsky’s Last Dance) and Jacqueline E. Lawton (The Hampton Years).
Tickets to each Summit are free, although, with only 200 seats available in the Kogod Cradle, each forum could quickly reach capacity; reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets may be reserved online at arenastage.org, by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth St., SW, Washington, DC.