On August 20th, DC Theatre Scene was invited to speak about the upcoming season at the Smithsonian Museum’s S. Dillon Ripley Center . The speech, given by myself, Jennifer Clements and Tim Treanor, was so well received, we wanted to share excerpts with you in the series: “See more and save this season.” Read along and join the conversation.
Do you know why most Broadway shows open with a big musical number? Playwright Marsha Norman, who wrote the libretto for Color Purple, explained to a group of us that it’s for one reason: to reassure the audience that yes, our cast knows how to sing and dance. The show will be well worth the price you paid to sit here tonight.
We think we have the equivalent of an opening number with us tonight – this look at DC area professional theatre seen in 2013. It was edited by James Gardiner from Signature Theatre, driven by the song “Complete” by Nick Blaemire and the Hustle and produced by theatreWashington for the 2014 Helen Hayes Awards.
DO YOU KNOW
– Our region is home to 3 companies who have received the coveted Tony Awards’ Regional Theater Award
(Answer: Arena Stage, 1976 (first recipient of the award) . Signature Theatre, 2009 . Shakespeare Theatre Company, 2012 . )
– Last year, 37 shows opened on Broadway. In our area, we had 325 openings, averaging 27 opening nights per month, making us one of the most productive theatre areas in the country.
– We have one of the longest continually running women’s theatre companies in the world
(Answer: Venus Theatre, founded 2000)
– We have the second largest non-juried Fringe festival in the United States
(Answer: The Capital Fringe festival had 121 shows last year)
– We have a company committed to Commedia dell’Arte, several to puppetry, two major companies performing in Spanish, two committed to horror, one creating works for a single audience member
(Answer in order) Faction of Fools; The PuppetCo, Pointless Theatre and Wit’s End Puppets; GALA Hispanic Theatre and Teatro de la Luna; Molotov Theatre and SeeNoSun; Brian Feldman Projects)
– We are the only theatre region which presents an annual award to an outstanding member of the audience.
(Answer: The Gary Lee Maker Audience Award, presented by DC Theatre Scene)
– You can see Shakespeare in a theatre, outdoors and in a bar
(Answer: The National Players, Chesapeake Shakespeare and other companies perform outdoors; LiveArtDC performs in a bar)
– You can see opera in a large opera house, in a small black box, at Nationals Park, at Eastern Market and … in a bar
(Answer: UrbanArias performs in a small space, Washington National Opera broadcasts to Nationals Park, DC Public Opera performs in unexpected places such as Eastern Market and … Opera on Tap DC Metro performs in bars.)
Any fascinating facts you’d like to add?