A roundup of some of this week’s theatrical news and notes from the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, Mosaic Theater and Constellation Theatre Company.
Women’s Voices Theater Festival holds launch party September 8
(Washington, D.C.) Tony® Award-winning playwright Lisa Kron will be a featured guest and participant at the launch party of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival on September 8 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The invitation-only event kicks off the beginning of the Festival, an unprecedented collaboration among professional theater companies that includes the presentation of more than 50 world-premiere productions of work by female playwrights, taking place this September and October in the nation’s capital region. The launch party features a creative conversation between Kron and National Public Radio’s Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg focused on gender parity in the arts in the Museum’s Performance Hall, followed by a celebratory party and toast to officially declare the start of the Festival.
In addition to the launch at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, there will be eight ancillary events sponsored by The Washington Post. These workshops and discussions will feature participation from local and national playwrights such as Kathleen Akerley, Sheila Callaghan, Jennie Berman Eng, Allison Engel, Margaret Engel, Yaël Farber, Caleen Sinette Jennings, Julia Jordan, Clare Lizzimore, Mary Hall Surface, and Karen Zacarías, as well as performers such as Tracy Lynn Olivera and Nova Payton, directors, artistic leaders, and collaborators. These Festival-sponsored events will cover a variety of topics, including the local playwriting landscape, women in musical theater, gender parity, playwrights as hybrid artists, female leaders in the entertainment industry, feminist theater, training for women in stage combat, and the historical silencing of women’s voices.
Festival-related events are free, but reservations are required. To reserve event tickets and for up-to-date Festival information, including details and ticket purchase information for all of the world-premiere productions being produced by participating theater companies, please visit womensvoicestheaterfestival.org. All venues will handle their own ticket reservations for their respective productions.
With 2 roles still open, Mosaic Theater announces its casting for the season
(Washington, DC) Mosaic Theater Company of DC announces 36 actors so-far cast in the 2015-16 inaugural season: “The Case for Hope in a Polarized World.” This far-reaching pool of locally and internationally acclaimed actors represents a commitment to telling the stories most pressing to our communities. These artists, over half of whom are actors of color, join Mosaic Theater Company in one of the most diversely cast seasons in Washington.
Taking the stage this year will be a strong group of known DC favorites, including Helen Hayes Award winners Erika Rose (reuniting this year with In Darfur director, Derek Goldman) and Deidra LaWan Starnes (Intimate Apparel, Doubt: A Parable), as well as Helen Hayes Award nominees Doug Brown (Our Lady of 121st Street), Bill Grimmette (Blood Knot), Paul Morella (Angels in America), Barbara Rappaport (A…My Name is Alice) and Michael Tolaydo (New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch De Spinoza). Joining them are a large number of DC favorites including Jeff Allin, Tonya Beckman, Aaron Bliden, Felipe Cabezas, Erica Chamblee, Shannon Dorsey, JaBen Early, Gary-Kayi Fletcher, Sean Fri, Manu H. Kumasi, John Lescault, Jason B. McIntosh, Lynette Rathnam, Jefferson A. Russell, Kathryn Tkel, Baakari Wilder and Michael Anthony Williams.
Mosaic Theater Company is proud to feature three artists of international acclaim in the Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival, whose work will be seen in this season’s three solo acts: Wrestling Jerusalem, featuring Jewish-American actor Aaron Davidman, I Shall Not Hate, featuring Palestinian actor Gassan Abbas, and Hkeelee (Talk to Me), featuring Lebanese-American writer and performer Leila Buck.
Rounding out the season is a collective of talented up-and-coming actors (and future favorites), including Shravan Amin, Freddie Bennett, Audrey Bertaux, Desmond Bing, Silas Gordan Brigham, Jeremy Keith Hunter, Vaughn Ryan Midder, Awa Sal Secka and Brayden Simpson. It is a season loaded with known and new faces, as well as many prominent women actors and playwrights underscoring the citywide commitment to female artists seen in this fall’s Women’s Voices Theater Festival.
More casting news – Constellation announces its cast for Equus
Constellation Theatre Company announced that Ross Destiche, currently in the cast of Midsummer Night’s Dream at STC, will play the troubled teenager Alan Strang in Peter Schaffer’s Equus (January 14 – February 14). Michael Kramer play psychiatrist Martin Dysart, Michael Tolaydo and Laureen E. Smith play Alans parents, Frank and Dora. Additional cast members: Lisa M. Hodsoll, Emily Kester, Ryan Tumulty, Colin Smith, Matrina Hilleard, Amanda Forstrom, Gwen Grastorf, Ashley Ivey, Tim Torre and Emily Whitworth. Equus is directed by Amber McGinnis Jackson.