A roundup of some of this week’s theatrical news and notes from The Kennedy Center, Washington Stage Guild and Signature Theatre.
The Kennedy Center’s front plaza has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind skate park for the 10 day festival Finding a Line, that celebrates a vibrant and influential American subculture by highlighting the creative ties and improvisational elements shared between skateboarding and live music in an open and collaborative environment. The 10-day event features both ticketed and free performances as well as “open skate sessions” and exhibits, which connect art, sport, and play with a strong sense of community and fellowship.
“Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music, and Media is an outgrowth of my youth. As a youngster in the ’80s, my brothers and I would skateboard all over Houston with our neighborhood friends. When we weren’t skating, we were watching skateboard videos. These groundbreaking videos displayed skaters creating new collections of tricks. And many times, the soundtrack for these videos was jazz. Video Days features iconic street skater Mark Gonzales skating to the music of John Coltrane; two innovators speaking the same language through different mediums.” Jason Moran, Festival Curator.
The 14th Annual Page-to-Stage Festival
Saturday, September 5, 10:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Sunday, September 6, 6–7 p.m.
Monday, September 7, 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.
The 14th Annual Page-to-Stage showcases works from over 50 theatre companies – think of your favorites companies. Chances are they will be there. This year, you will be able to hear new works of more than 40 female playwrights, including 9 plays that are part of the citywide Women’s Voices Theater Festival. So come for the plays, and pop outside every once in a while for the skateboarding.
Washington Stage Guild turns 30
The 2015-2016 season includes the final part of our multi-year presentation of George Bernard Shaw’s Back to Methuselah, and as the visionary cycle leaps far into the future and the Stage Guild approaches its 30th anniversary, the other three plays will also look both back and ahead-A SEASON OF PAST & FUTURE. But we’re not neglecting the present: all four plays during this landmark year for the company are Washington premieres, with works by Joe Landry, Scott Carter, and Stage Guild favorite Michael Hollinger.
Details and tickets
To which we add that their ever popular reading season features four plays by women, beginning with the first recorded woman playwright, the medieval writer Hrothsvitha.
Casting news: Cake Off at Signature Theatre
Cake Off, a new musical by Sheri Wilner (Kingdom City), Julia Jordan (Murder Ballad) and Adam Gwon (Signature’s The Boy Detective Fails) is directed by Signature’s Director of New Works Joe Calarco (Signature’s Gypsy, Shakespeare’s R&J). This hilarious new musical is a battle-of-the-sexes set at the 50th Annual Millberry Cake-Off competition. Cake Off runs September 29 – November 22 in the ARK Theatre and is part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival.
The production will star Todd Buonopane (Broadway’s Cinderella, Chicago) as Paul, Sherri L. Edelen (Signature’s Gypsy, Hairspray) as Rita, Jamie Smithson (Arena Stage’s Fiddler on the Roof) as Jack DeVault/Multi-Character Man and Ian Berlin (Signature’s Elmer Gantry) as Wyatt.
The creative team includes Musical Direction by Andrea Grody (The Public Theater’s The Fortress of Solitude, The Tempest); Scenic Design by Jason Sherwood (Goodspeed’s The Circus in Winter, Studio Theatre’s Choir Boy); Costume Design by Frank Labovitz (Signature’s Cabaret, Soon); Lighting Design by R. Lee Kennedy (Transport Group’s Three Days to See, Almost Maine); Sound Design by Lane Elms (Signature’s Cabaret, Simply Sondheim); Production Stage Manager Julie Meyers (Signature’s Soon, Xanadu); and Production Assistant Jessica Skelton (Signature’s Soon).
Details and tickets