The summer is winding down and families are seeing their schedules filling up with soccer games, school events and other commitments, but theatreWashington has planned a day that allows people to take a break from their busy schedules and enjoy some family fun.
On Saturday, September 16, from noon to 4 p.m., theatreWashington will launch its inaugural theatreWeek Kickoff Party at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, a free community-wide celebration that previews the area’s upcoming theater season.
“We invite people to come out and discover all that’s going on in theater,” says Amy Austin, theatreWashington’s president and CEO. “We will have 20-plus theaters participating so you can capture all the information in one place.”
Among the theaters participating are Arena Stage, Ally Theatre, Convergence Theatre, Creative Cauldron, Cultural DC, Edge of the Universe, Faction of Fools, Ford’s Theatre, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Imagination Stage, Mosaic Theater Company of DC, Nu Sass, Olney Theatre Company, Pointless Theatre Company, Rorschach Theatre, Round House Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre Company, Synetic Theater Company, Theater J, The Welders, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and WSC Avant Bard.
“Each will have a table, talking about what they are doing in the season and why they are doing it. Plus, they can tell people more about who they are,” Austin says. “I think there’s something really powerful about theaters coming together, as well as the audience, into one singular space.”
Additionally, the day will include live performances from each of the theaters, such as a short scene or song from their upcoming season. Many of D.C.’s top actors, directors and artistic directors will be on hand.
Ryan Rilette, artistic director of Round House Theatre, will serve as emcee for the first part of the day. Other theater notables in the area will also spend time on stage serving as host.”theatreWashington has taken great strides to build more momentum for the entire theater community,” Rillette says. “The Kickoff Party is a great start, and we can’t wait to carry that excitement and momentum through the rest of the season.”
Austin decided that the time was right for such a kickoff event to launch theatreWeek (Sept. 19-Oct. 1), a yearly celebration of Washington’s vibrant theatre scene, where theater lovers have the chance to purchase discounted tickets for numerous fall performances.
“theatreWeek itself signals the start of a season of great work in the nation’s capital, and the Kickoff Party offers the perfect opportunity to share our excitement and energy while providing a sneak peek into the new theatre season, for both existing patrons and new audiences,” she says. “This is a chance to bring in some people who may not be regular theatergoers but who want to explore. They may want to go to the theater but aren’t sure where to start.”
Also, it provides the chance for people who are regular subscribers at some theaters to learn about others and maybe branch out a bit more.
Imagination Stage is one of the theaters coming, and Austin wants to encourage people with children to bring them along and see the value of theater for little ones.
“A lot of theater in this area is geared to children and that’s important,” she says. “This is a kid-friendly event and we hope to see families come out as well.”
The beauty of the event is that people can arrive at any time, enjoy the free food, beer and performances, and then leave as their schedules dictate.
“The fall is a busy season and this will be a fun and nice break for people to come by in the afternoon,” Austin says. “People can stop on their way to seeing a new exhibit at the National Gallery, or stop on their way to a family outing, spend an hour or so, and then go on about their day.”
Free food tastings and drinks will be provided by Carmine’s Italian Restaurant, DC Brau, Shake Shake and Happy Healthy Human Snacks. The celebration will also include ticket giveaways, special discounts and other fun activities.
Discount tickets during theatreWeek (Sept 19 – Oct 1) range from $12 – $35. Visit theatreWeek 2017.