When we say our region is one of the major theatre hubs in America, what do we really mean? As we did last year, we dove into our own records for 2017 to see how robust our scene has been.
This is the first of our reflections on area theatre in 2017. These are performances which DCTS has tracked including the Washington DC region and Baltimore. Not included: the 41 reviews from New York City. It includes those shows which we have reviewed. Most data is as of Dec 19, 2017.
So just how busy was 2017 for audiences and theatres?
Number of shows:
24 Theater for Young Audiences
Plus 1 category-defying experience (H. T. Darling’s Incredible Musaeum)
84 Capital Fringe productions
6 plays at Contemporary American Theater Festival
1 full production at Source Festival
Number of actors seen on our stages as of Dec 19 (excluding festivals and dance)
Nora Achrati, Frank Britton, Timothy J. Bruno, Justin Calhoun, Kimberly Gilbert, Garrett Matthews, Daven Ralston, DiCarlo Raspberry, Ian Blackwell Rogers, Todd Scofield, Ryan Sellers, Harrison Smith, and Emily Whitworth each had 5 appearances.
You liked them. You REALLY liked them
These shows earned extensions:
Frosty the Snowman, Adventure Theatre MTC
Annie, Olney Theatre Center
My Name is Asher Lev, 1st Stage
Emilie, Avant Bard
The Effect, Studio Theatre
The Price, Arena Theatre
How I Became a Pirate, Adventure Theatre MTC
Skeleton Crew, Studio Theatre
Vicuña and the American Epilogue, Mosaic Theater of DC
Tarot III, The Tarot Reading
Jesus Hopped the “A” Train, 1st Stage
The Devil’s Music, Mosaic Theater of DC
A Little Night Music, Signature Theatre
In the Heights, Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre
Big Fish, Keegan Theatre
Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook, Adventure Theatre MTC
Wig Out!, Studio Theatre
My Fair Lady, Olney Theatre Center
The Originalist, Arena Stage
Broken Glass, Theater J
Jesus Christ Superstar, Signature Theatre
The Magic Play, Olney Theatre Center
Brighton Beach Memoirs, Theater J
The Hard Problem, Studio Theatre
Trevor, 1st Stage
and H. T. Darling’s Incredible Musaeum, Submersive Productions which not only extended, but returned for a second run this fall.
Think about it. 26 shows, some with multiple week extensions means we likely had an extra 4 weeks or more of shows this year.
Plays produced by more than 1 company (not counting all those Christmas Carols)
Doubt – Quotidian Theatre and See No Sun
In the Heights – Olney Theatre Center/Round House Theatre and GALA Hispanic Theatre (GALA debuted the musical in Spanish)
Julius Caesar – Scena Theatre and Chesapeake Shakespeare
King Lear – Lean and Hungry Theatre and Avant Bard
Three Sisters – Russia’s Maly Drama Center and Studio Theatre
Top Girls – Keegan Theatre and Maryland Ensemble Theatre
Peter and the Starcatcher – Constellation Theatre Company and Maryland Ensemble Theatre
Number of creators whose works we reviewed:
Playwrights – Original plays: 182
Most often produced:
William Shakespeare: 18
Lauren Gunderson: 3
Arthur Miller: 3
Caryl Churchill: 3
Richard Nelson: 3
Playwrights – Adaptations: 27
Most often produced:
For Synetic – Tori Bertocci, Paata Tsikurishvili, Nathan Weinberger: 3
Mary Zimmerman: 2
Most produced composers:
Stephen Sondheim: 4
Richard Rodgers: 3
Most produced lyricists:
Stephen Sondheim: 4
Oscar Hammerstein, Jr: 4
How did we do on parity for playwrights this year?
Of the 356 plays, musicals and operas tracked, (excluding festivals) we show that women created or co-created
58 plays (49 original works, 9 adaptations)
16 musicals (Book: 10, Lyrics: 6)
2 Opera: (Libretto: 1, Composers: 1)
We’ll likely see more women’s works in 2018. The Women’s Voices Theater Festival will host 25 plays and Venus Theatre continues its commitment to women playwrights with 4 plays, all of them comedies.
Let’s close on two high notes.
Total audience for the 2017 Capital Fringe festival’s 84 shows.
This year, Capital Fringe returned $101,707 (50% – 70% of their ticket revenue) to the Artists.
Money raised this year through Summer Hummer and Bucket Brigades
for Taking Care of Our Own, the theatreWashington fund to help theatre professionals unforeseen financial hardships. This is the first year the annual drive has topped $80,000. theatreWashington welcomes questions on Taking Care of Our Own and its application process. Email [email protected].
The truest measure of this year on stage is what we all have taken away from the art of the playwrights, performers and creative staff. What still resonates with us?
Coming soon: Most Memorable Productions of 2017, Most Memorable Stage Moments of 2017 and more.