One of DC theatergoers’ favorite times of year is back, as theatreWashington presents the popular Theatre Week, Sept. 12 through Oct. 7, with 26 productions being staged throughout the region. Participating theatres will be offering something for everyone—musicals, dramas, comedies, and even theatre for young audiences, along with discounted tickets.
“The idea is to raise the profile of theater in our region. I think a lot of residents are still unaware of just how much professional theater is here,” says Liz O’Meara Goldberg, a spokesperson for theatreWashington. “This is a chance to understand the volume of theater, and also take stock of all that’s going on throughout the season.” To see what she means, here’s DCTS season guide.
When theatreWashington first came up with the idea for Theatre Week, it was less “official” with theaters able to do what they wanted; some offered discounts, some help promotions, some gave away T-shirts. When Amy Austin came on board as theatreWashington’s president and CEO, she came up with the idea to follow the Restaurant Week model and create a city-wide, sizable commitment from area theaters, with every theater offering the same thing.
So, starting last year, all theaters offered tickets for $15 or $35. Theatre Week was so successful, that it’s the model that continues for the 2018 event.
“All the productions participating now offer these prices through the Theatre Week period. It’s a three-week period and there are productions opening and closing, so not all of the productions run the full time, but there’s plenty of great theater for people to see,” Goldberg says. “Lowering the price increases access and inclusion but also asks people to take a chance on something new.”
For those who only do musicals, this gives them a chance to try a play at a smaller theater; or those who only see classics, maybe it’s time to try something fun in a blackbox.
“This is a great chance for people to go to a theater they’ve never been to before or even one they’ve never heard of and the risk is a little less because the price is lower,” Goldberg says.
A free kickoff party will be held noon to 4 p.m., on Sept. 8 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre where many of the participating theatres will be set up at tables talking with attendees about their upcoming seasons. The day will include food and drinks from local restaurants, as well as some fun surprises from some of the artists and theaters in attendance.
“This is a chance for people to learn more about each theater’s full season,” Goldberg says. “It’s not necessarily the same theaters that are participating with productions in Theatre Week; we wanted to open it up to all theaters and there are a lot that just don’t have a show running those days. There will be around 25 theaters.”
Throughout the four hours, Woolly’s big rehearsal room will be used for theaters to give a sneak peak of some upcoming shows or little snippets of songs, and other fun programming. Performers taking part include Hasani Allen, Annalisa Dias/The Welders, Caroline Dubberly, Ashley Johnson, Alan Naylor, Wood Van Meter, Justin Weaks and Vato Tsikurishvili. The emcee for the day will be local actress Natalie Graves Tucker.
Other special events that are part of Theatre Week include a Historic Theatre Walking Tour with NPR senior arts critic Bob Mondello, that will take place on Sept. 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and will include stops at the National Theatre and Ford’s Theatre, with info along the way; and Adam Immerwahr, artistic director of Theater J will lead a 20-mile bike tour of theaters on Sept. 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning at Arena Stage. Both events are free.
“The idea is to add more special events every year and have all the productions participating and continuing to grow,” Goldberg says. “We have a wide diversity of works and something for everyone to enjoy.”
Theatres participating in the ticket discounts for Theatre Week 2018 are: 1st Stage, Adventure Theatre MTC, Annapolis Shakespeare Company, Arena Stage, Folger Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, GALA Hispanic Theatre, The In Series, The Klunch, The Lab for Global Performance and Politics, Mosaic Theater Company, Olney Theatre Center, Rainbow Theatre Project, Rep Stage, Round House Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Synetic Theater, Taffety Punk Theatre Company, Theater J, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
TodayTix, the mobile ticket application, continues as Theatre Week’s official ticketing partner. For more information, visit TheatreWeek.org.