If you are a theater enthusiast (and we know you are), how busy could you have been in 2018?
464 productions = 38 days, and 16 hours
If you watched all 464 shows, back to back, assuming they averaged 2 hours apiece, you would have spent 38 days and 16 hours in front of some stage somewhere.
Breakdown of those 464:
80 Capital Fringe productions
6 plays at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia
On your behalf, we watched
40 family-friendly shows
20 dance or movement pieces
6 experimental pieces
Whew. If you’re following along with a calculator, let me explain that some shows identified themselves in more than one genre: comedy and drama; musical and family-friendly show; and so on. We counted them in whatever category or categories they identified.
20 = Number of plays earning extended runs:
A Raisin in the Sun -Arena Stage
Familiar – Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Chicago – Keegan Theatre Company
Potted Potter – Shakespeare Theatre Company
Paper Dolls – Mosaic Theater Company
Two Trains Running – Arena Stage
Saint Joan – Folger Theatre
Girlfriend – Signature Theatre
Camelot – Shakespeare Theatre Company
The Legend of Georgia McBride – Round House Theatre
Rasheeda Speaking – Ally Theatre Company
Gloria – Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Turn Me Loose – Arena Stage
If I Forget – Studio Theatre
Living and Dying with Tricia McCauley – Venus Theater
The Play that Goes Wrong – The Kennedy Center
The Fall – Studio Theatre
A Civil War Christmas – 1st Stage
Gem of the Ocean – Round House Theatre
Rocky Horror – Iron Crow
Most produced authors:
William Shakespeare did pretty well: 14 productions
These playwrights each received 3 productions:
Paula Vogel (who will have yet another play next month at Keegan);
Musicals and Operas
Among writers of musical books (or librettists for operas), only Thomas Meehan had as many as 3 productions.
Among composers, area producers called upon Leonard Bernstein 4 times (perhaps appropriately on the 100th anniversary of his birth); Alan Menken and Guiseppe Verdi each composed for 3 productions apiece.
Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics for 3 productions this year, more than any other person.
Capital Fringe Festival, 2018
For the first time, the Capital Fringe Festival, was centered in the South East waterfront area.
80 productions had a total audience count of 17,945 and gross revenues of $165,390 of which performing artists received $107,633.
Parity. Are we there yet?
The 25 productions penned by women playwrights and women-led collectives in the 2018 Women’s Voices Theater Festival included 13 World Premieres, as well as 10 American or Regional Premieres. The Festival itself is undoubtedly responsible for part of the uptick toward greater gender balance among our writers this year, and credit also goes to the producing companies for welcoming more woman playwrights into their seasons.
Last year, in the play category, 16.2% of authors were women.
This year, 42.4% of plays were written by women.
162 men (57.6%) and 119 (42.4%) women received writing credits for plays we saw on stage.
On the musical side, things were less balanced. 91 of the 111 writers who received bookwriting credits (82%) were men.
86 of the 101 artists receiving credit as composers (85.1%) were men, and among lyricists , 78.8% (67 out of 85) were men.
The Helen Hayes Awards
On May 14, 2018, at The Anthem on DC’s waterfront, 1,883 theatre artists, makers, and lovers watched as 50 recipients received Washington’s most prestigious recognition of excellence, The Helen Hayes Awards.
Taking Care of Our Own
The yellow buckets led by casts collected $50,182.45 for this theatreWashington-managed emergency fund for those working in theatre. Round House’s Theatre’s collection during The Legend of Georgia McBride raised a record-breaking all-time high of $15,005.15. TheatreWashington welcomes questions about Taking Care of Our Own and its application process. Email [email protected].
We are grateful to Julianne Brienza of Capital Fringe and Amy Austin of theatreWashington for their contributions to this article.
This is the first post of a 7 part series on theatre year 2018 titled 2018 Wraps.