The Washington, DC area is one of the major theatre hubs in America. How did we do this year? As we have done for the past three years, we dove into our records for 2019 to see how robust our scene has been.
To write their reviews, our writers traveled the DMV region and made trips to Baltimore, Shepherdstown, WV and Staunton, VA. Partnering with DC Metro Theater Arts, we covered 86 shows in Capital Fringe.
Our far-flung reporting, not included in these stats, included New York City, the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York and Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.
As an avid theatregoer in 2019, how busy were you?
18 Family Friendly
13 other: circus, magic, spoken word, immersive
This breakdown includes 86 Capital Fringe shows. We leave those shows behind in the following stats.
Number of roles in the 323 non-Fringe shows
This number, we admit, is an undercount, leaving out the many ensemble performers for dance, opera and circuses. Still, if all the actors playing all the roles, moved to a small town, it wouldn’t be small anymore. And we’d be very sad.
If you think you saw a lot of shows with small casts this year, you are right. For 68 of 323 shows, three or fewer actors come out for curtain calls. A single actor took your applause for 22 of the 68 shows.
You liked them. You REALLY liked them
Because most venues are tightly scheduled, not all productions that catch fire at the box office are able to extend. These shows were the exception:
Be More Chill – Monumental Theatre
Blueberries for Sal – Adventure Theatre MTC
Cabaret – Olney Theatre Center|
Disney’s Newsies – Arena Stage
Doubt – Studio Theatre
Dracula – Chesapeake Shakespeare Theatre
Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In A Play – Adventure Theatre MTC
Escape from Peligro Island – Imagination Stage
Gulf View Drive – Washington Stage Guild
Jitney – Arena Stage
Legally Blonde – Keegan Theatre
Little Shop of Horrors – Constellation Theatre
Matilda the Musical – Olney Theatre Center|
Milo the Magnificent – Unexpected Stage
Murder on the Orient Express – Everyman Theatre
Once – Olney Theatre Center
School Girls, or the African Mean Girls Play, Round House Theatre
The Cat in the Hat – Adventure Theatre MTC
The Children – Studio Theatre
The Master and Margarita – Constellation Stage
The Member of the Wedding – 1st Stage
The Smuggler at Allegory – Solas Nua
The Smuggler at Round House – Solas Nua
Trying – 1st Stage
Under(world) – TBD Immersive
White Pearl – Studio Theatre
Plays produced by more than one company
Macbeth, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company and We Happy Few
Matilda, the Musical, NextStop Theatre and Creative Cauldron
Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Chesapeake Shakespeare
No Exit, Scena Theatre and Live Garra
Richard III, Synetic Theater and Taffety Punk
Singin’ in the Rain, NextStop Theatre and Olney Theatre Center
An exciting trend over the past few years were co-produced productions which appear on each company’s stages:
Airness, Keegan Theatre and 1st Stage
Miss You Like Hell, Baltimore Center Stage and (coming this January) Olney Theatre Center
The Royale, Olney Theatre Center and (coming this January) 1st Stage
These companies toured their own shows:
Happenstance Theatre brought Pantheon to Baltimore Theatre Center and Round House Theatre.
The Smuggler, Solas Nua’s show set up for business in Allegory Bar and Round House Theatre’s lobby bar.
Number of authors
Most produced playwrights:
William Shakespeare: 13
Ken Ludwig: 3
Playwrights with 2 productions:
Caleen Sinnette Jennings
Most produced composers, book writers, lyricists:
Alan Menken: 6
Deborah Wicks LaPuma: 3
Receiving 2 productions:
Betty Comden and Adolf Green, Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin
Sybil R. Williams
William Finn and James Lapine
117 of 323
How we did on gender parity this year.
Of the 323 plays, musicals and operas tracked, women wrote or co-wrote:
11 family friendly productions
1 comedy and 1 drama were written by people identifying as non-binary/gender nonconforming.
Let’s close on two high notes.
Total audience for the 90 shows in the 2019 Capital Fringe Festival.
This year, Capital Fringe returned $121,140 (58% of their ticket revenue) to the Artists. – Source: Julianne Brienza, Capital Fringe
Money raised this year through Summer Hummer and Bucket Brigades for Taking Care of Our Own, the theatreWashington-managed fund for those working in theatre.
Round House’s Theatre’s collection during Oslo raised the highest amount in 2019 at $13,000. TheatreWashington welcomes questions on Taking Care of Our Own and its application process. Email TCOOO@theatrewashington.org. Source: Amy Austin, theatreWashington.
The truest measure of any year on stage is what we all have taken away from the art of the playwrights, directors, performers and designers.
As we wrap up 2019 together, we’ll bring you our Most Memorable Productions of 2019, Most Memorable Stage Moments of 2019, Surprise Hit of 2019, and more.
Tell us – which plays and performances still resonate with you?