Theater is at its best when it teaches us something. When it makes us think, and reconsider our stance on an issue, or when it carries us away into another land and time, where characters, fantastical though they may be, are essentially human and essentially ourselves. The mirror held up, as it were. This is […]
The real Ma Rainey. Will Netflix do her justice?
Introducing the real Ma Rainey. Ahead of the premiere on December 18, 2020 of August Wilson’s play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, it is important for audiences to realize that Ma Rainey is not a fictional character born of Wilson’s imagination, but rather a massively popular singer who crossed musical boundaries. Wilson himself was influenced by […]
Award-winning playwright Adrienne Kennedy finally gets her due, and debuts a new play in upcoming festival
[Editor’s note: DCTS had been planning to review Kennedy’s debut play Etta and Ella on the Upper West Side, before we ceased publication on Dec 31. The reading was rescheduled, and so I recommend Jonathan Mandell’s Kennedy festival review.] When I first encountered Adrienne Kennedy, through her Obie award winning 1964 play Funnyhouse of a […]
Gonzales Cantata: A moment of profound American shame gets set to music
Melissa Dunphy’s The Gonzales Cantata, which will begin its run on In Series’ website November 3, is an opera with a unique libretto – transcripts of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ December 7, 2006 decision to fire seven United States Attorneys. Though it may be strange to hear the words […]
Political Theater you can watch in the countdown to Election Day
Political theater is different this year, and not just because it’s on screens rather than stages. There is a palpable sense of urgency. The weeks counting down to Election Day may have always seemed a good excuse for art and entertainment about campaigns and candidates, drawing from a long American theatrical tradition.That tradition is on […]
Quotidian Theatre’s closing its warehouse with a huge sale. Auction starts Aug 3
One distinction of a Quotidian Theatre production has always been its set pieces and props, expertly chosen and carefully placed in its single set rooms adding airs of authenticity to such notable productions as Conor McPherson’s The Veil and Chekhov’s Lady with the Little Dog. Leaving the theatre, if you think of that perfect garden seat […]
Bring an artist’s performance into your home, or at least to your driveway.
Have you ever wished that your living space could be re-imagined by a set designer? Or that you could gift a personalized greeting or concert by a favorite performer? Or that a theatre artist could help out your landscaping with a new rock garden design? Or maybe you’d like to cheer up a friend or […]
DC Theatre community gathers for Black Lives Matter vigil, photos and video
70 days. 10 weeks. 2 months. 1,680 hours. 100,800 minutes. 6,048,000 seconds. No. This is not the lyric sheet to some RENT musical remix. This is the amount of time that stood between Theatre as we knew it and one very sweet moment of reuniting on June 8, 2020. On April 1, 2020 at 12:01am, […]
Jayne Blanchard: Confessions of a theatre critic
Every day, I navigate to DC Theatre Scene’s guide, the New York Times and the Washington Post websites and read up on all the creative and upbeat ways people are feeding their theater jones. I am not one of them. By and large, I am a dismal failure at watching theater on a screen—be it […]
Avoid Zoombombing and other tips on how to produce and attend Zoom shows
Not that long ago, the only unwanted interruptions shows had was when a cell phone rang. Now, theatre companies moving performances and classes online have much more to worry about. And that move has left them to make basic choices and navigate security settings on their own, a.k.a. learning by trial and error. For performances […]
There is good news for audiences watching theatre online. And it’s not just that it’s free.
Strange times have given us just that: time. Specifically, all of us have time inside to experience performances on our home screens. Individual artists and companies are scrambling to material online, leaving audiences to pick through a myriad of choices. Choosing what to see can be both overwhelming and, frankly, often underwhelming. Occasionally, however, hidden […]
Quarantine playlist: Daniella’s 6 comfort songs opens with Sondheim
It’s been about six weeks since I came back home to New Jersey after my college moved to online classes for the rest of the semester, and like many students, it’s taken some adjusting. At this point, it’s all about learning to be okay living in a period of waiting and finding the comfort in […]
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