Arena Stage is presenting Mary Kathryn Nagle’s play Sovereignty, directed by Molly Smith, in the Kreeger Theater, thru February 18.The production is the fourth in Arena Stage’s Power Plays initiative, as it “travels the intersections of personal and political truths, historic and present struggles.” The play tells the story of Sarah Ridge Polson, a young Cherokee lawyer fighting to restore her Nation’s jurisdiction as she confronts the ever-present ghosts of her grandfathers. The story stretches from the 1830s Cherokee Nation (now present-day Georgia) and Andrew Jackson’s White House to the Cherokee Nation in present-day Oklahoma. Sovereignty “asks how high the flames of anger can rise before they ultimately consume the truth.”
Image below:The logo for Sovereignty by Goni Montez
Arena Stage will present Robert Schenkkan’s play titled The Great Society, directed by Kyle Donnelly, on the Fichandler Stage, February 2-March 11. The play is the second half of Schenkkan’s epic story that began with his play titled All The Way, which “set the stage for President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s ascent to the White House.” The play covers the era when America was divided by civil rights protests and the Vietnam War, as LBJ struggled to maintain his relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” Jack Willis will reprise his role as LBJ.
Arena Stage will present Jeanne Sakata’s play Hold These Truths, directed by Jessica Kubzansky, in the Arlene & Robert Kogod Cradle, February 23-April 8.The play is set in the period after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, when America placed its own citizens of Japanese ancestry in internment camps. The plot is based on “the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, the American son of Japanese immigrants who defied an unjust court order to uphold the values on which America was founded.”
Rorschach Theatre will present Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s play titled 410[GONE]at Atlas Performing Arts Center, March 23-April 15.It’s the story of a Chinese-American boy, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, the Monkey King, transmigration and more. The “dark and dazzling play about the afterlife explores identity, love and what it takes to forge a new path.”
American Ensemble Theatre (AET) will present Booker T. Washington's "Character Building," adapted as a musical by AET Artistic Director Martin Blank, at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) on February 3, 10, 17 & 24. The production of the one-man musical for school and adult audiences will celebrate Black History Month. The musical is adapted from talks Dr. Washington gave his students at Tuskegee University. The talks offered timeless wisdom for people of any age about how to have a productive life.
Image below: Actor Gregory Burgess as Booker T. Washington in the American Ensemble Theater production of “Character Building.” Photo credit: Teresa Castracane
Folger Theatre is presenting The Way of the World, a new comedy adapted from the classic play by William Congreve, written and directed by Theresa Rebeck, thru February 11.A physical comedy, it’s the story of “a sweet-natured woman with just a little baggage—a $600 million inheritance." The play is set among the one percent, where money and status determine everything………”
Ford’s Theatre is presenting Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Jefferson’s Garden, which is a drama set during the American Revolution, thru February 11.The play, directed by Nataki Garrett, is said to explore “the contradictions between our founding fathers’ ideals and the realities of freedom in America. The story centers on a Quaker pacifist, who defies his family to fight in the American Revolution, and an enslaved woman who is tempted to fight for the British when they promise her liberty. On their travels, they cross paths with Thomas Jefferson, George Mason and Sally Hemings as the tale moves from Revolutionary battlefields to Paris to Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. The play is part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival.
Keegan Theatre is presenting the DC premiere of Paul Slade Smith’s modern-day comedy titledUnnecessary Farce, directed by Ray Ficca, thru February 10.The tale is set “in a cheap motel room, where an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant, while in the room next door, two undercover cops wait to catch the meeting on videotape. But there’s some confusion as to who’s in which room, who’s being videotaped, who’s taken the money, who’s hired a hit man, and why the accountant keeps taking off her clothes.”
Image below: Jon Townson and Noah Schaefer - Photo by Mike Kozemchak.
The Kennedy Center is presenting On Your Feet!in the Opera House, thru January 28. The show tells the real-life story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan, who came from humble beginnings in Cube to America and “broke through all barriers to become a crossover sensation at the very top of the pop music world. But just when they thought they had it all, they almost lost everything.” Directed by two-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), with choreography by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys), and an original book by Academy Award® winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman), On Your Feet! features “some of the most iconic songs of the past quarter century—and one of the most inspiring stories in music history.” The show is recommended for age 8 and up.
Image below: A scene from On Your Feet!
The Kennedy Center is presenting The Humansin the Eisenhower Theatre, thru January 28. The play “takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. As darkness falls and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan’s deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award® for Best Play.” The play’s all-star cast includes Emmy® winner and Tony® nominee Richard Thomas. The show is recommended for age 15 & up.
Image below: The logo for The Humans.
The Kennedy Center will present Digging Up Dessa, which is a world premiere written by Laura Schellhardt& directed by Rives Collins, in the Family Theater, February 3-18. The theme of the show is that “from dinosaur bones to hidden memories, the world is filled with buried treasures just waiting to be uncovered. Dessa, a girl in the 21st-century century, sets out to dig up some super-sized discoveries with help from a remarkable friend—the pioneering 19th-century English paleontologist Mary Anning.” After a field trip to a museum reveals that Mary Anning’s legacy has been buried by history because of her gender and lack of formal education, Dessa decides that she’s going to fight to earn her friend the credit she deserves.”
The show is recommended for Age 10+
Image below: The logo for Digging Up Dessa
The Kennedy Center will present comedian, actor, radio personality, and television host Adam Carolla in the Eisenhower Theater on February 9.Carolla’s autobiographical one-man show is based on his New York Times best-selling book.
Image below: Adam Carolla
Mosaic Theatre is presenting the world premiere of Caleen Sinnette Jennings’s Queens Girl in Africa, directed by Paige Hernandez and featuring Erika Rose at the Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Lang Theatre, thru February 4.The production is part of the 2018 Women’s Voices Theater Festival. The play is about “Jacqueline Marie Butler as she and her family sail to Nigeria following the assassination of her father’s close friend, Malcolm X.”It’s “a touching coming-of-age story of a woman finding her place in Civil War-torn Nigeria."
The National Theatre will present Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound After the Curtain on January 24. The show, conceived & choreographed by two-time Emmy Award winner Travis Wall, tells the story of a man fighting to find his creative voice after the death of his one true love. Triangle Magazine described After The Curtain as “the pinnacle of contemporary dance!” Wall was the runner-up for the popular Fox reality show So You Think You Can Dance Season 2 and is now a resident choreographer for the show.He won an Emmy in 2015 and has been nominated seven consecutive times.
The National Theatre will present the musical Something Rotten!February 6-18. The show, which is set in the 1590s, received 10 Tony® nominations including Best Musical. It’s the story of two brothers “who are desperate to write their own hit play while the “rock star” Shakespeare (Tony® nominee Adam Pascal) keeps getting all the hits. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first MUSICAL!”
Scena Theatre is presenting the U.S. premiere of Australian playwright John Shand’s Guilt, directed by Robert McNamara, at Atlas Performing Arts Center, thru February 4.Shand won the Walkley Arts Journalism Award - Australia’s most prestigious arts writing award - for the play. The play, which has been called “a powerful opera without music” tells “the story of a philandering priest named Grandier (1590-1634). The nuns in his convent fall in love with him—and the church believes that he has cast a spell on them. So Grandier is unmercifully burned at the stake. This riveting play traces the accusers' remorse and denial over burning an innocent man. Guilt is a bold metaphor for the culture of lies, clash of religions, and rejection of human rights in modern times.”
The Shakespeare Theatre Company is presenting William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, starring Michael & directed by Michael Kahn, in Sidney Harman Hall, thru February 25. Michael Urie studied at Julliard, where he was taught by Michael Kahn. He first gained fame for his starring role on television in the hit comedy series titled Ugly Betty. This Hamlet is “the last version of Shakespeare’s emblematic tragedy that Kahn will stage for the company, from which he retires at the end of the 2018-2019 season. The production “gives life to the greatest character of Western literature as he confronts the line between madness and inspiration.”
Shakespeare Theatre Company will present the world premiere of Heather Raffo’s play titled Noura, directed by Joanna Settle, in the Lansburgh Theatre, February 6-March 14. The play is about Iraqi immigrants Noura & her husband, who live in New York. The production is part of the second Women’s Voices Theater Festival.
Studio Theatre is presenting The Wolves, written by Sarah Delappe & directed by Marti Lyons, thru March 4.The play explores the violence and teamwork of sports and adolescence, as "it follows a pack of 16-year-old girls who turn into warriors on the field."
Theater J is presenting the East Coast premiere of Everything is Illuminatedby Simon Block, adapted from the book by Jonathan Safran Foer & directed by Aaron Posner, thru February 4.The play “tells the story of a young man — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — who sets out to find the woman who might or might not have saved his grandfather. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war, an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Jr. and a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan takes a quixotic journey into an unexpected past, where reality collides with fiction in a heart-stopping scene of extraordinary power.”
Theater J will present Becoming Dr. Ruth by Mark St. Germain, directed by Holly Twyford & starring Naomi Jacobson, February 21-March 18.It’s the story of how America’s favorite sex therapist began life as “Karola Siegel and had to flee Germany in the Kindertransport, became a sniper in Jerusalem, and survived as a single mother in America.” The one-woman show has been called “a triumphant and life-affirming story of a girl who found her own unique place in the world.”
Washington Stage Guild is presenting the area premiere of Arlene Hutton’s play titled See Rock City, thru February 11. The story is set in the height of World War II, as a young couple have returned home for Kentucky “to figure out their lives. Their two very different mothers have plenty of ideas for them, but the war’s progression affects them all, and leads to a heartwarming, bittersweet conclusion.” The young couple was introduced in last season’s uplifting hit play Last Train to Nibroc.Wood Van Meter and Lexi Langs, who played the lead roles in the previous production, have returned to perform in See Rock City.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre will present Danai Gurira’s play titled Familiar, directed by Adam Immerwahr, February 5-March 4.The play, featuring company member Shannon Dorsey, is set in the winter in Minnesota, where an immigrant Zimbabwean family is preparing for the wedding of their eldest daughter, a first-generation American. “Rowdy and affectionate, Familiar pitches tradition against assimilation among the members of one devoted family.”