How to navigate the Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival

August 30, 2013

During yesterday's Got Plans? chat, we received a question about how to approach the massive free Page-to-Stage Festival at the Kennedy Center this weekend. The three-day event takes place in all corners of the center and features readings, open rehearsals and conversations with more than 40 local theater companies, including dog & pony dc, Theater J, Synetic, First Draft and Faction of Fools.


Daniel Crane, left, and Erin Weaver at the 2010 Page-to-Stage Festival. (Carol Pratt)

Understandably overwhelmed, the questioner asked for a strategy:

Pick just a few things and get to each "venue" early to wait in line? Run from place to place at the last second and get in to 90 percent of what you want to see anyway? Just pick the location that has the most stuff you want to see and stay there for as long as you like, improving your seat as others leave? I'm not sure the best way to do it.

Luckily, festival curator Gregg Henry has some tips:

“The best strategy is to seek out your favorite description, playwright or theater company,” he said. “Find a description that intrigues you and seek out that reading. If you've been following the career of a certain playwright, see what they’re working on now. Or, find a theater company you've heard about, but haven’t seen their work, and go see what they’re up to.”

He also says trust your gut. Take a look at the schedule and when something sounds promising, just give it a try.

After all, you won't be out any money.

You might also like:

Backstage: Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival returns for 12th year

Washington-area native Stephanie Merry covers movies, theater and art for Weekend and the Going Out Guide. She’s also the section’s de facto expert on yoga, gluten-free dining and bicycle commuting.
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Lavanya Ramanathan | August 30, 2013