Free and Easy: ‘Cliffhanger Mashup,’ Poetry Out Loud finals, Yoga on the Mall

April 27

 


Members of the University of Maryland Wind Ensemble. (Stan Barouh)

The Going Out Guide recommends free things to do for every day of the week.

MONDAY

Student play festival

As part of a Young Playwrights' Theater playwriting program, 15 student plays were chosen out of 500 to be presented at this three-day festival. The first day features works by elementary school students, with plays about a boy who must rescue his dog from an evil serpent; five alien sisters who must protect Earth from an interplanetary battle led by their mother; and a race between a sports car and a monster truck. Plays by middle-school and high-school playwrights will be performed Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

7 p.m. Gala Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW. 202-387-9173. www.youngplaywrightstheater.org.

TUESDAY 

'VHS Roadshow: Cliffhanger Mashup'

Get ready to head down memory lane with an evening of screenings of classic '90s TV cliffhangers, all presented by the group Play Back the Tape. The episodes are: "Michelle Rides Again (Part 2)" from "Full House"; "Who Shot Mr. Burns (Part 1)" from "The Simpsons"; and "The Cadillac (parts 1 and 2)" from "Seinfeld." And to cap off the evening? The last 40 minutes of "The Empire Strikes Back."

8 p.m. Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-364-0404. www.playbackthetape.com.

WEDNESDAY 

Poetry Out Loud finals

Nine finalists vie for the title of Poetry Out Loud national champion in this youth poetry competition presented by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and several state arts organizations. Hosted by NPR's Neda Ulaby, the contest will be judged by Lee Briccetti, executive director of Poets House; writer Tope Folarin, 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing winner; poet, teacher, translator and playwright Valerie Martinez; actor Christopher Sarandon; and author Ming Di.

7 to 9:15 p.m. George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. 202-682-5606. www.poetryoutloud.org. (Semifinals are Tuesday.)

THURSDAY 

UMD Wind Ensemble

Travel to a galaxy far, far away with the University of Maryland Wind Ensemble as it performs the score from "Star Wars: The Original Trilogy," as well as works by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Mason Bates and Percy Grainger.

8 p.m. Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Dekelboum Concert Hall, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive, College Park. 301-405-2787. www.claricesmithcenter.umd.edu

FRIDAY

Potomac Bonsai Festival

Head to the National Arboretum for the first day of the three-day Potomac Bonsai Festival. The workshops aren't free, but visitors can check out the bonsai exhibit and watch the judges decide which trees will make it into the Best of PBA Juried Exhibit. There will also be vendors and a free "Getting Started" booth for bonsai beginners.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave. NE. 202-245-2726. www.potomacbonsai.com

SATURDAY 

Yoga on the Mall 

Cap off DC Yoga Week by joining in this huge, all-level yoga gathering on the Mall. Activities include a kids yoga class, beginner classes, a yoga demonstration and a full yoga class led by Shiva Rea.

10 a.m. to noon. Constitution Gardens on the Monument grounds. www.dccy.org. 

SUNDAY 

Art Hop Takoma

Main street businesses showcase works by local photographers, sculptors, painters, jewelry-makers and more in the Art Hop Takoma Festival, presented by the Old Takoma Business Association. The two-day festival, which begins Saturday, includes demonstrations and performances.

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Old Takoma, from the Takoma Junction in Takoma Park, Md., to Fourth Street NW. 301-891-6789. www.arthoptakoma.com

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Tim Carman · April 25