When Schaeffer read the play, he says he loved it right away. “I think it’s a much bigger palette that he’s working on,” Schaeffer said. “The themes that he’s dealing with are much stronger and bigger.”
As for seeking out Kahn, “it’s great for Washington theater” to bring in artistic directors from other theaters, said Schaeffer. “Why should we have our best people go elsewhere for work? Let’s provide opportunities here.”
Kahn is looking forward to the simple pleasures of modern storytelling. “I suppose I’ll be really glad to do a play [that] has a sofa, and a closet, and a patio chair. And, actually, a bathroom,” where a whole scene takes place. “I don’t get to do that in Shakespeare.”
WSC plans reading series
For the first time since its 2009-10 “Sort-of-Jane Austen”-themed venture, WSC Avant Bard is producing a reading series.
“There was a great groundswell of enthusiasm among the acting company to revive these readings,” said artistic director Tom Prewitt.
Why now? “I wanted to signal to the general public, and especially to longtime fans of WSC, that the fact that we were kicked out of Artisphere was not going to slow us down [or] keep us from moving ahead with our vision of the kind of aggressive, offbeat, adventuresome theater company that WSC Avant Bard has always been.” (WSC was the company in residence at Artisphere for two years when, last December, it was forced out as a result of changes in Artisphere’s business model.)
Prewitt hopes to use the reading series to gauge the reaction of the acting company — “I want to be choosing projects that they can really sink their teeth into” — and the audience to determine what, if any, of the four plays could be produced in future seasons.
The Gaurav Gopalan Reading Series is named for the theater artist and aeronautical engineer who was found beaten to death in Columbia Heights at the age of 35 two Septembers ago. Gopalan directed and volunteered at WSC (then the Washington Shakespeare Company) and “WSC really wanted to honor him,” said acting company member Sara Barker. “He touched so many people’s lives.”
All readings are free to the public. They include:
by Sarah Ruhl, adapted from the novel by Virginia Woolf; 8 p.m. Wednesday at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington.
The Widow Ranter
by Aphra Behn; 8 p.m. May 6 at Theatre on the Run, 3700 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington.
Adapted by Lynn Sharp Spears, based on the Seamus Heaney translation; 8 p.m. June 1 at Lubber Run Fire Ring, Lubber Run Park, entrance at North Columbus Street and North Second Street, Arlington.
by María de Zayas y Sotomayor; 8 p.m. July 1 at Catholic University’s Callan Theatre, 3801 Harewood Rd. NE.