Nottage industry: Area productions of the playwright’s work


Drew Kopas, Susan Rome, KeiLyn Durrell Jones and Katie Hilerman in the Rep Stage production of “Las Meninas.” (Stan Barouh/Howard Community College)

“A Nottage play, like history, is full of discoveries,” critic Michael Feingold once wrote of Lynn Nottage. “You never know what, or who, will turn up next.”

Oddly, Nottage’s plays have seldom turned up front and center in Washington:

Play: “Crumbs from the Table of Joy.” A 17-year-old black girl in 1950s Brooklyn observes segregation and fantasizes about Hollywood.

Premiere: 1995, Second Stage, New York.

Local Production : 2001, Bethesda’s old Round House Theatre (since vacated).

Play: “Mud, River, Stone” — Political debate during a semi-absurd hostage crisis in Africa.

Premiere: 1997, Playwrights Horizons, New York.

Local Production: None.

Play: “Las Meninas” — Comic drama and true story: Marie Therese, wife of Louis XIV, is romantically drawn to her servant, an African dwarf.

Premiere: 2002, San Jose Rep.

Local Production: 2012, Rep Stage, Columbia, adapted from University of Maryland, Baltimore County staging.

Play: “Intimate Apparel” — A pensive drama about a black seamstress in 1905 New York.

Premiere: 2003, Center Stage, Baltimore.

Washington Production: 2008, African Continuum Theatre Company, Atlas Performing Arts Center.

Play: “Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine” — The flip side of the fashion world, a satire of a stylish press rep unhappily revisiting her roots in the projects.

Premiere: 2004, Playwrights Horizons, New York.

Local Production: 2009, Center Stage, Baltimore.

Play: “Ruined” — the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama roughly based on “Mother Courage,” a grim look at modern women enduring war in Congo.

Premiere: 2008, Goodman Theater, Chicago.

Local Production: 2011, Arena Stage.

Play: “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” — A screwball comedy and scholarly debate about a fictional black actress in 1930s Hollywood and her mysterious disappearance.

Premiere: 2011, Playwrights Horizons, New York.

Local production: 2014, Everyman Theatre, Baltimore.

Play: “Sweat” — based on Nottage’s research in Reading, Pa., recently rated the poorest city in the country.

Premiere: 2015, Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Local Production: To be determined.

READ MORE: Lynn Nottage: A playwright made for D.C. audiences rarely sees her work produced here

Nelson has been writing about theater and other arts – but mostly theater – for the Post since 1999.
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