Nov. 8 - Dec. 3, 1529 16th St. NW, www.washingtondcjcc.org, 202-518-9400
‘Into the Dollhouse’
Two members of Banished? Productions, Carmen C. Wong, who conceived and directs “Into the Dollhouse,” and Carrie Monger, rehearsal manager and deviser, don’t entirely agree on what their show is about.
That’s okay, said Wong, and it’s to be expected. “The story doesn’t have characters that resolve any plots or have any motives. It’s not your typical play, in that sense. There’s no plot or counterplot in the Aristotelian definition.”
“It’s about womanhood and what that journey is for each person,” Monger offered.
“I wouldn’t actually say that,” Wong said. “For me, it’s more important that it’s about changing and growing and age and expectations.”
The “devised-movement” performance takes its imagery from all things female — Wong’s memories of her grandmother, the titular dollhouse, baby clothes and dresses — and throws them into a context Wong describes as “dreamlike.” It’s a non-linear exploration of nostalgia and the stages of life.
Wong didn’t have a dollhouse as a child, she said, and for her this production “is a such a lovely way to create a dollhouse now, with all these images . . . filling it with memories and asking other people to do the same. I think it’s an abstraction of that concept of what you give home to. Even when you’re playing with dolls, it’s the sense of, you are creating stories and a life.”
Which is essentially what she’s still doing with her professional life. “I feel like that kind of is what we as artists do: We’re always creating some kind of narrative — this is a character, this is a boy, he’s going here — in the same way we play with dollhouses.”
Nov. 8 - 11, Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW, www.banishedproductions.com, 202-488-3300
‘Miss Saigon’ at Signature
Just in case election exhaustion has you already planning next year’s summer vacation, here’s a save-the-date to keep in mind: Signature Theatre will kick off its 2012-13 season with “Miss Saigon,” directed by artistic director Eric Schaeffer. The production, slated to feature an 18-person cast and a 15-piece orchestra, begins its six-week run in August.