What's on Stage in September

"In the Continuum's" creators and stars: Nikkole Salter, left, and Danai Gurira. (By James Leynes)

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By Erin Hartigan
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 30, 2006; 6:34 PM

As this month ushers in a new school year,  September also means the start of a new season at many local theaters. You can get a sneak peak at dozens of the fall's upcoming productions with the Kennedy Center's Page-To-Stage Festival. Also this month, Signature Theatre holds its final production in its garage space before relocating to a new complex in Shirlington.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company opens its new season with "In the Continuum," a two-woman show created to address the rising number of black women living with AIDS. Through a series of monologues, two seemingly unconnected women are drawn together after testing positive for HIV. The show was written by two college students who were inspired by a special on MTV. (Through Sept. 24)

Shakespeare Theatre Company delves into censorship and the power of the majority with Henrik Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People." This critical piece is directed by company newcomer Kjetil Bang-Hansen, the former artistic director of Norway's Den Nationale Scene, where Ibsen served as writer-in-residence from 1851 to 1857. (Through Oct. 22)

Get a preview of upcoming theater productions with the Page to Stage New Play Festival at the Kennedy Center, when actors from 35 area companies perform free readings of works in development for this season. (Sept. 2-4)

Olney Theatre Center for the Arts ushers in the month with a world premiere. "In the Mood," directed by company artistic director Jim Petosa, is part of the center's New Play Initiative. The show follows the path of a diplomatic couple as the husband struggles with depression. (Sept. 6-24)

Helen Hayes Award-winning director Joy Zinoman shapes "Red Light Winter," the story of a seedy love triangle. Fresh from its off-Broadway run, this chilling Studio Theatre show takes audiences from Amsterdam to New York as it follows the whirlwind path of two friends and a prostitute. (Sept. 6-Oct. 15)

Arena Stage invites audiences to kick back at the season-opening "Cabaret." Artistic Director Molly Smith enhances the musical show about pre-World War II Berlin with modern satire. (Sept. 8-Oct. 29)

A small man delivers big messages in the area premiere of "A Prayer for Owen Meany." This three-hour play at Round House Theatre, directed by Blake Robison, spans three decades of a friendship. (Sept. 13-Oct. 8)

Synetic Theatre gets an early start on Halloween with a reprisal of its adapted production of "Frankenstein. " Developed and directed by Paata Tsikurishvili, this gothic and passionate horror story unfolds at the Terrace Theater of the Kennedy Center. (Sept. 13-Oct 1)

Ford's Theatre did not travel far to find inspiration for its season opener. The Pulitzer Prize-winning "State of the Union," starring Nancy Robinette and Floyd King, takes audiences into the belly of '40s-era Washington politics with the scandals, backroom deals and romance that keep Washingtonians on our toes. (Sept. 22-Oct. 22)

As students return to school, Charter Theatre gets into academic mode with "Short Order Stories." En route to drop students off at a local university, many families stop at a roadside diner to share stories, secrets and desires. The show stars Helen Hayes Award-winner Lee Mikeska Gardner at Theatre on the Run. (Sept. 22-Oct. 21)

Signature Theatre will have audience members thinking "I Could Have Danced All Night" with the season-opening production of "My Fair Lady." The final production at the company's converted garage space in Arlington, the famed Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical will be led by visionary artistic director Eric Schaeffer. (Sept. 26 - Nov. 19)

On Olney's New Mainstage, "The Foreigner" places a shy and unwitting Englishman at the center of village attention when he befriends a foreigner. In this comedy, the quiet man witnesses all of the local scandals and secrets. (Sep. 27-Oct. 22)

Snakes move from a plane to a play in the Rude Mechanicals' production of Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra." Performed at the D.C. Arts Center, this show is set in a theatrical property room with Cleopatra typecast as the "Aging Diva" and Antony playing the "Disaffected Star." (Sept. 29-30)

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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