Washington's small theaters: Washington Shakespeare Company

Friday, April 16, 2010; WE29

"Macbeth" with a naked cast, an all-male "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" and "King Lear" with a female lead. These are just a few of the ways that the Washington Shakespeare Company has "blown the dust off the classics," as artistic director Christopher Henley puts it.

The troupe has seen a lot of theater companies come and go through its 20 years in the business, but its original mission remains the same: to offer fresh takes on well-known works, from Shakespeare and Molière to Samuel Beckett and Tennessee Williams.

And 2010 is shaping up to be a big year for the company, with a move from its increasingly dilapidated home at the Clark Street Playhouse to a sparkly new theater at the Rosslyn Artisphere in October. Will new digs affect how provocative the group's performances are? Don't count on it.

"I think things have gotten a little conservative. . . . I'm really interested in fighting that," Henley says.

What to see next: "Every Young Woman's Desire." May 20-June 20 at Clark Street Playhouse, 601 S. Clark St., Arlington. 800-494-8497. http://www.washingtonshakespeare.org. $25-$50 with weekly pay-what-you-can performances.

-- Stephanie Merry

Post a Comment

Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company