Another performing group, The Attic Theater of WPA, the Washington Project for the Arts, bows Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. at 1227 G St. NW.

Created by Marianne Marcellin after a year of workshops at WPA, "Moments in the Life of the Prodigal Son" will play Tuesday through Saturday, "mixing elements of memory, ritual and fantasy into a surrealistic spectacle." Flute interpretations by Charles Shaw "provide a musical countepoint" to represent a "not external occurrences but rather unconscious impulses which are translated into action," Marcellin explains.

Also on the avant-grade fron will be Baltimore's New Theater Festival to be held June 11-19 at the University of Maryland Baltimore County campus, 5401 Wilkins Ave. Over 130 performances by 25 theater organizations and individuals are planned by this group which began in Ann Arbor, Mich., and moved to Baltimore last summer, Concurrently, June 16 through 19, the Baltimore Arts Festival of new works in music, theater and dance will be in session at Baltimore's Hopkins and Center Plazas.

"The Mamet Plays" are the overall title of David Mamet's Obie-winning twins, "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" and "Duck Variations," which begin previews Tuesday and Wednesday at the West End Theater for a Thursday night opening. Mike Kellin, F. Murray Abraham and Michael Egan of the original New York cast are in the company staged by Albert Takazauckas and they were all mighty amusing in Greenwich Village. Reservations at 452-0099.

Arena Stage begins previews Friday night of Christopher Durang's satirical comedy, "A History of the American Film." The characters' names will give a clue to movie buffs about how flicks shaped modern American culture: Loretta, Jimmy, Bette, Eve and Hank, David Chambers is the director.

Intensely admired when presented in New York after its American bow at the Minneapolis Guthrie, Peter Handke's "A Sorrow Beyond Dreams" will have a two-week run starting Tuesday at Baltimore's Center Stage with Len Cariou playing his original role in this one-man work by the Austrian writer. Cariou went back to the role after appearing opposite Elizabeth Taylor in the film version of "A Little Night Music."

It is possible that music from "The Black Crook" really will be on "The Great American Musical Comedy" program Russell Nype and Lynne Stuart will present Sunday night at 8 in the Smithsonian's Baird auditorium? That's what the poop says; if true, a real novelty; reservations at 381-5395 . . . "A Party With Betty Comden and Adolph Green," so delightfully civilized in its one-night Arena benefit, will play Baltimore's Mechanic Theater for two weeks starting Monday.

The Chelm Players of the Jewish Community Center will be singing in Yiddish but acting in English when they play "Let There Be Happiness" ("Fraylech Zol Zein") May 21 in its Kreeger auditorium, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville; reservations at 881-0100 . . . Diane Weist, who closed in Arena's "The Lower Depths" Sunday has been signed as the wife in "Ashes," the Public Theater hit, replacing Roberta Maxwell on May 24