"Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde," Moises Kaufman's stirring play about Wilde's personally devastating legal confrontation with Victorian mores, staged by Studio Theatre seven years ago, revisits the city, in a new production by the intriguing Theater Alliance. Jeremy Skidmore directs. Through Sept. 18.

"Flyin' West," Pearl Cleage's drama detailing the migration to Kansas of a group of daring African American women, is the second production presented in Washington by Kenny Leon's Atlanta-based True Colors Theatre Company. At the Lincoln Theatre through Sept. 25.

"Top Girls" is Fountainhead Theatre's plunge into Caryl Churchill's look at female dynamism through the ages. Through Oct. 1.

"The Disputation," a theological debate play by British scholar Hyam Maccoby, takes on the issue of Christian conversion, through the case of the Jews of Aragon. Theodore Bikel plays a rabbi of the Middle Ages arguing the case for the Jews, under Nick Olcott's direction. At Theater J through Oct. 2.

"It Had to Be You," a shticky 1981 comedy by Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor, kicks off the season at American Century Theatre. Through Oct. 8.

"Urinetown," a sly musical sendup of Brecht and Broadway, is set in a grimy burg where you have to pay for, um, some relief. Joe Calarco directs this area premiere at Signature Theatre, with a cast that includes Will Gartshore and Donna Migliaccio. Through Oct. 16.

"After Ashley," a satirical new play by Gina Gionfriddo, takes a funny gander at a teenager whose family unwittingly becomes talk show fodder in the aftermath of tragedy. Lee Mikeska Gardner directs a Woolly Mammoth cast that includes Bruce Nelson, Michael Willis, Deanna McGovern and Paul Morella. Through Oct. 9.

"Metamorphosis," an adaptation by Steven Berkoff of Kafka's tale of man-to-insect transformation, is tackled by the resourceful Catalyst Theater Company. Nigel Reed, Valerie Leonard and Scott Fortier head the cast. Jim Petosa directs. Through Oct. 15.

"A Number," Caryl Churchill's wildly imaginative riff on cloning, gives Ted van Griethuysen a delicious role and Tom Story, well, a number of them. Under the direction of Joy Zinoman, the play is the daring starting point in Studio Theatre's fall lineup. Through Oct. 16.

"Passion Play, a Cycle," by the surprising and adventurous Sarah Ruhl ("The Clean House"), brings a supercharged sense of expectation to Arena Stage: This world premiere, directed by Molly Smith, is of epic length (31/2 hours) and large-scale ambition, telling a story, according to Arena, of "truth, love and belief through the ages." With Howard Overshown ("Yellowman") and Felix Solis ("Anna in the Tropics"). Through Oct. 16.

"The Trial," an adaptation of Kafka by Steven Berkoff, gets the season off in a state of paranoia for Scena Theatre. Through Oct. 16.

"The Sandstorm: Stories From the Front," a new play by Sean Huze, a Marine recently returned from Iraq, is a series of ripped-from-the-headlines monologues about the realities of war. Directed by Brett Smock. At MetroStage through Sept. 25.

"Dracula," the timeless vampire story, is raised from the undead by the inimitable Paata Tsikurishvili and his Synetic Theatre. This world premiere adaptation, featuring the always stylish choreography of Paata's wife, Irina, finishes up its debut weekend at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater today. Then it starts up again at Synetic's digs in Rosslyn on Thursday and runs through Oct. 29.

"Othello," the tale of the cruelly misled Moor, is the season opener for the (newly renamed) Shakespeare Theatre Company. Avery Brooks ("The Oedipus Plays") is the doomed hero; Patrick Page ("Macbeth") plays his slippery tormentor, Iago; and Colleen Delany ("Lorenzaccio") is his ill-fated Desdemona. Michael Kahn directs. Through Oct. 30.


14 -- "Camille," the Alexandre Dumas story of love and disease, provides the opening act of Blake Robison's term as artistic director of Round House Theatre. Robison stages Neil Bartlett's adaptation with a cast led by Angela Reed as Camille. Through Oct. 9.

15 -- "Three Hotels," a caustic piece by politically astute Jon Robin Baitz ("The Substance of Fire") about a former idealist who sells baby formula in the Third World, is staged by Rick Davis for Theatre of the First Amendment at George Mason University. Through Oct. 2.

15 -- "I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady From Rwanda," Sonja Linden's account of survivors of the Rwanda massacres, receives its Washington premiere under the auspices of African Continuum Theatre. KenYatta Rogers directs. At Atlas Center for the Performing Arts through Oct. 9.

15 -- "Te Quiero, Muneca" ("I Love You, Doll"), the American premiere of a comedy by Spanish playwright Ernesto Caballero about a loveless film critic who decides that the only way to find his romantic ideal is to create her himself. Harold Ruiz directs and Ana Veronica Munoz ("Yerma") is in the cast of this GALA Theatre production. In Spanish with English surtitles. Through Oct. 9.

23 -- "The Leading Ladies," Ken Ludwig's caper comedy about a pair of down-on-their-luck Shakespearean actors who disguise themselves as women to hoodwink a rich dowager, makes its Washington area bow at Ford's Theatre. John Astin, Charlotte Rae, Karen Ziemba, Remy Auberjonois and Daniel Frith are in the cast. Directed by Mark Rucker. Through Oct. 23.

23 -- "T Bone 'n Weasel," a road comedy by Jon Klein about a pair of ex-cons on their own on the byways of North Carolina, is directed for Rep Stage by Jackson Phippin. Through Oct. 9.

23 -- "King Lear," a Shakespearean mountain of a play, is scaled by director Irene Lewis for Center Stage in Baltimore. Stephen Markle is her proud and wounded Lear; Heidi Armbruster the valiant Cordelia; and Sarah Knowlton and Diana LaMar play Cordelia's twisted sisters, Goneril and Regan. Through Nov. 6.

30 -- "Born Yesterday," Garson Kanin's sassy comedy about shady dealings in the nation's capital -- and a heroine who's a lot savvier than she seems -- bubbles back up to the surface, thanks to Arena Stage and director Kyle Donnelly ("The Women"). Through Nov. 6.


5 -- "Hilda," a new play by Marie Ndiaye, a French novelist of Senegalese descent, traces a rich woman's consuming relationship with her children's nanny. Ellen Karas is featured, under the direction of Carey Perloff at Studio Theatre. Through Oct. 23.

5 -- "Morning's at Seven," Paul Osborn's wry Midwestern comedy about four aged sisters, comes to Olney Theatre Center, under John Going's direction. With Paula Gruskiewicz, Halo Wines and John Dow. Through Oct. 30.

12 -- "Building a Boat," a new drama by Peter Coy, in which the hero looks at his turbulent life as he makes a vessel seaworthy. Chris Stezin directs for Charter Theatre. Through Nov. 6.

12 -- "For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again," by Michael Tremblay and featuring Catherine Flye, pays tribute to a mother who instilled in her child a love of the theater. John Vreeke directs at MetroStage. Through Nov. 27.

13 -- "You Are Here," the Washington premiere of Daniel MacIvor's play about a woman telling the story of her glamorous, turbulent life, during which the other characters of her tale take on lives of their own. Jennifer Mendenhall, Michael Russotto and Kathleen Coons are directed by Gregg Henry for Theater Alliance. Through Nov. 13.

14 -- "The Chairs," Eugene Ionesco's absurdist classic, attempts to fulfill the mission of Round House Theatre's new artistic director, Blake Robison, for work with an international flavor. French director Alain Timar remounts his Avignon Festival production in Round House's Silver Spring space with two American actors, Marcus Kyd and Jessica Browne-White. Through Nov. 6.

15 -- "No Exit," the Jean-Paul Sartre classic, receives a rare staging. At Scena Theatre. Through Nov. 20.

18 -- "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," a touring version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice warhorse, features Patrick Cassidy as the intrepid title character. At the Warner through Oct. 23.

20 -- "Kiki and Herb: The Resurrection Tour," at Woolly Mammoth, marks the return to Washington of the campy stylings of Kiki (Justin Bond) and Herb (Kenny Mellman). Through Oct. 23.

20 -- "The Body Project," presented by Horizons Theatre, explores the issue of how women view their physical appearance. Based in part on a book of the same title by Joan Jacobs Brumberg, the show will have its premiere at Warehouse Theatre before embarking on a tour of schools and community centers. Through Nov. 13.

20 -- "Justo en lo Mejor de Mi Vida" ("Just at Life's Best Moment"), a comedy by Argentine playwright Alicia Munoz, is an excursion into laughter and family dysfunction. The production by Teatro de la Luna runs through Nov. 12.

20 -- "Much Ado About Nothing," Shakespeare's verbal joust between a warring couple who are nonetheless meant for each other, begins the Folger Theatre season. Nick Hutchison directs Kate Eastwood Norris as Beatrice and P.J. Sosko as Benedick. Through Nov. 27.

22 -- "The Beard of Avon," Amy Freed's farcical dissection of the question of who wrote Shakespeare's plays, receives its local premiere care of Rorschach Theatre. Jessica Burgess directs. Through Nov. 19.

27 -- "A Streetcar Named Desire," the Tennessee Williams classic, looks for the kindness of strangers at Keegan Theatre. Through Nov. 26.

27 -- "String Fever," Jacqueline Reingold's midlife comedy about a concert violinist who Is concerned with romantic attachments and quantum mechanics, comes to Theater J under the direction of Peg Denithorne. Through Nov. 27.

27 -- "Hapgood," Tom Stoppard's dense (and, of course, witty) spy drama, is the challenge that Washington Shakespeare Company has given itself for autumn. Kathleen Akerley ("shkspr prjct") is the director and Jenifer Deal and Hugh T. Owen are in the cast. Through Dec. 4.

27 -- "If We Are Women," Joanna McClelland Glass's study of four related women from three generations who gather to reflect on their trials and errors. Steven Carpenter directs for Washington Stage Guild. Through Nov. 27.

28 -- "Hiroshima Maiden," Dan Hurlin's rumination, via puppets, on the effects of the atomic bombs dropped 60 years ago. At the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Center through Oct. 30.

28 -- "The Violet Hour," a comedy about the publishing world by Richard Greenberg, is directed at Rep Stage by Kasi Campbell. Through Nov. 20.


2 -- "Guantanamo: 'Honor Bound to Defend Freedom,' " a docu-play about the traumas of open-ended detention, explores the lives of four British Muslims held by the U.S. government. Serge Seiden directs Victoria Brittain and Gillian Slovo's controversial play, based on transcripts and interviews, for Studio Theatre. Through Dec. 11.

3 -- "Horizon," written and performed by Rinde Eckert, is based on the writings of the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. At Clarice Smith Center through Nov. 5.

3 -- "Hay Fever," Noel Coward's farce, is at Center Stage in Baltimore. Will Frears is the director. Through Dec. 4.

4 -- "Cuttin' Up," the testosterone-laced follow-up to the female-dominated "Crowns," charts the vicissitudes of African American life from the vantage point of the barber's chair. Charles Randolph-Wright adapts and directs this world premiere, based on a book by Craig Marberry. At Arena Stage, through Jan. 1.

8 -- "As Bees in Honey Drown," Douglas Carter Beane's wry cosmopolitan comedy, is on Trumpet Vine Theatre Company's plate. Through Dec. 3.

8 -- "Yemaya's Belly," a new work by Quiara Alegria Hudes, explores in music, poetry and movement the story of a boy's journey to a new land. Rick DesRochers directs for Signature Theatre. Through Dec. 18.

11 -- "Tall Horse," the true story of a giraffe presented to the king of France in the 1820s, is brought to life through a multimedia production by the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa and the Sogolon Puppet Troupe of Mali. At the Kennedy Center through Nov. 12.

12 -- "Kingdom" and "Draft Day," both world premieres, are presented in repertory by African Continuum Theatre. David Emerson Toney's "Kingdom" is a riff on "Richard III"; "Draft Day," by Marvin McAllister, focuses on kids with NBA dreams. Through Dec. 11.

14 -- "Starving," an S.M. Shephard-Massat dramedy getting its world premiere at Woolly Mammoth, details the emotional twists in an African American household in Atlanta, circa 1950. With Doug Brown, Paul Nicholas and Craig Wallace. Directed by Seret Scott. Through Dec. 18.

15 -- "The Comedy of Errors," Shakespeare's farcical romp of mistaken identity, brings Douglas C. Wager, former artistic director of Arena Stage, to the director's chair at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. The cast includes Daniel Breaker, David Sabin, Tana Hicken, Gregory Wooddell, Paul Whitthorne and Leroy McClain. Through Jan. 8.

15 -- "The Winter's Tale," here presented with an all-male cast, is directed by Edward Hall (son of the illustrious Sir Peter) and his Propeller Theatre Company, performing at the Kennedy Center for the first time. Through Nov. 17.

16 -- "A Year With Frog and Toad" is the area debut for Robert and Willie Reale's musical adaptation of Arnold Lobel's books about friendship between a buoyant frog and an ornery toad. Will Gartshore and Steven Tipton star and Nick Olcott directs. At Round House through Dec. 11.

16 -- "Oliver!," the musical version of "Oliver Twist," is the holiday presentation at Olney Theatre Center. The cast includes Andrew Long and Peggy Yates, and the director is Brad Watkins. Through Dec. 24.

16 -- "A Christmas Carol" makes its seasonal appearance at Ford's Theatre. Through Dec. 31.

17 -- "Portrait of a Madonna" and "Suddenly Last Summer," in repertory, continue the Keegan Theatre's focus on Tennessee Williams. "Portrait" is a precursor to "Streetcar"; both plays are directed by Leslie A. Kobylinski. Through Dec. 17.

18 -- "Eyewitness Blues," by Mildred Ruiz and Steven Sapp, tells the story of a jazz musician visited by his muse. The music is by Carlos Pimentel, Paul Thompson and Antoine Drye, and Chay Yew directs. At GALA through Nov. 20.

25 -- "Seussical," the Lynn Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty musical set in the world of Horton and the Whos, is revived by Imagination Stage, under the direction of Kathryn Chase Bryer. Through Jan. 15.


7 -- "Les Miserables," the mega-musical, is back for another show tune or two atop the barricades. At the National through Jan. 21.

9 -- "Alice," a stage adaptation by Kim Hines of a children's book by Whoopi Goldberg, updates the Wonderland story. At the Kennedy Center through Jan. 2.

9 -- "Damn Yankees," the baseball musical, is mounted by Arena Stage in a city where the national pastime is experiencing a revival. Molly Smith directs Matt Bogart ("110 in the Shade") and Brad Oscar ("The Producers") in a show from the '50s that insists: You gotta have heart. Through Feb. 5.

16 -- "Once on This Island," a Caribbean-inflected musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, is at Center Stage in Baltimore. Through Jan. 22.

20 -- "Betty Rules," a return engagement of last season's Theater J hit, features the middle-aged members of the alternative rock group Betty. Through Jan. 29.

21 -- "Wicked," the touring version of the Broadway musical, is a Christmas attraction at the Kennedy Center. The kid-oriented tale is a prequel to "The Wizard of Oz." Through Jan. 15.

27 -- "Evita," a touring production of the musical fable about the ultimate politician's wife, performs a quick little tango at the Warner. Through Jan. 1.


4 -- "Fat Pig," by the prolific Neil LaBute ("The Shape of Things"), kicks off a mini-LaBute festival at Studio Theatre. Paul Mullins directs Kate Debelack and Tyler Pierce in this story of a guy with an appetite for plus-size love. Through Feb. 12.

4 -- "Monkey Boy," a new comedy by Keith Bridges, Chris Stezin and Richard Washer, tackles the story of a cockatoo with attitude. At Charter Theatre through Jan. 29.

5 -- "Spoon River Anthology," a theatrical version of Edgar Lee Masters's poetic studies of life in a small American town, is revived at American Century under the direction of Shane Wallis. Through Jan. 28.

7 -- "The Subject Was Roses," Frank Gilroy's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about an American soldier's return from World War II, is revived by the Kennedy Center. The direction is by Leonard Foglia, who staged last season's "On Golden Pond" with James Earl Jones. Through Jan. 29.

10 -- "Nevermore," Signature Theatre's world-premiere musical about Edgar Allan Poe and the women in his life, will be directed by Eric Schaeffer. This will be Signature's final show in its converted-garage theater space before moving to a new home in nearby Shirlington Village. Through Feb. 26.

11 -- "Autobahn," seven sketches -- all occurring in a car -- by Neil LaBute, receives its U.S. premiere at Studio Theatre. Through Feb. 5.

19 -- "Death of a Salesman," Arthur Miller's tragic masterwork of domestic turbulence and self-delusion, is tackled by Keegan Theatre. Through Feb. 18.

19 -- "Measure for Measure," the Shakespearean examination of lust and piety, is staged for Folger Theatre by Aaron Posner. Ian Merrill Peakes plays Angelo and Karen Peakes has been cast as Isabella. Through Feb. 26.

20 -- "Trying," a new play by Joanna McClelland Glass, takes place in the twilight years of Francis Biddle, who served as a war-crimes judge at the Nuremberg trials. James Whitmore stars and Gus Kaikkonen directs. At Ford's Theatre through Feb. 19.

20 -- "Awake and Sing!," the Clifford Odets classic examining a Depression-era Jewish family in New York, will be directed at Arena Stage by the theater's co-founder, Zelda Fichandler. Through March 5.

21 -- "Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards," an adaptation by Peter Oswald of a love story by an 18th-century Japanese dramatist, comes to Rorschach Theatre. Through Feb. 18.

24 -- "Don Juan," Moliere's evocation of passion and politics, is at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in a production adapted and directed by Stephen Wadsworth. Through Jan. 24.

25 -- "Two Queens, One Castle," a musical directed by Thomas W. Jones II, features R&B, pop and soul. The Washington premiere is at MetroStage through March 26.

30 -- "The Velvet Sky," Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's comic excursion into the bizarre world of an insomniac mom who tries to protect her son from the terrors of the night, gets its world premiere at Woolly Mammoth. Rebecca Bayla Taichman directs a cast led by Woolly regulars Rick Foucheux and Jennifer Mendenhall. Through March 5.

31 -- "The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial," a retelling of the notorious Scopes trial, is presented by LA Theatre Works. The cast includes Marsha Mason, James Cromwell and Edward Asner. At the Clarice Smith Center through Feb. 1.

It's a taste of Halloween in the middle of winter when "Wicked," with Stephanie J. Block, above, comes to the Kennedy Center, and Signature presents "Nevermore," with Amy McWilliams, right; "Urinetown," with Donna Migliaccio, right center, is now playing at Signature, and "Camille," with Aubrey Deeker and Angela Reed, top right, starts this week at Round House. Woolly Mammoth's October production "Kiki and Herb: The Resurrection Tour" reunites Kenny Mellman and Justin Bond.