Your complete guide to Washington’s 2017-18 theater season, alphabetical by company. Critics’ picks are flagged with an asterisk. Comments are by Peter Marks (pm) and Nelson Pressley (np).
Note: The second Women’s Voices Theater Festival has been announced as a citywide centerpiece this winter.
“Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” Sept. 7-Oct. 8. Stephen Adly Guirgis’s 2000 prison drama.
“The Farnsworth Invention,” Feb. 15-March 11. The 2007 Broadway play about TV pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth by TV auteur Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing,” “The Newsroom”).
“Fly By Night,” April 12-May 6. The quirky 2014 off-Broadway pop musical romance set during New York City’s 1965 blackout. The Tysons Corner troupe has tried its hand at tougher musicals, having staged the daunting “Floyd Collins” in 2016. — np
More info: 1ststagetysons.org.
“Native Gardens,” Sept. 15-Oct. 22. A comedy about a fence between neighbors, by Karen Zacarías. A co-production with Minnesota’s Guthrie Theater, directed by former Round House Theatre artistic director Blake Robison in the Kreeger Theater.
“The Price,” Oct. 6-Nov. 5. In Arena’s 200-seat Kogod Cradle, Arthur Miller’s 1968 drama — similarly produced on Olney Theatre Center’s smallest stage two years ago — about a family coming to terms. Hal Linden of the 1970s TV comedy “Barney Miller” plays a wily antique dealer. You have to love the fact that Arena enticed Linden — whom I saw in the early 1970s on Broadway in the musical “The Rothschilds” — to Washington in what could be an ideal bit of casting. — pm
“The Pajama Game,” Oct. 27-Dec. 24. The 1950s musical comedy about a labor strike in a PJ plant, featuring such numbers as “Hey There” and “Steam Heat.” Directed not by Arena artistic director Molly Smith, who traditionally helms the holiday musicals, but by Shakepeare Theatre Company associate artistic director Alan Paul (“Kiss Me, Kate,” “Man of La Mancha”). Donna McKechnie, the original Cassie in “A Chorus Line,” is on board in a supporting role.
“Nina Simone: Four Women,” Nov. 10-Dec. 24. A play with music by Christina Ham, placing the activist singer Simone in the bombed Alabama church where four girls were killed in 1963. Directed by Timothy Douglas (of last season’s “Disgraced”) in the Kreeger.
*“Sovereignty,” Jan. 19-Feb. 25. A world premiere from Cherokee writer (and lawyer) Mary Kathryn Nagle about broken treaties, sweeping from the 1830s to today. Part of Arena’s 10-year Power Plays initiative — and part of Washington’s second Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Molly Smith directs in the Kreeger Theater. A play by a Native American playwright in D.C. feels like such a ripe opportunity for a fresh perspective, and an encouraging act in the company’s headlong dive into political-playmaking. — pm
“The Great Society,” Feb. 2-March 11. Robert Schenkkan’s follow-up to “All the Way” picks up the saga of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. “All the Way” director Kyle Donnelly returns to stage the show in the Fichandler.
“Hold These Truths,” Feb. 23-April 8. Jeanne Sakata’s drama of Gordon Hirabayashi, who refused to comply with the internment of Japanese Americans. Jessica Kuzansky directs in the Kogod Cradle.
“Two Trains Running,” March 30-April 29. The 1960s entry in August Wilson’s decades cycle, co-produced with Seattle Repertory Theatre, in the Fichandler.
“Snow Child,” April 13-May 20. A new musical based on the Eowyn Ivey novel “The Snow Child,” set in 1920s Alaska: a “lovely first novel based on a Russian folk tale,” the Post wrote in 2012. The book is by “Originalist” writer John Strand, with music by Bob Banghart and Georgia Stitt and lyrics by Stitt, and co-produced with Perseverance Theatre — the Alaskan troupe created by Molly Smith before she arrived at Arena Stage nearly two decades ago. Smith directs in the Kreeger.
More information: 202-488-3300 and arenastage.org.
“The Wild Party,” Sept. 21-Oct. 29. Company head Allison Arkell Stockman directs the Andrew Lippa musical — not the Michael John La Chiusa version that likewise made it New York City debut in 2000 — based on the poem of Jazz Age decadence by Joseph Moncure March.
“The Skin of Our Teeth,” Jan. 11-Feb. 18. Thornton Wilder’s 1943 Pulitzer winner.
“The Caucasian Chalk Circle,” April 12-May 13. Bertolt Brecht’s adventure of a kitchen maid who rescues a baby in wartime, directed by Stockman and with live original music by Tom Teasley.
More info: 202-204-7741 or constellationtheatre.org.
“The Mistress Cycle,” October 5-29. Portraits of five women across the centuries, including Anais Nin. Music by Jenny Giering, book and lyrics by Beth Blatt.
“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” Feb. 8-March 4. 2017 Helen Hayes Award winner Iyona Blake plays the troubled jazz-blues singer. This will be the third area production in less than a year (after the Anacostia Playhouse and Rep Stage versions), none featuring Audra McDonald, whose recent Broadway turn as Billie Holiday clearly reinvigorated Lanie Robertson’s 1986 play with music. — np
“Witch,” April 12-May 6. A musical premiere of witches across the centuries from Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith (“Kaleidoscope”).
More information: 703-436-9948 or creativecauldron.org.
FACTION OF FOOLS
DC’s commedia dell’arte specialists.
“Foolish Fairy Tales,” Dec. 4-23 at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. A family friendly holiday show.
“The Cherry Orchard,” May 21-June 17 at Gallaudet University. Anton Chekhov’s classic gets the Fools’ mask-and-slapstick treatment. The company’s leadership has changed, so it will be interesting to see if they can retain the magic that made something like the masked “Our Town” so unexpectedly penetrating. — np
“It’s the Rest of the World That Looks So Small,” Fall (dates pending). The Bethesda-based action troupe celebrates the music of Jonathan Coulton.
More information: flyingvtheatre.com.
“Antony and Cleopatra,” Oct. 10-Nov. 19. Shirine Babb and Cody Nickell play the title roles in Robert Richmond’s production.
*“The Way of the World,” Jan. 9-Feb. 11. Prolific writer Theresa Rebeck (“Seminar,” “NYPD Blue,” “Smash”) adapts/updates/directs William Congreve’s Restoration comedy. Part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. This is another creative way for Folger to get into the new works game, following the Karin Coonrod experiment “texts&beheadings/ElizabethR.” Rebeck’s humor is wicked, so Congreve should be in her wheelhouse. — np And I’m glad to see Folger exploring the possibilities with a Restoration playwright in whose comedies it’s not always easy to locate the humor. — pm
“The Winter’s Tale,” March 13-April 22. The busy Aaron Posner directs. Speaking of modern adaptations, wasn’t it Posner who directed Folger’s world premiere of “Melissa Arctic,” Craig Wright’s update of “Winter’s Tale’”? — pm
“St. Joan,” May 11-June 3. New York’s Bedlam troupe, which brought its four-actor “St. Joan” to the Olney Theatre Center in 2013, returns, with Eric Tucker again at the helm.
“Death of a Salesman,” Sept. 22-Oct. 22. Craig Wallace plays Willy Loman in the Arthur Miller classic, with Kimberly Schraf as Linda Loman. Directed by Stephen Rayne (“Sabrina Fair”).
“A Christmas Carol,” Nov. 16-Dec. 31. The Ford’s staple, with Craig Wallace returning for a second season as Scrooge.
*“Jefferson’s Garden,” Jan. 19-Feb. 11. The U.S. premiere from playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker (“Our Country’s Good”), about a Quaker who joins Jefferson to fight and falls in love with a slave, is Ford’s entry in the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Directed by Nataki Garrett (“An Octoroon” at Woolly Mammoth). The American-born, European-raised Wertenbaker’s epic play was acclaimed in London, and Ford’s is the perfect stage to explore America’s foundational problems with race. — np
“The Wiz,” March 9-May 12. Kent Gash, who helmed Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Choir Boy” at Studio Theatre, directs the 1970s musical adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz.”
More information: 888-616-0270 or fords.org.
“Love and Information,” Sept. 28-Oct. 21. Forum artistic director Michael Dove stages the relentlessly inventive Caryl Churchill’s 2012 drama about modern information overload. A D.C. premiere.
“The State,” late November/early December. The U.S. premiere of an interactive piece about a deceased Bulgarian protester, by Alexander Manuiloff.
“Nat Turner In Jerusalem,” Spring (dates pending). That’s Jerusalem, Virginia in this play about the leader of the 1831 slave rebellion by Nathan Alan Davis.
For flexibility and responsiveness, Forum is holding its final slot open; this year, that option became the area premiere of Robert Schenkkan’s Trump dystopia “Building the Wall.” — np
More information: 301-588-8279 or forum-theatre.org.
GALA HISPANIC THEATRE
The troupe’s 41st season; most productions in Spanish, with English surtitles.
“Don Juan Tenorio,” Sept. 7-Oct. 1. World premiere about the famed seducer from Spain’s José Zorilla, directed by José Carrasquillo.
“La Foto (The Photo),” Feb. 1-25. A premiere about two families and a selfie from Gustavo Ott, author of last year’s “Señorita y Madame: The Secret War of Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein.”
“En El Tiempo de las Mariposes (In the Time of the Butterflies),” April 12-May 13. Caridad Svich’s adaptation of the 1995 novel by Julia Álvarez (“How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents”).
“Dancing in My Cockroach Killers,” June 7-July 8. A bilingual musical by Magdalena Gómez, produced with Manhattan’s Pregones Theater, which premiered the show in 2012.
More information: 202-234-7174 or galatheatre.org.
The tucked-away Fairfax troupe focusing on contemporary works.
“Peekaboo! A Nativity Play,” Dec. 1-24. A premiere by Anne M. McCaw.
“The Pavilion,” March 30-April 22. Hub revisits the Craig Wright drama the troupe launched with 10 years ago.
“The Secrets of the Universe,” July 6-29. A premiere about the time singer Marian Anderson stayed at Albert Einstein’s house, by Marc Acito, Helen Hayes Award winner for “Birds of a Feather” and book writer of the musical “Allegiance.”
More information: thehubtheatre.org.
“Stones in His Pockets,” Sept. 23-Oct. 15. Marie Jones’s two character comedy about a Hollywood film crew in a small Irish town.
“Top Girls,” Nov. 4-Dec. 2. Amber Jackson directs Caryl Churchill’s 1982 centuries-hopping play.
“An Irish Carol,” December 14-31. Keegan’s holiday show.
“Unnecessary Farce,” Jan. 19-Feb. 10. A sting operation to catch a corrupt mayor. (Where was this in the 1990s?).
“Chicago,” March 10-April 7. Because no DC spring should be without it. This will test Keegan’s dancing moxie. — np
“The Undeniable Sound of Right Now,” May 5-27. Laura Eason’s 2015 off-Broadway drama, set in a 1990s Chicago bar.
“Other Life Forms,” June 15-July 7. A new play about online dating by Washington actor-director Brandon McCoy, directed by Shirley Serotsky.
More information: 202-265-3767 or keegantheatre.com.
“Wilderness,” Family Theater Oct. 12-15. For ages 12 and up, a music-movement-multimedia En Garde Arts project on 21st century parenting, based on real stories.
“The Book of Mormon,” Opera House Oct. 24-Nov. 19.
“The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens,” Theater Lab Dec. 5-31. Last year’s holiday comedy returns.
“Private Confessions,” Eisenhower Theater Dec. 6-9. Liv Ullmann directs a stage adaptation of her 1996 Ingmar Bergman-penned film, dealing with Bergman’s mother’s diary. From the National Theater of Norway, performed in Norwegian with English surtitles.
“An American in Paris,” Opera House Dec. 12-Jan. 7. The Broadway adaptation of the Vincente Minnelli movie, as directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon.
“The Illusionists,” Eisenhower Theater Dec. 27-Jan. 7. The Vegas-style act returns after its 2015 visit.
*“The Humans,” Eisenhower Theater Jan. 9-28. Stephen Karam’s 2016 Tony-winning family drama. That Karam’s play is touring is a blessing. It’s a smart look at the trials of a Pennsylvania blue-collar family, refracted amusingly and poignantly through six perspectives. — pm
“On Your Feet!”, Opera House Jan. 9-28. The tour of the Gloria Estefan musical. This one may prove surprisingly popular — and possibly even well suited to the cavernous Opera House, a tough space for musicals. — pm
“After the Rehearsal” and “Persona,” Eisenhower Theater April 19-22. The Ingmar Bergman screenplays adapted and directed by Ivo van Hove (of “A View from the Bridge”). Performed in Dutch, with English surtitles. Ivo’s back — again! Here’s hoping this means a relationship has been cemented. — pm
“The Color Purple,” Eisenhower Theater July 31-Aug. 26. The John Doyle staging of the musical, 2016 Tony winner as best revival. Cynthia Erivo electrified the Broadway version and won a Tony in the process. This touring incarnation will need someone with that order of firepower to have anything close to the same impact. — pm
*“Hamilton,” Opera House June 12-Sept. 16. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop smash about the Founding Father. Interesting title. Never heard of it. — pm
“Shear Madness,” the comedy whodunit. Ongoing for decades now in the Theater Lab.
“Bernstein on Broadway,” Eisenhower Theater Sept. 22. Kathleen Marshall directs Broadway stars in selections from such Leonard Bernstein shows as “Wonderful Town” and “Candide.”
Leslie Odom Jr., Eisenhower Theater October 14. The Tony-winning “Hamilton” star in concert.
Cynthia Erivo, Terrace Theater Nov. 3-4. The Tony-winning “Color Purple” star in concert. See “Color Purple’’ above. — pm
“Gobsmacked!”, Eisenhower Theater Nov. 24-26. An international hit telling stories through a variety of a cappella vocals.
“Chess,” Eisenhower Theater Feb. 14-18. The first of the Center’s new “Encores!”-style Broadway Center Stage series — concert stagings of musicals — this revives the 1980s show by ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaes and Benny Andersson.
“Taylor Mac: A 24 Decade History of Popular Music,” Eisenhower Theater March 6. A one-night stand of the versatile Taylor Mac’s off-Broadway extravaganza. I saw the first three-hour installment of Mac’s piece at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn and was pretty dazzled. It’s the definition of tour-de-force. How he’ll compress 24 hours into something more concise I have no idea. — pm
“In the Heights,” Eisenhower Theater March 21-25. The concert presentation in the Broadway Center Stage series will be Washington’s third look in less than a year at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s jubilant 2008 “Hamilton” precursor.
“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Eisenhower Theater June 6-10. The great Frank Loesser musical comedy wraps up the inaugural Broadway Center Stage concert series.
More information: 202-467-4600 and kennedy-center.org
A spring slate will be announced later; the longtime Alexandria company is onslightly unsteady footing as its building is slated for redevelopment.
“The Wizard of Hip,” Aug. 17-Sept. 17. Writer-performer Thomas W. Jones II revives and updates his alter ego, Afro Jo, still questing for cool; Jones worked this material for two different shows at Studio Theatre in the 1990s.
“Are You Now or Have You Ever Been,” Oct. 5-Nov. 5. A blues-poetry portrait of Langston Hughes preparing to testify before Joseph McCarthy’s committee in the 1950s, by Carlyle Brown and with music by William Knowles.
“Christmas at the Old Bull and Bush,” Nov. 17-Dec. 24. A revival of the traditional English music hall holiday show that played Arena Stage’s Old Vat Room (with Kerry Washington) 20 years ago, written and directed by Catherine Flye.
With “Wizard” and “Christmas,” 1990s are back as MetroStage weathers a transition. — np
More information: 703-948-5044 or metrostage.org.
MOSAIC THEATER COMPANY
“The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith,” Aug. 24-Sept. 24. The musical drama by Angelo Parra about Smith’s last concert will feature Miche Braden, who played Smith off-Broadway in 2011 and in L.A. this spring.
“Vicuña & An Epilogue,” Nov. 1-26. “Other Desert Cities” playwright Jon Robin Baitz’s Trump satire “Vicuña” — about a businessman-presidential candidate buying what he hopes will be a magical suit — debuted in L.A. last October; Mosaic stages the D.C. premiere, and the world premiere of Baitz’s epilogue. I’ve always thought Baitz has been underproduced in Washington. Wicked name for the Trump figure’s daughter here: Srilanka. — np.
And a Robbie Baitz world premiere is quite a coup for Mosaic. — pm
“The Real Americans,” Nov. 10-Dec. 17. A solo project based on heartland interviews by San Francisco-based Dan Hoyle, newly updated since its 2010 debut.
In rep with:
“Draw the Circle,” Dec. 1-24. Mashuq Deen’s solo show about his transgender journey in a Muslim-American family.
*“Queens Girl in Africa,” Jan. 4-28. D.C. writer Caleen Sinnette Jennings’s sequel to her 2015 “Queens Girl in the World” is Mosaic’s premiere for the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Completely enjoyed the original “Queens Girl,” interested to see a new installment. — np
“Paper Dolls,” March 29-April 22. Based on the 2005 documentary about Filipino immigrants in Tel Aviv who care for elderly Hasidic men, and also perform drag shows. U.S. premiere of the Philip Himberg show that debuted at London’s Tricycle Theatre in 2013. Part of the Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival. This is the second Tricycle show to be featured in the coming DC season. See also Round House Theatre’s “Handbagged” — pm
“Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies,” May 2-June 3. The return of this winter’s hit comic drama by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm. Good to see Chisholm’s play coming back — and what is director Serge Seiden’s secret? His hit staging of the similarly transgressive “Bad Jews” likewise earned a return gig at Studio Theatre. — np
The Vagrant Trilogy, Parts 1 and 2: “The Hour of Feeling” and “The Vagrant,” May 31-June 24. Mona Mansour’s four-decade tale of the life of one Palestinian family; with Part 3, “Urge for Going,” June 18-20. Part of the Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival.
A national tour of the Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival will include the Izzeldin Abuelaish-Shay Pitovsky play “I Shall Not Hate, Aaron Davidman’s “Wrestling Jerusalem” and David Hare’s “Via Dolorosa.” Dates and venues tba.
More information: 202-399-7993 and mosaictheater.org
MUSEUM OF THE BIBLE
“Amazing Grace,” Nov. 18-Jan. 7. A tour of the 2015 Broadway musical opens the 472-seat World Stage Theater in the new Museum of the Bible, opening this fall just off the Mall. The Museum of the Bible opens with a Broadway tour! I’m tempted to say “Hallelujah.” — pm
More information: museumofthebible.org
“Mean Girls,” Oct. 31-Dec. 3. Premiere of the new musical hoping to punch its ticket for Broadway. Book by Tina Fey, based on her 2004 movie. Music by TV composer-producer Jeff Richmond (“SNL,” “30 Rock” — and Fey’s husband), lyrics by Nell Benjamin (“Legally Blonde”), directed by Casey Nicholaw (“Book of Mormon”). That Fey and Benjamin chose D.C. for their tryout speaks again to the vibrancy of this theater town. — pm
“The Piano Guys,” Dec. 13-16. The classically-trained YouTube pop phenoms.
“Les Miserables,” Dec. 20-Jan. 7.
“Something Rotten!” Feb. 6-18. D.C. premiere of the Broadway hit about Shakespeare and the world’s first musical.
“Waitress,” May 15-June 3. The Sara Bareilles musical based on the 2007 movie.
“Hamilton” (at the Kennedy Center June 12-Sept. 16) is being offered as part of a full season subscription at the National.
More information: thenationaldc.org
NEXT STOP THEATRE COMPANY
“A Grand Night for Singing,” July 20-Aug. 20. The Rogers and Hammerstein concert musical.
“Disgraced,” Sept. 7-Oct. 1. Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer-winning drama.
“Assassins,” Oct. 19-Nov. 12. The Stephen Sondheim musical. One of two chances to catch this in the fall: see Pallas Theatre. — np
“45 Plays for 45 Presidents,” Jan. 11-Feb. 4. Short pieces from Chicago’s Neo-Futurists.
“Godspell,” March 1-April 1.
“The Crucible,” May 17-June 10. One of two chances at this, too: see the Olney Theatre Center’s “Crucible,” likewise in spring. This growing troupe, which just opened offices in a historic Herndon depot, views this season as three pairs of opposites: the joy of “Grand Night” vs. the apprehension of “Disgraced,” then two POTUS shows and two steeped in religion. — np
More information: 866-811-4111 or nextstoptheatre.org
OLNEY THEATRE CENTER
*“In The Heights,” Sept. 6-Oct. 8. The musical that made Lin-Manuel Miranda’s name, co-produced with the Round House Theatre, directed and choreographed by Broadway veteran Marcos Santana. Overdue in the area, and coming mere months after GALA Hispanic Theatre’s Spanish-language debut of the piece. — np
Also, Robin de Jesus, who was Tony-nominated for a supporting role in the Broadway original, will play Usnavi, Miranda’s part on Broadway — pm
“Our Town,” Oct. 4-Nov. 11. Directed by Aaron Posner of “Stupid F-ing Bird” and numerous Shakespearean stagings, including a “Measure for Measure” with puppets in supporting roles (Bunraku puppets will depict the supporting townspeople here).
A “Bunraku puppets” “Our Town” makes me a little nervous — pm
“Annie,” Nov. 8-Dec. 31. The troupe staged the musical in 2010, but is ready to do it again.
“A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas,” Nov 21-Dec 31. Paul Morella’s solo performance, now traditional at the Olney.
“Aubergine,” Feb. 7-Mar. 4. Julia Cho’s drama of food and grieving is the company’s Woman’s Voices Theater Festival play. A co-production with Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre.
“Every Brilliant Thing,” Feb. 28-March 25. British writer Duncan Macmillan’s solo play — a comedy on depression — directed by Forum Theatre head Michael Dove.
“The Crucible,” April 18-May 20. Arthur Miller’s drama, directed by Eleanor Holdridge.
*“The Invisible Hand,” May 9-June 10. Ayad Akhtar’s play about an American hostage manipulating financial markets with his Pakistani captors. Directed by Michael Bloom. Akhtar wrote “Invisible Hand” in the same flurry that yielded the Pulitzer-winning “Disgraced” and the girl-powered “The Who and the What,” both seen in D.C. area theaters last season. This savvy script brings money into the combustible international mix . — np
“On the Town,” June 20-July 22. The Leonard Bernstein-Betty Comden-Adolph Green musical, with Donna Migliaccio, Bobby Smith, Rachel Zampelli, Tracy Lynn Olivera and Evan Casey. Migliaccio, by the by, is understudying Patti LuPone on Broadway in the soon-to-open musical “War Paint,” about feuding cosmetics magnates Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden. — pm
“Pirates of Penzance” and “HMS Pinafore,” July 11-August 19. The return of Chicago’s Hypocrites, who last summer brought “Pirates” and “The Mikado” for a summer stand.
More information: 301-924-3400 and olneytheatre.org
PALLAS THEATRE COLLECTIVE
“Assassins,” Oct. 5-15. The Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical, at the Logan Fringe Arts Space’s Trinidad Theater. Also being staged in the fall by Next Stop Theatre: Sondheim-o-philes, take note. — np
More info: 301-909-8497 and pallastheatre.org.
PINKY SWEAR PRODUCTIONS
“Safe As Houses,” Oct. 19-Nov. 11 at the Logan Fringe Arts Space. The premiere of Natalie Piegari’s drama about a suburban family threatened by a storm.
“Use All Available Doors,” April 2018 at Dupont Underground. Another premiere from the feminist company: Brittany Alyse Willis’s play focuses on a grieving train operator.
More information: pinkyswear-productions.com
The troupe that specializes in small-scale spectacle, often with puppets.
“Imogen,” January-February. An adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline.”
“Rite of Spring,” April-May. Puppetry and dance, to Stravinsky’s 1913 ballet.
“Don Cristóbal,” Aug. 2018. A new adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s 1930s puppet play.
More information: pointlesstheatre.com.
“The Heidi Chronicles,” September 7-24. Wendy Wasserstein’s 1989 Pulitzer winning study of feminism from the 1960s into the 1980s.
“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” Nov. 2-19. The 1986 Billie Holiday concert drama.
“All She Must Possess,” Feb. 8-25. The premiere of Susan McCully’s play about Baltimore’s real-life Cone sisters, whose collection is proclaimed by the Baltimore Art Museum as its “crown jewel.” Part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival.
“True West,” April 26-May 13. The roaring 1980 sibling rivalry play from the late Sam Shepard, directed by Vincent Lancisi of Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre.
A warhorse 1980s trifecta around the Women’s Voices premiere as Rep Stage turns 25. — np
More information: 443-518-1510 and repstage.org
“Neverwhere,” Sept. 2-Oct. 1. DC’s fantasy specialists revive their 2013 staging of Neil Gaman’s subterranean London adventure.
I had mixed feelings about this sprawling story, but not about Jenny McConnell Frederick’s epic, swaggering production. This could be a good revival for Rorschach. — np
More information: rorschachtheatre.com.
ROUND HOUSE THEATRE
“In The Heights,” Sept. 6-Oct. 8. The musical that made Lin-Manuel Miranda’s name, co-produced with the Round House Theatre, directed and choreographed by Broadway veteran Marcos Santana. Overdue in the area, and coming mere months after GALA Hispanic Theatre’s Spanish-language debut of the piece. — np
Also, Robin de Jesus, who was Tony-nominated for a supporting role in the Broadway original, will play Usnavi, Miranda’s part on Broadway. — pm
“I’ll Get You Back Again,” Oct. 4-29. The premiere of Sarah Gancher’s 1960s-tinged play, directed by Rachel Chavkin of Broadway’s “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.” Chavkin, who also directed “Hadestown” and “Small Mouth Sounds” in New York, hails from Silver Spring. This D.C. area debut by her is long overdue. — pm
“The Book of Will,” Nov. 29-Dec. 24. A new play by “I and You” author Lauren Gunderson — “the most-produced living playwright in America” for the 2016-17 season, according to American Theatre — about Shakespeare’s First Folio. Directed by RHT artistic director Ryan Rilette.
“Handbagged,” Jan. 31-Feb. 25. Moira Buffini’s London hit, first produced by Tricycle Theatre, imagining meetings between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth. Directed at Round House, as in London, by Indhu Rubasingham. U.S. premiere; part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. I saw this in London and am highly curious about how an American audience takes to it. — pm
“Master Harold … and the Boys,” April 11-May 6. Athol Fugard’s apartheid drama.
“The Legend of Georgia McBride,” June 6-July 1. A drag comedy from Matthew Lopez, whose “The Whipping Man” was widely produced around the country in recent seasons. Directed by Tom Story. Rick Hammerly is in the cast. — pm
More information: 240-644-1100 and roundhousethatre.org
SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY
*“The Collection” and “The Lover,” Sept. 26-Oct. 29. Michael Kahn begins his next-to-last season as the company’s artistic director with a double bill by Harold Pinter, following his 2011 venture with Pinter’s “Old Times.” In his next-to-final season leading the STC, each of Kahn’s directorial choices will feel particularly personal. — np
“Twelfth Night,” Nov. 14-Dec. 20. Shakespeare’s romantic comedy with mischievous fools, directed by Ethan McSweeny.
“Hamlet,” Jan. 16-Feb. 25. Directed by Michael Kahn, with Michael Urie as the fretful prince. It’s all in the casting of a certain celebrated central role. Does Kahn go traditional, or out on a limb? — pm
*“Noura,” Feb. 6-March 11. The new work by actor-writer Heather Raffo (“9 Parts of Desire”) will be the STC’s Women’s Voices Theater Festival show. Directed by Joanna Settle. The company has good instincts for this festival; it scored big last time with Yael Farber’s mesmerizing “Salome.” — pm
“Waiting for Godot,” April 18-May 20. Samuel Beckett’s drama, from Ireland’s Druid troupe. Directed by Garry Hynes. This should right up the alley of Hynes, longtime head of this Galway-based troupe and best known for her Tony-winning direction of Martin McDonagh’s “The Beauty Queen of Leenane.” — pm
“Camelot,” May 22-July 1. Alan Paul directs the Lerner & Loewe musical that D.C. audiences are always likely to associate with JFK.
More information: 202-547-1122 and shakespearetheatre.org.
“A Little Night Music,” Aug. 15-Oct. 8. The Sondheim musical drawn from Ingmar Bergman’s “Smiles of a Summer Night,” with Holly Twyford, Bobby Smith, and direction by Eric Schaeffer. With Martha of “Virginia Woolf?” fame recently added to her arsenal, Twyford seems on a mission to play (with “Night Music’s” Desiree) ALL the great lady roles — and more power to her. — pm
“An Act of God,” Oct. 3-Nov. 26. The David Javerbaum comedy that featured “The Big Bang”’s Jim Parsons as God on Broadway; Tom Story plays Him here.
“Crazy for You,” Nov. 7-Jan. 14. The dance-happy Gershwin musical comedy, trademarked then and now as “new,” that debuted on Broadway in 1992. Denis Jones (“Honeymoon in Vegas”) choreographs. The book is by D.C.’s own Ken Ludwig, perhaps his most widely seen piece. — pm
“4,380 Nights,” Jan. 16-Feb. 18. A drama by D.C.’s Annalisa Dias about a prisoner held at Guantanamo Bay. Part of Signature’s new Heidi Thomas Writers’ Initiative — a five year program supporting premieres by women — and the city’s Women’s Voices Theater Festival.
“Light Years,” Feb. 6-March 4. A world premiere autobiographical musical from Robbie Schaefer, of the band Eddie from Ohio.
“Girlfriend,” April 17-June 10. The D.C. premiere of a musical (which, like “Scottsboro Boys” goes back to at least 2010) based on Matthew Sweet’s 1991 album.
*“The Scottsboro Boys,” May 22-July 1. No wins but 12 Tony Award nominations in 2010 as the “Cabaret” songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb took on the notorious 1930s race case. The easy-to-present tour of Susan Stroman’s lean, powerfully performed production should’ve come to D.C. years ago — it played Philadelphia right after New York. Anyway, a production at last … — np
More information: 703-820-9771 and sigtheatre.org
SPOOKY ACTION THEATER
“I Killed My Mother,” Sept. 16-30. Romanian playwright András Visky’s drama of an orphan growing to independence. An international cast is directed by Natália Gleason Nagy.
“The Lathe of Heaven,” Jan. 25-27 at Georgetown University, Feb. 15-March 11 at Spooky Action. Natsu Onoda Power adapts and directs Ursula K. LeGuin’s 1971 science fiction; staged in partnership with Georgetown University’s Department of Performing Arts.
“The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs,” May 17-June 10. French Canadian playwright Carole Fréchette’s play of a woman who lives in a mansion with a single room forbidden to her.
More information:202. 248. 0301 or spookyaction.org
*“Skeleton Crew,” Sept. 6-Oct. 8. The 2016 off-Broadway drama about displaced autoworkers in Detroit by Dominique Morisseau. Already one of the most popular plays nationwide for next season. I saw the other pieces of Morisseau’s “Detroit trilogy,” “Sunset Baby” at Rep Stage and “Detroit ‘67” at Baltimore Center Stage (which will also do this play next season). She writes with heat. — np
“Curve of Departure,” Nov. 29-Jan. 7. Family members gathering in New Mexico for a funeral, by “The Wolfe Twins” writer Rachel Bonds.
“The Wolves,” Jan. 17-March 4. Sarah DeLappe’s play (her first) of teenage girls on an indoor soccer team; it debuted off-Broadway last year. Part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Caught it in its off-Broadway commercial run; an exceptionally perceptive piece — as if Margaret Mead had been embedded herself for a study of adolescent confusion. — pm
“Translations,” March 21-April 22. Irish dramatist Brian Friel’s 1980 play about British overwhelming Irish culture in 1833.
“The Remains,” May 16-June 17. A world premiere about a gay couple’s seemingly idyllic relationship, by Ken Urban and featuring Maulik Pancholy of last season’s all-male “The Taming of the Shrew” at the Shakespeare Theatre Company.
Studio X shows, with one final title in this experimental series tba:
“The Effect,” Oct. 4-29. A love story in an antidepressant milieu by British “Enron” playwright Lucy Prebble. I continue to wonder whether Prebble’s deregulation fantasia “Enron” — a big 2009 hit in Britain and a quick 2010 flop in New York, with themes that have hardly gone out of date — will ever get a hearing here. — np
“A Short Series of Disagreements Presented Here in Chronological Order,” Nov. 8-25. A new work from Britain’s Daniel Kitson, a standup comedian described, admiringly, as an “awkward monologuist” by London’s Guardian newspaper. Clearly a lively roll of the dice: at the time of the announcement, this piece was “currently untitled, unwritten, and largely unconsidered,” according to Studio. Kitson is one of the buzzed about solo acts in the country. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with. — pm
“Vietgone,” April 25-May 20. Qui Nguyen’s stereotype-rattling comedy of Vietnamese immigrants, set in 1975 but sounding 21st century. Directed by Natsu Onoda Power.
More information: 202-332-3300 or studiotheatre.org
The acclaimed movement-based troupe puts its stamp on these well-known titles:
“The Adventures of Peter Pan,” Oct. 18-Nov. 19.
“The Trial,” Jan. 17-Feb. 18.
*“Titus Andronicus,” April 25-May 27. Okay, this company and that bloody slice of Shakespeare? A match made in Crystal City! — pm
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” July 11-Aug. 12. Part of a new collaboration called the Synetic New Voice Series, and arriving shortly after “The Wiz” at Ford’s. You have to love the bookending of the soothing adventures “Pan” and “Oz” around the grim mayhem of Kafka and Shakespeare’s most notoriously bloodthirsty play. — np
More information: 866-811-4111 and synetictheater.org
TAFFETY PUNK THEATRE COMPANY
“She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange,” Sept. 27-Oct. 14. A comedy on couples and commerce, from Amelia Roper.
“In the Belly of the Whale,” Jan. 27-Feb. 4. A Manhattan writer named Jona and her friends get swept out to sea in Georgette Kelly’s play; Lise Bruneau directs.
“Don Juan,” April 4-21. Moliere’s play, translated by Stephen Wadsworth.
More information: taffetypunk.com
Performing at the Anacostia Playhouse.
“Word Becomes Flesh,” Sept. 7-Oct. 8. The return of last year’s hit, Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s hip-hop riff in the form of letters from an African American man to his unborn son.
“The Raid,” Feb. 8-March 18. Frederick Douglass meets John Brown in Idris Goodwin’s imaginative drama.
“Flood City,” May 10-June 17. Gabrielle Resiman’s drama about the 1889 Johnstown flood.
“Sotto Voce,” October 3-29. Artistic director Adam Immerwahr announced this Nilo Cruz play in January during the travel ban flap. Cruz’s drama, set against the backdrop of the German ocean liner St. Louis and its 900 Jewish refugees rebuffed at Cuba and Florida in 1939, premiered 2014 in New York. José Carrasquillo directs.
“The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” Nov. 29-Dec. 31. Alfred Uhry’s 1997 Best Play Tony winner about a Jewish family in 1939 Atlanta, staged by rising D.C. director Amber McGinnis (currently of “Dryland” for Forum Theatre).
“Everything is Illuminated,” Jan. 11-Feb. 4. Simon Block adapts the 2002 Jonathan Safran Foer novel that became a 2005 movie and a 2006 London play. Aaron Posner directs the East Coast premiere that Theater J artistic director Adam Immerwahr calls “the real anchor of the season.”
“Becoming Dr. Ruth,” Feb. 21-March 18. From playwright Mark St. Germain, whose bio-dramas includes “Freud’s Last Session” at Theater J in 2014. Holly Twyford directs Naomi Jacobson in this solo show about Dr. Ruth Westheimer. — Twyford and Jacobson go back together at least as far as the hilarious “Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning, Juliet)” at Woolly in 1994. It’s promising casting: Jacobson as Dr. Ruth. — np
“Roz and Ray,” April 3-29. Karen Hartman’s new play about hemophiliacs, AIDS and the 1980s. Immerwahr directs the East Coast premiere.
*“Trayf,” May 30-June 24. Honorable mention on The Kilroys’ 2016 list of best unproduced scripts by women, Lindsay Joelle’s play — with a young Jewish man getting caught in the 1991 Crown Heights riots — gets its world premiere. Directed by Benjamin Kamine. I’m intrigued by the unpredictable-topical sound of this. — np
A Jewish theater following up “The Christians” with a play called “Trayf” is what’s called range. — pm
More information: 202-777-3210 and theaterj.org.
“Aglaonike’s Tiger,” Sept. 7-Oct. 1. A new play about the first female astronomer from Claudia Barnett.
“The Ravens,” Nov. 2-26. A drama from “Soft Revolution” writer Alana Valentine about a women trying to leave the sex work trade.
More information: venustheatre.org.
WSC AVANT BARD
“Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight,” Oct. 12-Nov 19. An area premiere by the nationally busy playwright Lauren Gunderson about the early 18th century French intellectual who died in childbirth.
“The Gospel at Colonus,” Feb 22-March 25. The company brings back last spring’s hit staging of the gospel-style Greek myth.
“The Tempest,” May 31-July 8. Because the “S” in WSC is for Shakespeare. Tom Prewitt directs founding company member Christopher Henley as Prospero.
More information: 703-418-4808 or wscavantbard.org.
WASHINGTON STAGE GUILD
“Widower’s Houses,” Sept. 28-Oct. 22. George Bernard Shaw is the troupe’s house playwright, and this is his first staged play, characteristically class-conscious.
“A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” Nov. 24-Dec. 17. Dylan Thomas’s Welsh tale.
“See Rock City,” Jan. 18-Feb. 11. The second play in a trilogy from Arlene Hutton, following last season’s fetching “Last Train to Nibroc.”
“Alabama Story,” March 22-April 15. A state senator and a librarian square off in the area premiere of Kenneth Jones’s play about “The Rabbits’ Wedding,” a children’s picture book banned in 1959 Alabama; the book featured a black rabbit and a white rabbit in love. Based on a true story.
More information: or stageguild.org.
The Washington playwrights’ collective.
“Hello, My Name Is …,” Oct. 20-Nov. 12. A devised and semi-autobiographical piece by designer Deb Sevigny, about a U.S.-raised Korean adoptee visiting Seoul in 2015. At Takoma Park’s Rhizome.
More information: thewelders.org.
“The Arsonists,” Sept. 5-Oct. 8. The season opener in the fall: Max Frisch’s political parable, as artistic director Howard Shalwitz, who recently announced his retirement plans, returns to the stage. The play has had recent revival in London (2007) and Chicago (2014). Translation by Alistair Beaton, directed by Michael John Garcés. Glad to see Shalwitz coming back to the stage, and it’s always good to see Woolly shake up the slate with plays from the past. — np
“Nothing to Lose (But Our Chains),” Nov. 11-Dec. 31. From Second City, following the troupe’s recent “Black Side of the Moon” at Woolly and based on Second City actor Felonious Munk. Directed by “Black Side”’s Billy Bungeroth.
*“Familiar,” Feb. 5-March 4. From Danai Gurira — Michonne on TV’s “Walking Dead,” author of “The Convert” (Woolly 2013) and “Eclipsed” (at Woolly in 2009, on Broadway in 2016) — about Zimbabwean immigrants planning a wedding in Minnesota. Woolly’s Women’s Voices Theater Festival show, directed by Theater J’s Adam Immerwahr. Gurira’s a TV star now, but “The Convert” was big, riveting writing. Gurira was born in Iowa, so “Familiar” looks like home turf. — np
*“Underground Railroad Game,” April 4-29. The Ars Nova production of acclaimed 75 minute play on race by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with Lightning Rod Special, directed, as in New York, by Taibi Magar. Already a season highlight for me. Just a groundbreaking piece of theater. — pm
“Botticelli in the Fire,” May 28-June 24. Artists (Botticelli and da Vinci) and politics in this U.S. premiere from Canada’s Jordan Tannahill, author of “Theatre of the Unimpressed: In Search of Vital Drama.” Directed by Marti Lyons.
More information: 202-393-3939 and woollymammoth.net