by David Dower
It's a big month around Arena Stage. Again. Throughout this whole period of diaspora, where we've been spread over five different locations while our new home gets built, we've been hard at work to "restage" the whole organization as a "center for American Theater dedicated to the production, presentation, development, and study of American work."
It's so close now we can see, feel, and taste it. We're less than six months away from moving back in!
And, like a horse charging to the barn, we're gathering speed on all aspects of our strategy. Just take a look at the things that are happening in March that you could plug in to:
Light in the Piazza begins performances. I heard the sitzprobe the other night. What a beautiful orchestration, and handled with such grace and precision by our musical director, Paul Sportelli, his players and singers. If you are following the "open dress rehearsals", this one will take place on Thursday, March 4th at 8pm. I expect the word of mouth on this to be explosive. It's one of the most romantic musicals ever written. Seeing it in such an intimate production and venue, sung and played at this level, the show is a completely different experience than what it's been in its earlier incarnations.
Sophisticated Ladies begins rehearsals. I was in the room last week for the final round of casting and I couldn't believe the energy in this show! It's an old marketing saw to say "don't wait-- get your tickets now", but truly: don't wait. This show has a heavy advance sale already and you ain't seen nothin' yet. If you snooze on this one, or wait for someone else to see it first, you're running the risk of not seeing it at all.
Our Student Playwrights Project will stage its winning plays. Come see what these high school students have written. Let's just say that reports of the demise of American theater are greatly exaggerated if this generation is already working at this level.
The Voices of Now Mentor Ensemble has a public performance of their original one-act play Encounter at the Intersections festival at the Atlas on Sunday March 7th at 2:30pm. A product of five months of workshops, dialogue, inquiry and rehearsal, the students were asked to write, move and build this performance in reaction to their daily encounters. This Intersections performance is part of the developmental process that will result in the final presentation this May.
The Bucky Convergence gets going in earnest. We'll start to see events like the screening/discussion at the National Building Museum on March 22nd, the event at the Crystal City theater on Monday night the 29th, and the Bucky Art show popping up all over Crystal City this month. In case you missed it, the show has become a centerpiece of a region-wide convergence of events and programs dedicated to the work of R. Buckminster Fuller. People will be gathering in DC beginning in early June-- coming from all over the world to be part of it. This month you can get sneak peeks at the show, the ideas, and the related events.
The New Play Institute has an ambitious agenda for the month as well. We are already at full throttle on this program. If you haven't yet caught up to it, take a scroll through the New Play Blog to catch up.
There will be months and months and months like this. I hope we'll see you around for as much of it as captures your imagination!