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If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to go to the theatre and throw yourself into the vortex of emotions only a live performance can provoke in you. So, to paraphrase that old theatre reviewer stand-by line “YOU’LL LAUGH, YOU’LL CRY…” we figured we’d walk you through some choice offerings this season of DC has to offer (and blessedly, no CATS in sight).

  01 - laugh

  • As You Like It @ Shakespeare Theatre Company
    October 28 – December 7
    “All the world’s a stage in As You Like It, one of Shakespeare’s fullest comedies, where poetry, mistaken identities and true love lost and found abound. When Rosalind escapes to the Forest of Arden—disguised as a boy and with her cousin in tow—she seeks only refuge from her uncle’s wrath. But the woods are home to many an expat, with intertwined histories and mysteries to unravel on the journey home.” – Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • The Tempest @ Shakespeare Theatre Company
    December 2 – January 11
    “Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan and now a powerful magician, raises a great storm to wreck the vessel bearing his betrayers onto the shores of the mysterious island he has made his home. There, attended upon by his daughter, a magical sprite and a villainous prisoner, Prospero leads them through a mysterious dream on the course from vengeance to reconciliation.” – Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • The Metromaniacs @ Shakespeare Theatre Company
    February 3 – March 8
    “Would-be poet Damis has fallen for the works of the mysterious Breton poetess, not knowing she is really middle-aged gentleman Francalou. However, Francalou allows Damis to believe the poetess is his own daughter, Lucile, in order to separate her from Dorante, the son of his sworn enemy.” – Shakespeare Theatre Company
  •  Bad Jews @ Studio Theatre
    November 5 – December 21
    “Joshua Harmon’s savage comedy about family, faith, and identity politics follows three cousins and their verbal battle royale over a family heirloom.” – Studio Theatreimage from Studio Theatre Website


  • The Seven Year Itch @ The American Century Theater
    September 20 – October 11
    “A bored husband in the midst of a mid-life crisis sees his erotic dreams apparently within his grasp as an attractive neighbor stirs his passions…and conscience. There’s no white dress or subway grate, but this stage origin of the movie that gave Marilyn Monroe her most famous role is funnier and sharper than the film—and was chosen as one of TACT’s all-time best comedies.” – American Century Theater
  • Much Ado About Nothing  @ Synetic Theater
    February 11 – March 15
    “A confirmed bachelor Benedick and equally independent Beatrice will spar, court, and plot in Synetic’s 11th wordless Shakespeare adaptation, Passionate, sexy and funny, Synetic’s version of Much Ado About Nothing will explore the nature of courtship and romance.” – Synetic Theater
  • Cancun @ GALA Hispanic Theatre
    September 11 – October 5
    “After a night of fun and frolic by two married couples vacationing in Cancun, the morning brings a new reality about “what might have been”. A hilarious comedy about contemporary relationships and marriage by one of Spain’s leading playwrights from Catalonia. By Jordi Galceran of Spain.” – GALA Hispanic Theatre

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  • House of Desires @ GALA Hispanic Theatre
    February 5 – March 1
    “Don Pedro loves Doña Leonor who loves Don Carlos, who is desired by Doña Ana but betrothed to Don Juan. A wild tale of confusion and mistaken identities complete with wily servants and groping suitors. Written by the first published feminist writer of the New World, this romantic farce examines the idea of free will for women at a time when they were subject to a strict moral code”- GALA Hispanic Theatre
  • Rapture, Blister, Burn @ Round House Theatre Bethesda
    January 28 – February 22
    “After grad school, Catherine built a career as a rock-star academic while Gwen built a home with a husband and children. Decades later, unfulfilled in opposite ways, each woman covets the other’s life, and a dangerous game begins as each tries to claim the other’s territory.” – Round House Theatre
  • Cherokee @ Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    February 9 – March 8
    “Two couples, one black, one white, flee their suburban pressures and re-connect with nature by going camping in Cherokee, North Carolina. But their lives are upended when a member of the group mysteriously vanishes, and the others are visited by a charismatic local who just might help them live off the grid forever…” – Woolly Mammoth Theatreimage from Woolly Mammoth Theatre Website

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  • Driving Miss Daisy @ Ford’s Theatre
    September 26 – October 26
    “Acclaimed Washington stage actors Nancy Robinette and Craig Wallace return to Ford’s to perform in this beloved classic. When Daisy Werthan causes a car wreck, her son hires hard-working chauffeur Hoke Colburn to look after her. What begins as a hostile clashing of wills between a stubborn Jewish matriarch and a proud black man evolves into a decades-long friendship as the two navigate Civil Rights-era Atlanta.” – Ford’s Theatre
  • The Shoplifters @ Arena Stage
    September 17 – October 14
    “Life is a supermarket. We wander it — sometimes shopping, sometimes pilfering — gathering what pleasure, necessities, hope and joys can fill up our baskets before we head, as eventually we must, to the check out. I look for situations and people that occupy the smallest of spaces; their tragedy and their comedy enlarged by the almost complete insignificance of their acts.” – Morris Panych, author
  • The Understudy @ Everyman Theatre
    August 27- September 28
    “Meet Harry, the “real” actor who’s just a tad bitter about his lot in the theatrical world – you see, he’s just the understudy. The grossly overpaid, action movie star he’s working with doesn’t understand the play. The charmingly lovesick stage manager happens to be his ex. And the backstage technician appears to be high – oh it’s just another day in the glamorous life of being the one who didn’t quite make the cut! Will they ever pull it together before showtime?” –Everyman Theatre
  • Take Me Out @ 1st Stage Theatre
    September 12 – October 12
    “Darren Lemming has it all and then some. He is the epitome of a baseball star…handsome, charismatic, rich, infallible and every guy’s all-American hero. But when Darren comes out of the closet he sets off a chain of events that upends everything and threatens to undermine the American pastime.”- 1st Stage


02 - cry

  • The Widow Lincoln @ Ford’s Theatre
    January 23 – February 22
    “Set during the weeks following Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre, The Widow Lincoln portrays a very human Mary in the aftermath of her husband’s death as she mourns the post-war life they will never share. Playwright James Still (The Heavens Are Hung In Black) returns with an emotional drama that explores the tenacious attitudes and heartbreaking grief of the maligned ‘Mrs. President.’” – Ford’s Theatre
  • Daddy Issues @ Artisphere
    November 21 – November 22
    “Peter Aguero, masterful raconteur and popular host of The Moth, takes the audience through a raw and sympathetic look at his relationship with his father over the years. Through crippling honesty, brutal humor, and vivid reflection, Peter tackles the universal plight of not being able to pick your family.” – Artisphere
  • King Lear @ Folger Theatre
    September 5- September 21
    “Weary of his royal duties, King Lear proposes to break up his kingdom and divide it among his three daughters. Shakespeare’s Globe’s King Lear stars Joseph Marcell, well known as Geoffrey the English butler on the hit TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and internationally known as a classical actor and seen in Folger Theatre’s 2007 As You Like It.” – Folger Theatreimage from Folger Theatre website



03 - think

  • Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery @ Arena Stage
    January 27 – February 12
    “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson must crack the mystery of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” before a family curse dooms its newest heir. Watch as our intrepid investigators try to escape a dizzying web of clues, silly accents, disguises and deceit as five actors deftly portray more than 30 characters. Does a wild hellhound prowl the moors of Devonshire? Can our heroes discover the truth in time?” – Arena Stage
  • Our War @ Arena Stage
    October 21 – November 9
    “Through a rich tapestry of short monologues, a core ensemble of gifted actors, accompanied by notable Washingtonians, give voice to far-reaching questions about the war and its reverberations in our lives today. Our War, commissioned by Arena Stage for the National Civil War Project, uses the power of live theater to bring new understanding to the shades of Blue and Gray that define one of the most significant periods of American history.” – Arena Stage
  • King Hedley II @ Arena Stage
    February 18 – March 4
    “King Hedley has returned, but to reign for how long? With an angry scar down the length of his face and seven years of prison haunting him, King has a chance to lock away his past and achieve an entrepreneurial dream. But Pittsburgh’s Hill District is an unforgiving place, and the return of Elmore, a scheming conman armed with a derringer and family secrets, could strike a fatal blow to King’s second coming.” – Arena Stage –  image from the Arena Stage website

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  • Dunsinane @ Shakespeare Theatre Company
    Mar 21-May 4
    “A dramatic sequel to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, David Greig’s Dunsinane is a vision of one man’s attempt to restore peace in a country ravaged by war. Under cover of night, an English army has swept through Scotland, killed the tyrant Macbeth and taken the seat of power. Siward, the English commanding officer, tries to put in place a new ruler while beset by a brutal guerrilla uprising and simmering discontent amongst his troops.” – Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • Fool For Love @ Round House Theatre (Bethesda)
    September 3 – September 27
    “This (is an) explosive tale of love, hate, and the dying myths of the Old West. May’s hiding out at a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert when Eddie, her longtime on-again/off-again lover, shows up. Dark secrets are revealed during a night of gripping jealousy, brutal betrayal, and the deepest kind of love.” – Round House Theatre
  • Fetch Clay, Make Man @ Round House Theatre (Bethesda)
    October 10 – November 2
    “In the days before one of the most anticipated fights in boxing history, heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali forms an unlikely friendship with controversial Hollywood star Stepin Fetchit. This true story explores the improbable bond that forms between these drastically different, influential cultural icons – one a vibrant and audacious youth, the other a resentful, almost forgotten relic – as they fight to shape their legacies amidst the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.” – Round House Theatre
  • Julius Caesar @ Folger Theatre
    October 28 – December 7
    “Beware the Ides of March, Caesar. Shakespeare’s ferocious examination of power, ambition, and democratic responsibility crackles just one block from the Capitol.” – Folger Theatre
  • Mary Stuart @ Folger Theatre
    January 27 – March 8
    “Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, has been imprisoned under charges of attempted regicide. Her captor and cousin Queen Elizabeth I cannot bring herself to sign the death decree…Peter Oswald’s bold new translation of Schiller’s vivid re-imagining breathes life into a Tudor world flush with subterfuge and revenge—and ruled by two extraordinary women.” – Folger Theatre
  • Belleville @ Studio Theatre
    September 3 – October 1
    Belleville unmasks the seemingly perfect marriage and Parisian life of expats Abby and Zack, anatomizing the consequences of deceptions small and large and the terrifying, profound unknowability of our closest relationships.” – Studio Theatre


  • The Wolfe Twins @ Studio Theatre
    October 15 – November 2
    “Lewis invites his estranged sister Dana on a trip to Rome to reconnect.  But when he befriends a beautiful stranger, old wounds fester and intimate secrets are revealed.  A dark, contemplative world premiere from the Studio Theatre commissioned playwright Rachel Bonds.” – Studio Theatre
  • Shining City @ ATLAS
    August 9 – September 21
    “Dubliner John is convinced he sees his dead wife. He visits Ian, a fledgling therapist with his own troubles. Shining City examines the impulsive choices we make and their haunting effects on our lives. Don’t miss our suspenseful drama written by Ireland’s masterful modern playwright, McPherson. Featuring: Lee Ordeman, Ron Litman, Ellie Nicoll and Kevin O’Reilly.” – ATLAS Arts
  • “Crime and Punishment in America”: An Evening of One Act Plays @ American Century Theater
    January 9 – 31
    Cops, the “Crime” segment of the evening, is one of the most shocking and heart-pounding shows TACT ever produced. Then, after the gun smoke has cleared, the audience meets the lonely, jailed hero of the short masterpiece, Hello Out There, by one of TACT’s favorite neglected playwrights and among the U.S.’s greatest, William Saroyan. The “Punishment” chapter of the evening is the tale of an unlikely romance that evokes both hope and hopelessness.” – American Century Theater
  • The Island of Dr. Moreau @ Synetic Theater
    October 1 – November 2
    “Synetic Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili will direct and appear as the title character in H.G. Wells’ mystical and savage story. Sometime in the future, a shipwrecked survivor is rescued to a remote island inhabited by the deranged Dr. Moreau and his “children” – experimental human-like animals or animal-like humans. This highly physical and immersive tale set to original and haunting music will create an intriguing and horrifying world to remember.” – Synetic Theater – image from Synetic Theater website

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  • Visible Language @ WSC Avant Bard
    October 21 – November 16
    “Right here in Washington, DC, in the volatile 1890s, two powerful and egotistical men clashed over how the Deaf should be taught to communicate–a contest that was to impact every Deaf person thereafter. This brilliant new bilingual musical tells that momentous story through the real people who lived it, including Alexander Graham Bell, Edward Miner Gallaudet, First Lady Carrie Harrison–and a young girl named Helen Keller, just beginning to learn what it means to be a woman in an era of progress.” – WSC Avant Bard
  • Othello @ WSC Avant Bard
    February 3 – March 1
    “The only major Shakespearean tragedy that Avant Bard has never before produced.”- WSC Avant Bard
  • Colossal @ Olney Theatre Center
    September 3 – 28
    “Structured like a football game (performed in four quarters with a pre-show training session and half-time show), COLOSSAL tells in vivid, physical flashback the story of Young Mike, a college football player who took a hit in a game that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Mike now relives the memory of his accident with the help of a live football squad onstage, finally confronting his demons in the play’s extremely powerful and uplifting conclusion” – Olney Theatre Center
  • Awake and Sing! @ Olney Theatre Center
    September 24 – October 19
    “Odets’ 1935 play follows the Bergers, a Jewish family from the Bronx trying to make ends meet during the Depression. The family’s matriarch Bessie – one of the most spectacular roles in the American canon – will stop at nothing to keep her family together… even if it means ripping her children’s dreams apart.” – Olney Theatre Center
  • Elmer Gantry @ Signature Theatre
    October 7 – November 9
    “The charismatic, but completely broke, salesman Elmer Gantry stumbles upon a struggling religious tour, led by pious evangelist Sister Sharon Falconer. Falling for Falconer, Gantry joins the troupe as a preacher and, with a little showmanship and theatrics, transforms the revival into the hottest ticket in town. However, inspired by Falconer’s earnestness and his reawakened spirit, Gantry inserts one spectacle too many and risks blowing up the entire operation.” – Signature Theatre
  • Sex with Strangers @ Signature Theatre
    October 14- December 7
    “A raging snowstorm traps strangers Olivia, an unsuccessful, yet gifted, thirty-nine-year-old writer, and Ethan, a tech-addicted and wildly successful young blogger, in a secluded cabin. opposites instantly attract, undeniable chemistry ignites and sex is imminent. As the dawn rises, however, what could have just been a one-night-stand transforms into something more complicated when online exploits interfere with their real-life connection.”- Signature Theatre
  • Marie Antoinette @ Woolly Mammoth Theatre
    September 15 – October 12
    “Cake enthusiast and infamous one-percenter Marie Antoinette opens Woolly’s 35th season with a burst of high fashion and shaky morals. Through David Adjmi’s incisive contemporary lens, history’s most notorious teenager becomes a full-blooded, complex, and tragic heroine who realizes too late that there’s an unstoppable revolution brewing outside her window.”- Woolly Mammoth Theatre
  • Choir Boy @ Studio Theatre
    January 7 – February 22
    “A music-filled story of masculinity, tradition, coming of age, and speaking your truth, set in the gospel choir of an elite prep school for young black men.”- Studio Theatre
  • She Kills Monsters @ ATLAS
    August 15- September 14
    “It’s the 1990s in suburban Ohio and Tilly lives among the most fearsome creatures known to man: American high school students. She copes with the stress by creating an elaborate Dungeons & Dragon’s module where she plays out her fears and fantasies in a world she controls. When Tilly dies unexpectedly, her older sister Agnes has no choice but to run the gauntlet of this mysterious world, battling and befriending the strange and fantastic monsters her sister has created.”- ATLAS
  • Molly @ ATLAS
    August 23 – September 21
    “Molly explores secret revelations of the young mistress of J.M. Synge—esteemed playwright of the Irish Literary Renaissance. Synge died at 37, yet his work still greatly impacts audiences, writers, and culture. See this original play by award-winning Irish author and Georgetown Professor Emeritus, O’Brien.”- ATLAS
  • Spark @ Anacostia Playhouse
    September 4- September 28
    “This gritty, powerful drama tells the story of a veteran returning from war, her family, and their ongoing battle to overcome economic challenges, emotional conflict, and the spectre of war that haunts them. Spark also opens a deeper dialogue about a society’s responsibility to address our veterans’ physical, emotional, and mental needs and break the cycle of abandonment in families.” – Anacostia Playhouse
  • Yentl @ Theater J
    August 28- October 5
    “As a girl in 19th Century Eastern Europe, Yentl is forbidden to pursue her dream of studying Talmud. Unwilling to accept her fate, she disguises herself as a man. But when she falls in love, Yentl must decide how far she’s willing to go to protect her identity.” – Theater J
  • Amadeus @ Center Stage
    September 10- October 12
    “In 18th century Vienna, music is the currency of power. And Court Composer Antonio Salieri is the toast of the town. That is, until a young prodigy by the name of Mozart comes on the scene. Reeling from the realization of his own mediocrity in the face of true genius, Salieri swears vengeance on the God that gifted Mozart’s breathtaking talent.” –Center Stage
  • Seven Guitars @ Signature Theatre
    September 10-28
    “In one of August Wilson’s most moving plays, blues singer Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton, just released from jail, is asked to sign a record deal after a song he recorded months before becomes an unexpected hit. After a year of trials and tribulations, Floyd is ready to right his past wrongs and return to Chicago with a new understanding of what’s important in life. Unfortunately, his means of righting wrongs are inherently flawed.” –No Rules Theatre Co.
  • The Devil in His Own Words @ Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
    September 12- October 4
    “It’s a fast-paced tragicomedy that upends expectations and digs deep into the identity of humanity’s oldest villain. Who is the Devil? Why is he still here? Taffety Punk founding member Marcus Kyd seeks answers by portraying the Devil’s appearances in centuries of literature from all over the globe. The stories are woven together to form a unique perspective on the first to be cursed.” – Capitol Culture


04 - sing

  • Fiddler on the Roof @ Arena Stage
    November 13 – December 10
    ” I love Fiddler. I grew up with this music and it was such an integral part of my family that it became part of our own tradition. It’s the concept of tradition and specifically changing tradition that is such an exciting, contemporary idea to me. I can’t wait to introduce this perfect American musical to young people who can carry on its music and its message for another 50 years.” – Molly Smith, director
  • Five Guys Named Moe @ Arena Stage
    November 14 – December 28
    “I was blown away by the amount of people … who paid homage to Jordan: Nat King Cole, Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, James Brown, BB King and Chuck Berry among them. Like Count Basie, Jordan just has a natural musical bounce … How I wish I could have had even just ten minutes talking to him. That’s history, African-American cultural history.” – Clarke Peters, author
  • Pippin @ The National Theatre
    December 16 – January 4
    “Full of extraordinary acrobatics, wondrous magical feats and soaring songs from the composer of Wicked, Pippin will lift you up and leave you smiling. This unforgettable new production is the winner of four 2013 Tony Awards® including Best Musical Revival. Hailed as ‘an eye-popping, jaw-dropping extravaganza’ (NY1), it’s unlike anything Broadway has ever seen!” – National Theatre – image from Pippin the Musical website


  • Chicago The Musical @ The National Theatre
    February 10 – February 15
    “A true New York City institution, Chicago has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping-song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen.” – National Theatre
  • Disney’s The Little Mermaid @ Olney Theatre Center
    November 12 – December 28
    “In a magical underwater kingdom, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home – and her fins – behind and live in the world above. But first she’ll have to defy her father King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula, and convince the handsome Prince Eric that she’s the girl whose enchanting voice he’s been seeking.” – Olney Theatre Center
  • Sunday in the Park with George @ Signature Theatre
    August 5th – September 21
    “Inspired by the painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat, Sunday in the Park with George brings art to vibrant life. In the intimate MAX Theatre, Sondheim and Lapine’s stunning masterpiece merges past and present into beautiful, poignant truths about life, love and the creation of art.” – Signature Theatre
  • Diner @ Signature Theatre
    December 9 – January 25
    “Christmas, Baltimore: 1959. A circle of childhood friends reunite for the upcoming wedding of one of them. Well, only if his fiancée passes a football trivia test. From the comfort of their all-night diner, the men, now in their early-twenties, confront the realities of adulthood: marriage, careers, money and the ever-mysterious opposite sex. But no matter where life takes them, they know they’re welcome back at the diner, the one place they’ll always belong.” –Signature Theatre
  • Kid Victory @ Signature Theatre
    February 17 – March 22
    “Seventeen-year-old Luke returns home after vanishing a year ago. Profoundly changed, Luke and his parents struggle to adjust to life following his disappearance. Only finding solace with Emily, the quirky proprietor of an offbeat garden shop, Luke grapples with a past undone and a coming of age that came too late to a boy who just wants to fade away.”-Signature Theatre
  • Evita @ Kennedy Center
    September 30 – October 19
    Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony-winning musical tells the remarkable story of Eva Peron’s rise from Argentina’s slums to First Lady through some of theater’s most beautiful songs, including “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” and “High Flying, Adored.” – Kennedy Center – Image from Kennedy Center website, copyright 2013, Richard Termine

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  • Little Dancer @ Kennedy Center
    October 25 – November 30
    “With direction and choreography by five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman, this world premiere Kennedy Center musical is inspired by the story of a young ballerina immortalized by Edgar Degas in his famous sculpture at the National Gallery of Art.”- Kennedy Center
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ Kennedy Center
    December 16 – January 4
    “One of the most enduring shows of all time, Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical about the trials and triumphs of Israel’s favorite son features Broadway stars and “American Idol” sensations, husband-and-wife duo Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young.”- Kennedy Center
  • Gigi @ Kennedy Center
    January 16 – February 12
    “Eric Schaeffer directs a new world premiere production of Lerner and Loewe’s Oscar and Tony-winning musical comedy, where true love between a free-spirited young woman and a wealthy young playboy must overcome the conventions of turn-of-the-century Paris.”- Kennedy Center


Ballet is not just for snobby people

When most people think of ballet, they probably think of something like this:


Pretty, right? And also pretty boring, if you are not already a ballet fan. I mean, you don’t want to spend $60 on tickets to a ballet only to fall asleep. Besides, who goes to ballet shows anyways? Snobby, old people, right? Oh and families who take their kids to see The Nutcracker.

Well, you are wrong. You don’t have to be old, rich, and snobby to like ballet. Ballet is for everyone! Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

Maybe you don’t want to watch ballet because you think the stories are boring. Maybe it seems like ballet companies only perform the same five shows; The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Firebird, and Cinderella.

That’s not true. Ballet has gotten innovative. Sure, companies still perform classics. And I will guarantee that every single ballet company will perform The Nutcracker around the holidays. But, ballet companies and choreographers have started performing other shows.

Take Matthew Bourne, the famous contemporary ballet choreographer. He is probably best known for his reinterpretation of Swan Lake. In his version, the swans are no longer female dancers. Instead, men dance the role of swans giving the ballet a whole new dimension.

If you want to see something more local, The Washington Ballet has been adapting American literature into ballets. Last year, they performed an adaptation of The Sun Also Rises. This season they are performing Sleepy Hollow.

Even if companies are still performing the classics, the perception of the stories change over time. Take Coppélia, for example. Coppelia is the story of a man who becomes enamored by a woman, who is actually a doll. It’s meant to be a comedic ballet. But, it can also be viewed as a “psycho-thriller meets mischievous romcom” whose “plot is a stew of perv-shaming and everyday sexism”, at least according to David Jays from The Guardian. Sounds more interesting, right?

Maybe you think going to a ballet is expensive. I mean, it does sound snobby. “I’m going to the ballet”. There is no way of saying that without a snobbish accent. But ballet doesn’t have to be expensive. You can see ballet performances for as little as $20 at the Kennedy Center. Sure, the seats are probably terrible, but if you are not sure about this whole ballet thing you can start out from there. Also, if there is an obscured view, maybe people won’t see you if you fall asleep.

If you really want to see a ballet performance, but don’t want to spend a ton of money, you can also check out the local, small ballet companies. Lots of ballet schools hold recitals and performances that are cheap to watch, and may even be free. It’s a great way to start watching ballet, and you may even be watching the next great ballerina.


05 - Dazzle

  • The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo @ Shakespeare Theatre Company
    September 12 – September 21
    ” An adaption of Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo performs the play’s score on marimbas, drums and South African percussion, and reinterprets the story in contemporary South Africa through the unique perspective of its townships.” – Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • Kevin Spacey In Concert @ Shakespeare Theatre Company
    September 29
    “This exclusive one-night-only concert will be an entertaining evening of stories and song by the two-time Academy Award winner and star of the Netflix hit series, House of Cards, Kevin Spacey. It is a unique opportunity to hear this gifted artist perform standards from the swing era, and popular classics from the Great American Songbook accompanied by the Kevin Spacey Orchestra.” – Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • The Nutcracker @ Round House Theatre (Bethesda)
    November 26 – December 28
    “Weaving together spellbinding spectacle, riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, and a delightful original score, Clara’s crusade to save her family (with the assistance of a remarkable nutcracker) comes alive with dazzling theatricality. This contemporary retelling is a heartwarming, hilarious story of magic and hope that’s as poignant and touching as it is hilarious, tuneful, and fun.” – Round House Theatre
  • Dirty Dancing @ The National Theatre
    August 26 – September 14
    “Seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.” – National Theatre
  • Africa Umoja @ The National Theatre
    October 2 – October 12
    “With a cast of 32 of South Africa’s brightest and most versatile young performers, singers, drummers and dancers, AFRICA UMOJA – The Spirit of Togetherness, 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy Tour is a joyous celebration of dynamic talent, thrilling energy, great voices and sensual dances that sweep across the bright and vibrant South African traditional landscape.” – National Theatre
  • Donny & Marie: Christmas at the National @ The National Theatre
    December 2 – December 7
    “With a dash of Christmas spirit and their trademark show-stopping production numbers, Donny & Marie: Christmas at the National features Christmas songs and cheer plus hits from their illustrious careers all mixed with their irresistible chemistry that made them international stars.” – National Theatre


  • Famous Puppet Death Scenes @ Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    December 9 – January 4
    “The Old Trouts promise to cure your fear of death; no more anxiety about difficult choices, no more dreading birthdays, no more desperate pleas for immortality through fame, art, or progeny.” – Woolly Mammoth Theatre
  • Step Afrika! Magical Musical Holiday Step Show @ ATLAS
    December 11-22
    “Step Afrika! is back to delight audiences young and old with their magical musical holiday step show.  Audiences are invited to make music with DC’s internationally-known stepping company and their furry friends from the Animal Kingdom in this annual holiday tradition! Come ready to bring in the festive season with a bang featuring the electrifying artists from Step Afrika! and special guest DJ Frosty the Snowman.”- ATLAS
  • Washington National Opera’s Florencia in the Amazon @ Kennedy Center
    September 20- September 28
    “Soprano Christine Goerke stars as a famous singer on an enchanted riverboat journey in a “visually stunning” (Seattle Times) production of Daniel Catán’s Spanish-language opera inspired by the writing of Gabriel García Márquez.” – Kennedy Center – Image from Kennedy Center website, taken by Philip Groshong

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  • Cheri @ Kennedy Center
    October 1 – October 4
    “Adapted from Colette’s classic story of forbidden love, Martha Clarke’s newest work combines theater, live music, and dance with ballet stars Herman Cornejo and Alessandra Ferri, actress Amy Irving, and pianist Sarah Rothenberg.” – Kennedy Center
  • Beijing Dance Theater’s Wild Grass @ Kennedy Center
    October 22 – October 25
    Following its 2011 engagement of Haze, the company returns with Wild Grass, a three-part performance by renowned choreographer Wang Yuanyuan inspired by poems of Lu Xun: “Dead Fire,” “The Shadow’s Leave-taking,” and “Dance of Extremity.”- Kennedy Center
  • Washington National Opera’s La Boheme @ Kennedy Center
    November 1- November 15
    “Puccini’s timeless tale of young bohemians in Paris struggling to fulfill their dreams and find love returns in a brand-new production filled with moonlit duets, snowy streets, rowdy celebrations, and heartrending tears.” – Kennedy Center
  • Washington National Opera’s The Little Prince @ Kennedy Center
    December 19 – December 21
    “For its annual family holiday production, WNO brings to life all the joy and wonder of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s storybook in Oscar winner Rachel Portman’s opera”- Kennedy Center – image from Kennedy Center website, taken by George Hixson/Houston Grand Opera

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  • The Illusionists @ Kennedy Center
    January 6 – January 11
    “It’s the world’s best-selling magic show, direct from Broadway! This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the talents of seven incredible Illusionists with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions.”- Kennedy Center
  • The Washington Ballet’s Sleepy Hollow @ Kennedy Center
    February 18 – February 22
    “An atmospheric thriller, Washington Irving’s classic tale is now being told through the expressive and lush language of ballet. In a love triangle, the new school teacher, Ichabod Crane, finds himself smitten by a flirtatious beauty, Katrina Van Tassel, much to the displeasure of town rowdy “Brom Bones” Van Brunt. A rivalry ensues and the ghostly Headless Horseman comes into play one fateful night. This program features original live music.” – Kennedy Center
  • Everything You See @ American Dance Institute
    September 19 – September 20
    “A collaboration between Vicky Shick (choreography), Barbara Kilpatrick (costume and set design) and Elise Kermani (sound design) is an entry into commotion sitting alongside a devotion to intimacy and a passion for physical detail. The audience sits on opposite sides of a semi-transparent fiberglass mesh curtain designed by Kilpatrick that horizontally bisects the stage, revealing two dances performed simultaneously.” – American Dance Institute
  • Awáa @ American Dance Institute
    October 3 – October 4
    “Awáa celebrates and nurtures human experience and universal spirit. Barton builds her vision by distinguishing and nurturing the individual stories of each artist. She intertwines their voices to create and develop a distinct, collective language which then becomes the foundation of the work.”- American Dance Institute – image from straight.com, taken by Kim Williams

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  • Oxbow @ American Dance Institute
    October 17 – October 18
    “Oxbow—named for the remnant lakes that slowly create themselves only to be left behind—is an evening-length dance which explores the inexorable nature of the two forces that contain us all: space and time; geology and chronology. Bound together they form an unknowing and indifferent vessel for our every event and experience, our messy, intimate, human concerns of loss, love, and loneliness.”- American Dance Institute
  • Reshimo @ American Dance Institute
    October 24 – October 25
    “Reshimo – the imprint of a past impression left within. A Kabbalistic idea pertaining to the impression of light – the fine outline which remains when the lights are gone and are no longer there. Exploring the remanence of a vacant space this is a journey of the receptive soul as Reshimo lights the way to a future state.”-  American Dance Institute
  • This @ American Dance Institute
    November 14 – November 15
    This, a new work by Neil Greenberg (dance), Steve Roden (sound) and Joe Levasseur (lighting), will continue Greenberg’s ongoing investigation of meaning-making, exploring both the “isness” of the performance moment and the seemingly inescapable human desire to make meaning. Five dancers will engage with complex and idiosyncratic movement – culled from videotaped improvisations, learned verbatim – that, along with lighting and music materials, will be continually recast, reconfigured, recoded.”- American Dance Institute

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  • The Intergalactic Nemesis: Robot Planet Rising @ Artisphere
    September 20 – September 21
    “Earlier this year, Artisphere presented a whole new form of theatre, the Live-Action Graphic Novel, with The Intergalactic Nemesis, Book One: Target Earth. So it is with extreme pride that we present the next installment: Robot Planet Rising. Here’s how it works: Three actors voice the dozens of characters, a Foley artist creates all the sound effects, and a pianist plays a cinematic score, while more than 1,250 individual full-color hi-res comic book panels tell a hilarious sci-fi adventure story visually from an enormous movie screen. And it’s all done live in front of your eyes.” – Artisphere
  • The Curse of Frau Mueller @ 50 Florida Ave NE
    September – October
    “Satisfy your thirst for horror with Gravensteen Haunted Productions. Our haunted house is the largest and scariest in the Washington DC area. Our goal is to bring a truly unique haunted experience that is sure to stay with you. We provide 50,000 square feet of thrills and scares at every corner with high quality actors, make-up artists, set designs and themed background stories that suck the audience into the experience.” – Gravensteen Haunted Productions
  • UrbanAriasThree Decembers @ Artisphere
    September 27 – October 4
    Three Decembers chronicles three decades in the lives of a Broadway diva and her adult son and daughter.  With a luminous score by composer Jake Heggie (Moby Dick, Dead Man Walking) and a poignant and witty libretto by Gene Scheer, Three Decembers is a “modern masterpiece” (Opera Today)”- Artisphere
  • A Christmas Carol @ Ford’s Theatre
    November 20 – January 1
    “Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Originally conceived by Michael Baron, this music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Dickens’s Yuletide classic. Acclaimed Washington stage actor Edward Gero returns to play Scrooge.” – Ford’s Theater
  • Petit Mort: Masterworks by Kylián/van Manen/ Wheeldon @ Harmon Center for the Arts
    October 22 – October 26
    ” Experience three of Europe’s most powerful ballet geniuses and their striking masterpieces never before performed by The Washington Ballet. Petite Mort is Jiri Kylián’s masterwork. One of the Fathers of the ‘Dutch’ movement, Hans van Manen tears down the walls between ballet and contemporary dance. Polyphonia was Christopher Wheeldon’s breakout piece for New York City Ballet in which he won the Critics’ Circle Award and an Olivier Award. ” – Washington Ballet
  • Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker @ Warner Theatre
    December 4 – December 28
    ” On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his highly-acclaimed production, Septime Webre is planning some special surprises for his celebrated all-American Nutcracker. Set in 1882 Georgetown, this gorgeous production showcases the grandeur of The Washington Ballet’s international roster of dancers and majesty of Tchaikovsky’s music. ” – Washington Ballet


  • The Night Fairy @ Imagination Stage
    September 27 – October 26
    “Flory is a Night Fairy who is attacked by a bat. When her wings are damaged in the struggle, she is forced to learn how to survive in the daylight among the other birds and animals in a typical backyard. During her adventures, Flory makes new friends, and eventually reconciles with her foe. By the time her wings begin to sprout back, Flory has discovered a renewed sense of creativity, diplomacy, and resilience that she never knew she had.”- Imagination Stage
  • Stellaluna @ Maryland Ensemble Theatre
    September 27 – October 26
    “Baby bat Stellaluna’s life is flitting along right on schedule–until an owl attacks her mother one night, knocking the bewildered batlet out of her mother’s loving grasp. The tiny bat is lucky enough to land in a nest of baby birds, but her whole world has just turned upside down!”  –Maryland Ensemble Theatre

06 - BYT Tips

  • Check out the League of Washington Theatres website for updates on specials.
  • If You Are Under 35 and have a valid ID to prove it, tickets to Shakespeare Theatre Company are only $15 for you. Start using and abusing that fact NOW.
  • Kennedy Center MyTix -you need to be 18‒30 years old or an active duty member of the armed services, but the discounts/offers/giveaways/special events are amazing.
  • if you are under 30, Arena Stage offers $20-per-show subscriptions for either 4 or 8 of their plays every season. SCORE.
  • speaking of Arena stage-also check out the KOGOD Cradle series dedicated to emerging and experimental work. Tickets are $10 only.
  • Before each show in DC opens, there is inevitably one or two of pay-what-you-can nights. Tickets are usually only available for in-person purchase but just keep an eye out (the calendar on top should come in handy here).
  • Studio Theatre, one of our favorites in town offers all sorts of useful discounts: Student Rush: $15 tickets day of show, must present Student ID when picking up.  or just plain Rush Tickets: $30 tickets on sale 30 minutes before curtain time as available. or Nov 2, Dec 1, Feb 29, May 23, Jun 13. Ticket Price: $20 for patrons who live or work in the Studio District, with proof of address. Tickets only available day of event. What is the Studio District? The area between 11th and 17th Streets NW, and from N ST NW to Florida Ave NW.