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contributors: Svetlana Legetic.

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)

  • Lithuanian Trilogy @ Artisphere (now through October 20) – Paul Rajeckas delivers a tour-de-force of physical theatre inspired by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, as he plays a Lithuanian immigrant set out to discover her lineage.
  • Greek @ H Street Playhouse (October 15  – November 27)- Oedipus Rex, only replace Greece with London’s East End, and ancient Greek poetry with dirty, dirty jokes, and you’ll know just what to expect.
  • You Nero @ Arena Stage (November 25-January 1)- Arena’s resident playwright Amy Freed takes us on a journey in which, another playwright tries to save Rome as it crumbles under Nero’s rule. And yes, it is a comedy.
  • Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies @ Woolly Mammoth (December 6 – January 8)-Second City is back @ Woolly with a comedy which promises “a staggering body count”. Just in time for the holidays.


(photo from STOP KISS)

  • Imagining Maddoff @ Theater J (now through September 25) – pitting financial villain #1 Bernia Madoff in a conversation against a morally upstanding (if imaginary) Holocaust surviver is a novel take on the Wall Street drama we all feel we’ve heard everything about already.
  • Farenheit 451  @ Round House Bethesda (now through October 9) – A special effects heavy take on Ray Bradbury’s adaptation of his own seminal book, about a future where books are just not allowed.
  • Mad Forest @ Round House Silver Spring (now through October 15) – After the fall of Ceausescu, two Romanian families struggle to maintain their relationships in the fraught Romanian winter of 1989.
  • The Habit of Art @ Studio Theatre (now through October 16). Explores the often difficult (but fascinating) relationships between creative people, in this case Emglish composer Benjamin Britten and poet WH Auden. Read our full review here.
  • Krapp’s Last Tape @ Lansburgh (one week only- November 29-December 4) – If this doesn’t sound like a slice of theatre heaven, I don’t know what does? John Hurt stars in this adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s play about a man who, on his birthday, every year, records an audio document of his past twelve months.


  • FELA! @ Shakespeare Theatre Company (now through October 9) – if there is one play you HAVE TO see this Fall, we think it is FELA!, about the very talented and very interesting Fela Kuti. Bill T. Jones won his second Tony for the choreography, Jay-Z and Will Smith are among the producers and the music is, well, it is great. Read our full review here.
  • The Boy Detective Fails @ Signature Theatre (now through October 16) – in a city that loves it’s stand-by lock-in hits, a world premiere of of not one but two musicals at the same time in the same theatre (see also in the “Spooked by” section about the “Hollow”) should turn some heads. This one is about a boy detective, Billy Argo, whose hometown is dissappearing and, yes, he will fail, and yes, you should still cheer him on on his journey.  Read our full review here.
  • Parade @ Ford’s (September 23-October 30) – the busiest man in DC musicals Euan Morton stars as a Jewish man accused of killing a teenage girl at a Confederate Pride Parade in early 1900s Georgia. It may not seem lighthearted, but it is adapted from 1998’s Tony Award winning Broadway play and seems like a musical DC was destined to love.
  • Jersey Boys @ National Theatre (November 10 – January 7) – well, we had to throw in a surefire hit in here too, right?


  • The Hollow @ Signature Theatre (now through October 16) – oh hey, a musical adaptation of THE SLEEPY HOLLOW.
  • The Poe Show @ Rep Stage (October 21-October 24) – Tony Tsenades is a nationally recognized interpreter of Poe’s work. He’s back in town to share stories by the master of macbre, just for you, just for three days.
  • HellSpawn: Plays The Devil Made us Write @ Woolly Mammoth (October 27 – October 30) – Active Cultures Theatre brighs you three short plays based on THE EXORCIST. Set in and around Cottage City, Maryland, these plays “bring new meaning to the phrase “demonic possession.””
  • Cabaret of The Macabre @ Round House Silver Spring (October 28-November 13) is Happenstance Theatre’s Edward Gorey inspired second annual event. Get ready for: dangerous croquet, frolic in the dark and Victorian nightmares.


  • Cirque du Soleil @ Verizon (November 16- November 20) – worth every penny, always.
  • National Acrobats of The People’s Republic of China @ George Mason University Center for The Arts (November 18-19)


  • Savage in Limbo @ Metro Stage (now through October 16) – about a group of young people, in a bar, re-considering life as they know it.
  • Lungs @ Studio Theatre (now through October 16) – a young couple pondering having a child is the catalyst for a conversation that opens up every detail of their relationship up for scrutiny.


DC certainly loves it’s Shakespeare this fall our kind and innovative theatre folk have decided to not play it quite as safe. Get ready for a twist on stories you  (feel like you’ve) seen a million times:




  • Already going through FRINGE withdrawal? Well, worry not because FALL FRINGE will be back in November. Details, ticketing etc to come.
  • AFI Silver is kicking off their OPERA IN CINEMA and BALLET IN CINEMA series this fall, allowing you to get acquainted with some masterpieces for a fraction of the cost. It all kicks off with a free screening of Verdi’s TRAVIATA this Saturday at noon.
  • We had a great time at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s GALA AFTER HOURS last year, one of the rare fancy dress theater affairs that targets young people and we highly recommend you go this year too. Especially since everyone from Chelsea Clinton to Kelly McGillis and Bradley Whitford will be there.

  • Check out the League of Washington Theatres website for updates on specials, including the hopefully returning FREE NIGHT OF THEATRE sometime in October
  • 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.
  • 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.

Let us know in the comments if you feel we missed anything unmissable and keep and eye out for more FALL GUIDES TO COME!