THE ORIGINALIST, by John Strand (Charles MacArthur Award-winning Lovers and Executioners), directed by Molly Smith (Camp David and Artistic Director of Arena Stage), and starring four-time Helen Hayes Award-winner Edward Gero (Goodman Theatre's Red), tells the story about a liberal law student's nerve-wracking clerkship with Justice Antonin Scalia. THE ORIGINALIST, a co-production with Asolo Repertory Theatre, is now playing through May 7, 2017. (more...)
Four intellectuals-a doctor, an actress, a psychologist and a neurobiologist studying the human brain's response to race-search for love, acceptance and identity in Lydia R. Diamond's comedy-drama Smart People, which makes its D.C. debut at Arena Stage. Set against the backdrop of Obama's 2008 election, Diamond's fiercely funny play explores the unavoidable nature of cultural bias. Deputy Artistic Director Seema Sueko makes her Arena Stage directorial debut with this "sexy, serious and very, very funny modern-day comedy of manners" (Variety). Smart People runs April 14-May 21, 2017 in the Kreeger Theater. (more...)
The Drama League has announced the 2017 Drama League Awards Nominees for Outstanding Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and the much-coveted Distinguished Performance Award. Scroll down for the full list of nominees! (more...)
Under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, and Stephen J. Albert, Executive Director,Court Theatre announces that it will present the Asolo Repertory Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse and Arena Stage production of The Originalistby John Strand, featuring Edward Gero as Antonin Scalia and directed by Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith, to conclude its 63rd season. As previously announced, the production will run May 10 - June 10, 2018 at Court Theatre, 5535 S Ellis Avenue, Chicago. (more...)
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will host the Voices of Now Festival, a four-day event featuring original works of theater written and performed by 10 different youth ensembles. (more...)
The 'play that changed American theater forever' (New York Times) comes to Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater for the first time ever this spring. Due to popular demand, the production has been extended for one week with eight additional performances, running now through May 7, 2017 in the Fichandler Stage. BroadwayWorld has photos from the opening night festivities below! (more...)
John Strand's THE ORIGINALIST had its world premiere in 2015 at The Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. with the titular role of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia played by the critically acclaimed Edward Gero. Edward reprises his role at The Pasadena Playhouse's starting April 11. I made the most out of the opportunity to put Edward on the stand to cross-examine him on what it means to portray one of the most polarizing judges in U.S. history. (more...)
The Playwrights' Center today announced that Robert Chelimsky will join the organization as managing director, effective May 1, 2017. Chelimsky most recently served as managing director of Epic Theatre Ensemble in New York. (more...)
Artistic director of Arena Stage in Washington DC Molly Smith directs John Strand's The Originalist about the Supreme Court onstage at the Pasadena Playhouse beginning April 11. The play focuses on a clerkship between a young woman and recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia portrayed by Edward Gero. It fits the times to perfection as the two characters spar on a grand scale to defend their interpretation of the truth as written in our constitution. In our chat, Smith talks about the play, its mission, this co-production and also about her work at Arena Stage. (more...)
Peak Performances is pleased to welcome back Doug Elkins, whom The New York Times calls “one of the most witty, musical and inventive choreographers of his generation,” and his company, doug elkins choreography, etc., in an evening-length program of new and acclaimed works, April 20-23 at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University. (more...)
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will present the American Voice Award to Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) on Thursday, April 6, 2017 as part of the opening night celebration for Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking drama A Raisin in the Sun. (more...)
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, in partnership with Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman, opens its doors for the ninth D.C. Career Fair Wednesday, April 5, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Mead Center (1101 Sixth St., SW). Throughout the past four years, Arena Stage has partnered with nearly 100 participating organizations and served a combined total of more than 7,400 community members by hosting regular career fairs. (more...)
All in all, I certainly commend Arena Stage, including Artistic Director Molly Smith, for taking a chance on this new work. Unfortunately, there's a ways to go to ready it for an audience, particularly here in DC where there is bound to be at least a handful of people with a pretty good understanding of the subject matter. (more...)
The seven originating theaters of the Women's Voices Theater Festival - Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre, Round House Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - have announced preliminary details for the second installment of the Women's Voices Theater Festival, January 15 - February 15, 2018. (more...)
Theater Close-Up -- the unique collaboration between THIRTEEN and the large community of New York City area Off-Broadway and regional theaters - continues with John Strand's The Originalist, captured live on-stage at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Monday, March 13 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN, with an encore presentation on Sunday, March 19 at 3:40 a.m. The play will also air Sunday, March 26 at 10 p.m. on WLIW21. The play, directed on the stage by Molly Smith, will be available for streaming for two weeks after the broadcast.
L to R: Edward Gero as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Kerry Warren as Cat in The Originalist at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Credit: C. Stanley Photography.
Four-time Helen Hayes Award winner Edward Gero (Red) returned to Arena Stage as one of America's most brilliant and polarizing figures: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. When bright, liberal, Harvard Law School graduate Cat (Kerry Warren) embarks on a nerve-wracking clerkship with Justice Scalia, she discovers him to be both an infuriating sparring partner and an unexpected mentor. How will their relationship affect one of the most incendiary cases ever to reach the nation's highest court? Along the way, Cat's relationship with Scalia is complicated further by Brad (Harlan Work), an adversarial law clerk on Scalia's staff.
Gero had last appeared at Arena Stage as Mark Rothko in 'Red.' He is a four-time Helen Hayes winner and 14-time nominee. Regional credits include Mark Rothko in 'Red' at the Goodman Theatre; the title role of 'Sweeney Todd' at Signature Theatre; 'The Chosen' at Theater J; Ebenezer Scrooge in 'A Christmas Carol' and Horace Vandergelder in 'Hello, Dolly!' at Ford's Theatre; 'American Buffalo,' 'Shining City' (Helen Hayes nomination) and 'Skylight' (Helen Hayes Award) at Studio Theatre; and 'The Matchmaker' at Center Stage. In 30 seasons with the Shakespeare Theatre Company, he's played 70 roles, including Helen Hayes-winning turns in 'Henry IV,' 'Richard II' and 'Macbeth.' In New York, he's appeared at South Street Theatre and Classic Stage.
Author John Strand is a resident playwright with Arena Stage through the American Voices New Play Institute. His previous work at Arena Stage includes 'The Miser,' an adaptation of the Moliere play set in Reagan-era America; 'Lovers and Executioners,' winner of the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play; and Tom Walker, also commissioned by Arena Stage. His recent work includes the book and lyrics for 'Hat! A Vaudeville,' a new musical with a score by composer Dennis McCarthy (South Coast Repertory); 'Lincolnesque,' a dark comedy about politics and madness in D.C. (The Old Globe, dir. by Joe Calarco); and 'Lorenzaccio,' his adaptation of Alfred de Musset's 1834 French classic (Shakespeare Theatre Company, dir. by Michael Kahn).
Of the Arena Stage production, The New York Times wrote, '... The meat of the play draws a portrait of the private man in accordance with the public record: rigid in his views, deeply moralistic and unafraid to express his florid contempt for those benighted souls who see things from any perspective other than his own. Also: He's funny.'
DC Theatre Scene opined, 'Arena and director Molly Smith have given this fine work a good, rigorous production ... Edward Gero is a continuing wonder ...'
Theater Close-Up on THIRTEEN has most recently featured Rasheeda Speaking from The New Group, Fashions for Men from Mint Theater, Wiesenthal filmed at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row, Repairing a Nation from Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Incident at Vichy from Signature Theatre Company, The Woodsman recorded at New World Stages, Buried Child from The New Group, and Buyer & Cellar from Westport Country Playhouse.
THIRTEEN is using its unrivaled expertise in producing national PBS arts programming - which began with such classic series as Theater in America, part of the award-winning series Great Performances and special limited series such as Stage on Screen -- to provide New Yorkers with unparalleled access to great Off-Broadway and regional offerings.
The Originalist is a production of Stage17, and was directed for television by Diana Basmajian.
For Theater Close-Up, Mitch Owgang is producer; Bill O'Donnell is series producer; and David Horn is executive producer. Executive-in-charge for WNET is Neal Shapiro.
Major support for this presentation of Theater Close-Up is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, and Bernard and Irene Schwartz.
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WNET is America's flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (KidsThirteen, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET's groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: www.thirteen.org/passport.
About Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Director Edgar Dobie, is a national center dedicated to American voices and artists. Arena Stage produces plays of all that is passionate, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays and impacts the lives of over 10,000 students annually through its work in community engagement. Now in its seventh decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000. Arenastage.org
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