JAJA'S AFRICAN HAIR BRAIDING and More Set For Arena Stage's 2024/25 Season

The season also includes world premieres from Larissa FastHorse, Lauren Yee, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and more.

By: May. 14, 2024
JAJA'S AFRICAN HAIR BRAIDING and More Set For Arena Stage's 2024/25 Season
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Arena Stage has announced its 74th season, including a blend of new works and reimagined classics. Comprised of nine subscription offerings, plus the return of the D.C. family-favorite winter tradition, Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show, the season will include six world-premiere productions and collaborations with some of the nation’s leading theater-makers. Season packages are now available for purchase.

“This season is a collection of ten dynamic American stories from our nation’s most exciting and provocative artistic voices,” said Sharif. “Arena Stage has a long and rich history of launching groundbreaking new plays into the world and I am honored to dream boldly as we lay the foundation for a future as limitless as our imaginations.” 

Arena Stage’s 2024/25 Season marks a thrilling new chapter for American theater, deepening the venerated company’s legacy of innovation since its founding in 1950. Under Sharif's direction, this season promises to reignite the transformative power of theater and reinvigorate audiences toward collective and individual dreams. Join us as we embark on a journey toward the future of storytelling. Welcome to 2024/25: DREAMING FORWARD! 


Manhattan Theatre Club’s production

By Jocelyn Bioh 

Directed by Whitney White 

A Co-Production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theater In Association with Madison Wells Live and LaChanze.

In the Kreeger Theater
September 6 – October 6, 2024 

Step into the vibrant world of Jaja’s African Hair Braiding, direct from Broadway. Set in the pulsating heart of Harlem, this comedic gem unravels the complexities of cultural identity, assimilation, and the pursuit of the American Dream within the African immigrant community. Follow the uproarious escapades of Maria, Bea, Miriam, Aminata, Ndidi, Jaja, and others as they navigate life and laughter in Jaja's bustling hair braiding salon. With humor as rich as its characters, this five-time Tony Award-nominated production weaves hilarious moments with profound insights, celebrating the indomitable spirit and interconnectedness that define us all. 


World-Premiere Production 

By John Leguizamo 

Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson 

Starring John Leguizamo 

Produced in Association with The Public Theater 

In the Fichandler Stage
October 18 – November 24, 2024 

This world-premiere drama will star Emmy Award-winning actor, comedian, and producer John Leguizamo.

In Forest Hills, Queens, Nelson Castro, a Colombian American laundromat owner, grapples with a failing business and buried secrets. When his son Nick returns from a mental wellness facility after a traumatic incident, Nelson's world unravels. Committed to protecting his family and business, he tackles racial and identity challenges to achieve his dream, proving his success. In this gripping tale of resilience, Nelson must navigate morality's murky waters to salvage his future. Will he emerge victorious, or will his past consume everything he holds dear?


World-Premiere Production

By Matthew Libby 

Directed by Tyne Rafaeli 

In the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle
October 31 – December 15, 2024 

A fast-paced techno-thriller unveiling the dark secrets lurking within Silicon Valley 

Data is Matthew Libby’s intriguingly suspenseful and relevant new play that takes you behind the locked doors of Silicon Valley. Its protagonist is Maneesh, a brilliant entry-level programmer at Athena Technologies, a data-mining firm. Content to work in the low-stress environment of User Experience, Maneesh has a crisis of conscience when he is offered a transfer to the more-central Data Analytics team, and learns the true nature of

Athena’s highly controversial and secretive work. Torn between idealism and survival, Maneesh is forced to come to terms with his unique American identity, all while learning the extent to which Athena is willing to go to hide its secrets. 


World-Premiere Production

By Agatha Christie 

Adapted for the Stage by Ken Ludwig 

Directed by Hana S. Sharif 

In the Kreeger Theater
November 22 – December 29, 2024 

Ludwig’s fourth premiere at Arena Stage marks Sharif’s D.C. directorial debut 

In Ken Ludwig’s thrilling adaptation of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile, Hercule Poirot becomes entangled in a web of deceit and desire aboard a cruise ship on the Nile River. When a murder occurs among the passengers, Poirot springs into action to unmask a killer who could strike again at any moment. 


In the Fichandler Stage
December 13 – 22, 2024 

Step back into the holiday spirit with the joyful return of Step Afrika!'s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show, where the rich tradition of African American stepping blends with the magic of the season. Enjoy laughter, songs, and dance with award-winning performers on the Fichandler Stage. DJ Nutcracker and his Arctic friends amplify the festive atmosphere. This vibrant, fun-filled show promises a memorable adventure for the entire family, captivating your heart and senses. Don't miss this extraordinary holiday "step-stravaganza"! 

New Musical - To Be Announced

In the Kreeger Theater
January 31 – March 16, 2025 


By Edith Wharton 

Adapted for the Stage by Karen Zacarías 

Directed by Hana S. Sharif 

In the Fichandler Stage
February 28 – March 30, 2025 

Against the lavish backdrop of 1870s New York, where hypocrisy thrives and hidden passions simmer, Karen Zacarías brings Edith Wharton's timeless masterpiece, The Age of Innocence, to the stage. This adaptation unveils a searing critique of high society's suffocating norms, presenting a riveting tale of forbidden desires. Surrounded on all sides by an ocean of societal conformity, love clashes with duty, and innocence is sacrificed. Follow the compelling journey of Newland Archer as he grapples with the rigid constraints of privilege, torn between tradition and the allure of forbidden passion. 


World-Premiere Production

By Larissa FastHorse 

Directed by Michael John Garcés 

Produced in Association with Center Theatre Group 

In the Kreeger Theater
April 3 – May 4, 2025

A door-slamming, mistaken identity satirical farce 

In Larissa FastHorse's uproarious comedy, a collision of friends and foes within the non-profit sector sets the stage for a whirlwind of competition, chaos, and comedic revelation. Meet Wynona, the Native American proprietor of N.O.B.U.S.H., and River, her white counterpart at Indigenous Nations Soaring. Their escalating rivalry ensnares colleagues and bystanders, leading to the unraveling of secrets that highlight the absurdities of ambition and authenticity. Amidst the laughter, genuine connections form, emphasizing the value of unexpected paths to success. Fake It Until You Make It is a humorous exploration of ambition, demonstrating that laughter often accompanies the pursuit of goals. 

UNTITLED Tarell Alvin McCraney PLAY 

World-Premiere Production

By Tarell Alvin McCraney 

In the Fichandler Stage
May 16 – June 15, 2025 

A new play about queer love and forest magic from the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Moonlight 

Wilson and Free met in a dark park searching for fun not expecting to find love, light, and each other. Now a milestone anniversary has got them wondering if they have met Mr. Right or a long one-night stand with a lovely Mr. Maybe? With a little support and a lot of confusion from family, friends, and a stranger in the dark, the question remains: will Free and Wilson find their way together or will they let fear, and a secret lead them asunder? 


World-Premiere Production

Book by Lauren Yee 

Music and Lyrics by Heather Christian 

Based on the Novel Written by Madeleine L’Engle 

Directed by Lee Sunday Evans 

By Special Arrangement with Plate Spinner Productions and Diana DiMenna, Aaron Glick, and Charlotte Jones Voiklis 

In the Kreeger Theater
June 12 – July 20, 2025 

A world-premiere musical of the classic young adult novel 

Meg Murry's father was experimenting with time travel and The Fifth Dimension when he mysteriously disappeared. Now, Meg, her friend Calvin, and her younger brother Charles Wallace must race to rescue him. Can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space? Join Meg on this epic quest in an adventurous new musical adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle's Newbery Medal-winning classic novel that will energize your spirit, expand your imagination, and inspire you to believe that love, camaraderie, and courage can conquer all. 

*Plays, artists, and dates subject to change. 

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