Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Regional Updates

Kennedy Center Announces 2021-2022 Theater Season Featuring HAMILTON, HADESTOWN and More

Additional productions include Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations, Beautiful: the Carole King Musical and more.

Kennedy Center Announces 2021-2022 Theater Season Featuring HAMILTON, HADESTOWN and More

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced its 2021-2022 Theater season featuring hit Broadway musicals, acclaimed plays, Kennedy Center productions, special programming for the Center's 50th Anniversary, and more, beginning in October 2021. Theater subscriptions for the 2021-2022 season are now available here or by calling (202) 467-4600.

"I am elated to announce what is perhaps one of our most important theater seasons ever at the Kennedy Center as we return with such a full, exciting program of musicals and plays. The anticipation of being able to see Broadway productions again-and be in the theater together-is palpable," said Jeffrey Finn, Vice President and Executive Producer of Theater at the Kennedy Center. "This upcoming season is filled with incredible shows and works from brilliant artists, offering something for everyone."

As the Kennedy Center moves towards a full re-opening, it continues to prioritize the health and safety of artists, staff, and patrons. Current protocols can be found here and will continue to be updated as they evolve.

Hit Productions from Broadway and London

Featuring the Best Musical Tony Award® winners from 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, the new season officially begins with the most recent Tony Award® winner for Best Musical, Hadestown, followed by the return of Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations-which played a sold-out, pre-Broadway engagement at the Kennedy Center in 2018-and Beautiful: the Carole King Musical, celebrating the life and career of the 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree. 2022 kicks off with the exuberant new musical, The Prom, and continues with the new national touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar; the international smash, Riverdance - The 25th Anniversary Show; the hilarious hit Mean Girls, which returns to D.C. where it sold-out a pre-Broadway run; 2019 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical Revival, Oklahoma!; and Freestyle Love Supreme, the hip hop-comedy-musical phenomenon that played a pre-Broadway engagement at the Kennedy Center in 2019.

Two highly anticipated plays, originally planned for the 2019-2020 season, have been rescheduled for May and June of 2022, respectively. Patrick Ness's piercing Carnegie and Greenaway Medal-winning novel, A Monster Calls, is brought to the Kennedy Center from London's Old Vic by visionary director Sally Cookson in an exclusive U.S. engagement. The national tour of Aaron Sorkin's acclaimed Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, depicting Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning story of racial injustice, will make its Washington, D.C. debut.

Hamilton, which was awarded a special Kennedy Center Honors in 2018, will return to the Kennedy Center Opera House for a 12-week run beginning in July of 2022. Summer of 2022 features the Tony Award®-winning Best Musical Jersey Boys; a return engagement of The Band's Visit-the 2017 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical-which played a sold-out run at the Center in 2019; the euphoric, spirit-lifting global phenomenon Blue Man Group makes their Kennedy Center premiere; and Tony®, Grammy®, and Olivier®-winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen comes back to the Center following a sold-out engagement in 2019.

Broadway Center Stage to Return in 2022

Now entering its fourth season, Broadway Center Stage has produced numerous sold-out, critically lauded, new Kennedy Center productions including The Music Man, The Who's Tommy, and, most recently, Next to Normal. The series will continue in spring 2022 with new, starry productions of beloved musicals to be announced at a later date.

Celebrating the Kennedy Center's 50th Anniversary

As previously announced, for the Center's 50th Anniversary, the Kennedy Center will produce 50 Years of Broadway at the Kennedy Center, a star-studded concert celebrating the numerous iconic musicals the Center has launched and presented, such as Pippin, Annie, and Les Misérables, plus thrilling revivals from its stages to Broadway. Featuring Broadway's best talent and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, whose roots go back to the opening of the Center in 1971, this event will celebrate many of the great musical theater moments from throughout the Center's history.

Previously announced for the 50th Anniversary are five new play commissions under the auspices of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Fifty years ago, Rogers Stevens asked his colleague Michael Kanin, the Academy Award®-winning screenwriter, to help launch a program for student playwrights in higher education. The Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards program, now with 17 annual awards for undergraduate and graduate playwrights, has become an essential component of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), the first education program of the institution. In this anniversary year, the Kennedy Center has co-commissioned plays by distinguished alumni of the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards program: Ike Holter co-commissioned with Lookingglass Theatre Company (Chicago, IL); Molly Smith Metzler, co-commissioned with Manhattan Theater Club (New York, NY); Marco Ramirez, co-commissioned with Center Theater Group (Los Angeles, CA). Collaborators Hansol Jung and Brian Quijada, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Martyna Majok, will work with partner theatres to be announced at a later date.

The Kennedy Center will host developmental workshops of each of these works during the spring and summer of 2022 at the REACH. The workshops will utilize D.C.-based acting companies with creative teams and affiliated artists assembled by the playwrights in collaboration with the co-commissioning partner theater companies from around the country. Student theater artists from the nationwide KCACTF network will staff each project as apprentices, continuing to look towards the future as the Center honors the past.

Hadestown

October 13-31, 2021 in the Opera House

Winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards® including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album, this acclaimed new show from celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) is a love story for today... and always. Intertwining two mythic tales-that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone-Hadestown is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never lets go.

Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations

December 14, 2021-January 16, 2022 in the Opera House

Ain't Too Proud is the electrifying new smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations' extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Nominated for 12 Tony Awards® and the winner of the 2019 Tony Award® for Best Choreography, it's a thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal during a decade of civil unrest in America. Set to the beat of the group's treasured hits, including "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," "Get Ready," and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," Ain't Too Proud tells the unforgettable story of the legendary quintet.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

December 14, 2021-January 2, 2022 in the Eisenhower Theater

Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King's remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation. Beautiful has a book by Tony Award® nominee and Academy Award®-nominated writer Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni, choreography by Josh Prince, and took home two 2014 Tony Awards® and the 2015 Grammy® for Best Musical Theater Album.

The Prom

January 4-16, 2022 in the Eisenhower Theater

The Prom is a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars on a mission to change the world and the love they discover that unites them all. The Prom features direction and choreography by Tony Award® winner & 2019 Tony Award® nominee Casey Nicholaw (Mean Girls, The Book of Mormon), a book by Tony Award® winner & 2019 Tony®, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and 2019 Tony®, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin), music by 2019 Tony® and Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Matthew Sklar (Elf) and lyrics by Beguelin.

Jesus Christ Superstar

February 22-March 13, 2022 in the Opera House

Jesus Christ Superstar is an iconic musical phenomenon with a worldwide fan base. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America. Originally staged by London's Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and helmed by the acclaimed director Timothy Sheader (Crazy for You, Into the Woods) and award-winning choreographer Drew McOnie (King Kong, Strictly Ballroom), this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring. Featuring award-winning music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas.

Riverdance - The 25th Anniversary Show

March 15-27, 2022 in the Opera House

A powerful and stirring reinvention of this beloved favorite, celebrated the world over for its Grammy Award®-winning score and the thrilling energy and passion of its Irish and international dance. Twenty-five years on, composer Bill Whelan has rerecorded his mesmerizing soundtrack while producer Moya Doherty and director John McColgan have completely reimagined the groundbreaking show with innovative and spectacular lighting, projection, stage, and costume designs. For over 25 years, nothing has carried the energy, the sensuality, and the spectacle of Riverdance. Since its inception Riverdance has packed theaters throughout North America, Oceania, Asia, Europe, South Africa, and South America.

Mean Girls

April 5-24, 2022 in the Opera House

Direct from Broadway, Mean Girls is the hilarious hit musical from book writer Tina Fey ("30 Rock), composer Jeff Richmond ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"), lyricist Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and director Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon). Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina's reign, she learns the hard way that you can't cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.

Oklahoma!

April 5-10, 2022 in the Eisenhower Theater

"How is it that the coolest new show on Broadway is a 1943 musical?" asks The New York Times. This is Oklahoma! reimagined for the 21st century, and now the Tony Award® winner for Best Revival of a Musical.Stripped down to reveal the darker psychological truths at its core, Daniel Fish's production tells a story of a community circling its wagons against an outsider, and the frontier life that shaped America. Upending the sunny romance of a farmer and a cowpoke, this Oklahoma! allows the classic musical- and our country-to be seen in a whole new light.

Freestyle Love Supreme

May 10-15, 2022 in the Eisenhower Theater

Before Hamilton, before In the Heights, there was Freestyle Love Supreme. Now-direct from Broadway-the original hip hop musical phenomenon from Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Anthony Veneziale returns to Washington, D.C. The subject of the recently released Hulu documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, every performance of this Grammy®-nominated show brings the unexpected, as the crew takes the crowd on a freestyle, hip hop, improvisational comedy ride. The performers take suggestions from the audience and spin them into instantaneous riffs and full-length musical numbers. See it for the first time each time-as no two shows are ever the same.

A Monster Calls

May 25-June 12, 2022 in the Eisenhower Theater

Patrick Ness's novel A Monster Calls is brought to the stage in a powerful new adaptation by visionary director Sally Cookson. Thirteen-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved to America. But now his mum's very sick and she's not getting any better. His grandmother won't stop interfering and the kids at school won't look him in the eye. Then, one night, at seven minutes past midnight, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. It's come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before. And when it's finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears.

Jersey Boys

June 14-26, 2022 in the Eisenhower Theater.

Jersey Boys is the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard... and the radio just couldn't get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story-a story that has made them an international sensation all over again. Jersey Boys is the winner of the 2006 Best Musical Tony Award®, the 2006 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Show Album, the 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, and the 2010 Helpmann Award for Best Musical (Australia). Directed by two-time Tony Award® winner Des McAnuff, Jersey Boys is written by Academy Award® winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe, and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

June 21-July 10, 2022 in the Opera House

The national touring production of Aaron Sorkin's new play, directed by Bartlett Sher, and based on Harper Lee's classic novel, will star Emmy Award® winner Richard Thomas. Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird holds the title of the most successful American play in Broadway history. It has not played to an empty seat on Broadway, with capacity remaining over 100% for every performance. On February 26, 2020, the cast of To Kill a Mockingbird gave a history-making performance of the play at Madison Square Garden for 18,000 New York City high school and middle school students. This was the largest single performance of a theatrical work in the history of world theater. Set in Alabama in 1934, Harper Lee's enduring story of racial injustice and childhood innocence centers on one of the most venerated characters in American literature, the small-town lawyer Atticus Finch. The cast of characters includes Atticus's daughter Scout, her brother Jem, their housekeeper and caretaker Calpurnia, their visiting friend Dill, and a mysterious neighbor, the reclusive Arthur "Boo" Radley.

The Band's Visit

July 5-July 17, 2022 in the Eisenhower Theater

The critically acclaimed smash-hit Broadway musical The Band's Visit is the winner of 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, making it one of the most Tony®-winning musicals in history. It is also a Grammy Award® winner for Best Musical Theater Album. With a score that seduces your soul and sweeps you off your feet, and featuring thrillingly talented onstage musicians, The Band's Visit rejoices in the way music makes us laugh, makes us cry, and ultimately, brings us together.

Hamilton

July 12-October 2, 2022 in the Opera House

Hamilton is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, Hamilton has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theater-a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow's acclaimed biography. It has won Tony®, Grammy®, and Olivier Awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and an unprecedented special citation from the Kennedy Center Honors.

Blue Man Group

July 19-31, 2022 in the Eisenhower Theater

More than 35 million people around the world have experienced the smash-hit phenomenon that is Blue Man Group, and now the bald and blue men are finally making their Kennedy Center debut! This all new tour is everything audiences know and love about Blue Man Group-signature drumming, colorful moments of creativity, and quirky comedy. Featuring pulsing, original music, custom-made instruments, surprise audience interaction, and hilarious absurdity, Blue Man Group is a joyful experience that unites audiences of all ages.

Dear Evan Hansen

August 31-September 25, 2022 in the Eisenhower Theater

Winner of the Grammy®, three Olivier Awards and six Tony Awards® including Best Musical, Dear Evan Hansen. A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he's always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. Dear Evan Hansen is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it. Dear Evan Hansen features a book by Tony Award® winner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy®, Tony®, Olivier®, and Academy Award® winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman), and direction by four-time Tony Award® nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal).

Shear Madness

Ongoing. Returning October 5, 2021 in the Theater Lab

Shear Madness returns with brand new clues and hilarity. When a famed concert pianist is killed above the Shear Madness hair salon, the audience turns detective to crack the case. Featuring improvisational comedy, no two performances are alike. Was it the shady antiques dealer, the secretive stylist, the sassy salon owner, or the snooty society lady? This interactive, immersive, and irresistible "whodunit" keeps audiences laughing as they try to outwit the suspects and catch the killer.


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You