Sam Abney

Sam Abney

Sam Abney is a Washington, D.C. based arts professional. A native of Arizona, he has happily made D.C. his new home. Sam is a graduate from George Mason University with a degree in Communication and currently works for Arena Stage as a member of their Development team. He is a life-long lover of theater and is excited about sharing his passion with as many people as possible.

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BWW Review: The Washington National Opera's LA TRAVIATA is an Exquisite RevivalBWW Review: The Washington National Opera's LA TRAVIATA is an Exquisite Revival
Posted: Oct. 10, 2018

BWW Review: George Mason University School of Dance Proves Their Worth With a Diverse DANCE GALABWW Review: George Mason University School of Dance Proves Their Worth With a Diverse DANCE GALA
Posted: Mar. 26, 2018

BWW Review: CHRISTOPHER JACKSON Exudes Swagger at an Intimate Kennedy Center ConcertBWW Review: CHRISTOPHER JACKSON Exudes Swagger at an Intimate Kennedy Center Concert
Posted: Sep. 30, 2018

BWW Review: MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP Delivers a Finessed, Yet Disconnected, Persian Love StoryBWW Review: MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP Delivers a Finessed, Yet Disconnected, Persian Love Story
Posted: Mar. 23, 2018

BWW Review: THE COMEDY OF ERRORS Makes Up for Some Errors with Great ComedyBWW Review: THE COMEDY OF ERRORS Makes Up for Some Errors with Great Comedy
Posted: Oct. 6, 2018

BWW Review: The Washington National Opera's WNO GALA Pays Tribute to Leonard BernsteinBWW Review: The Washington National Opera's WNO GALA Pays Tribute to Leonard Bernstein
Posted: May. 25, 2018

BWW Review: KINGS at Studio Theatre Rules
December 20, 2018

Some people go to the theater to find a place to escape from the world around them. If you are one of those people, Studio Theatre's production of Kings wont be your cup of tea. This production is often an uncomfortably real exploration of politics, lobbyists and daily life in the heart of our nation. It takes a moment for the plot to get moving, but once it has left the station, Kings proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

BWW Review: Washington Concert Opera Serves Up a Seductive SAPHO
November 21, 2018

If you have ever attended an opera and thought 'all of these sets and costumes are so incredibly distracting' then Washington Concert Opera would be right up your alley. Stripping away the grandiose of an opera production, WCO presents their works in their most raw form: with just an orchestra, a chorus, and principles who sing their hearts out. This minimalist style isn't likely to convert opera skeptics, but it is a great way to deepen one's appreciation for the art form. Their most recent presentation of Charles Gounod's first opera, Sapho, benefits from some strong lead performances. It's just a shame that the libretto isn't better.

BWW Review: Washington National Opera's SILENT NIGHT is a Timely Tribute to Veterans
November 11, 2018

One hundred years after the armistice of The Great War, it is still crucial to honor the memory of all who fought to create a better world for the future. Washington National Opera's production of Silent Night, which opened on Saturday night at the Kennedy Center, is a glorious celebration of the brave soldiers who have risked their lives for their countries. The production is weakened by some questionable staging choices but serves as a suitable showcase for opera's rising stars.

BWW Review: Ragamala Dance Company's WRITTEN IN WATER at the Kennedy Center
November 3, 2018

Just because a work is new doesn't mean that it isn't able to honor the classic sources that paved the way for its creation. This idea is underscored in the Ragamala Dance Company's elegant and well-executed performance of Written in Water, which relies on the ancient Indian board game Paramapadam (a precursor to Snakes and Ladders) and Hindu mythology to craft the performance's three movements. Even though the performance could benefit from more dynamic shifts in tonality, the overall effect is gorgeous and precise.

BWW Review: Theater J's ACTUALLY is, Actually, Very Thought-Provoking
October 25, 2018

Theater J's new production of Actually, which opened on Monday night, provides new voices to the issue of campus safety and sexual assault. Anna Ziegler's script undoubtedly has important things to say-and Actually is a crucial piece which dives into the intricacies of campus safety. It's tough material that suffers from some uneven pacing but one which, nevertheless, encourages continued engagement and thought.

BWW Review: THE FALL at Studio Theatre Must Be Seen
October 18, 2018

Every now and then, a show comes along that is an undeniable "must-watch." The reasons for such a status may vary but the final verdict is unmistakable: the performance cannot be missed. With The Fall, Studio Theatre has such a scenario on their hands. This 80-minute performance, brought to D.C. by The Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town, flies by so quickly that I didn't want it to end.

BWW Review: Shakespeare Theatre Company Showcases Their Best in an Impeccable Gala
October 16, 2018

When Shakespeare Theatre Company first announced their 2018/19 season, I was hesitant. The season didn't feel grand enough to serve as a proper goodbye to Michael Kahn, who has developed this company into an international institution. Having now seen their first production, The Comedy of Errors, and their spectacular fall gala, I think it is safe to say my hesitation was unfounded. STC is sending their founder off with quite a spectacular farewell.

BWW Review: The Washington National Opera's LA TRAVIATA is an Exquisite Revival
October 10, 2018

Even if you've never seen an opera, you know at least one or two of the tunes from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata, which has become one of the most popular modern representations for classical opera. While the work was jeered at the time of its premiere, this tragic tale has aged beautifully-with a lush score featuring some of the greatest duets. The Washington National Opera's newest production injects new life into this piece, thanks to smart directorial choices by WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello and a top-notch creative team.

BWW Review: THE COMEDY OF ERRORS Makes Up for Some Errors with Great Comedy
October 6, 2018

There's nothing quite like a case of mistaken identity to really spice up a relationship. This is a lesson learned the hard way for Adrianna, wife of Antipholus of Syracuse, in Shakespeare Theatre Company's newest staging of The Comedy of Errors. While it takes a little while for this staging to settle into a groove, Alan Paul's deft direction supplies some of the finest comedic moments of the D.C. theater season thus far.

BWW Review: CHRISTOPHER JACKSON Exudes Swagger at an Intimate Kennedy Center Concert
September 30, 2018

On Saturday night, Washington, D.C. had a visit from one of the most popular American presidents and, while thoughts of a certain musical about a founding father hung over the evening, George Washington delivered a charming concert in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater. To clarify, Mr. Washington himself was unavailable for the evening since he's been dead for two centuries. Christopher Jackson, however, who received a Tony nomination for his portrayal of our first president, served as a great alternative.

BWW Review: THE EVENTS at Theater Alliance is Poignant but Imperfect
September 21, 2018

Writing about gun violence is difficult. There's no 'how-to' guide when it comes to preventing these attacks which have become more and more commonplace. The more we try to understand the inner machinations of the monsters who carry out such senseless assaults, the more we begin to spiral into someone we hardly recognize. Such is the thesis of David Greig's The Events, which opened last week at Theater Alliance at the Anacostia Playhouse. While the work is incredibly poignant, some artistic decisions muddle the plot and make the 80-minute performance drag during the middle of the production.

BWW Review: Stellar Lead Performances Populate NextStop Theatre Company's THE WEDDING SINGER
September 17, 2018

Even if you haven't seen the original film, the musical is still a fun ride. Despite some missteps, NextStop Theatre Company's new production is an undeniably good time, thanks in large part to some winning lead performances.

BWW Review: The In Series's VIVA VERDI is an Indescribable Emotional Multitude
September 11, 2018

"I don't like works which require an explanation," begins Timothy Nelson, the new Artistic Director for the In Series, at Sunday's performance of Viva VERDI. Even after Mr. Nelson describes the performance with great detail, he encourages the audience to embrace their inevitable confusion. Instead, Mr. Nelson explains, this is a work that should be felt rather than understood. Keeping true to Mr. Nelson's suggestion, Viva VERDI is a work that only a genius could fully understand. Nevertheless, it is one of the most emotionally stirring performances I have seen in recent memory.

BWW Review: Rainbow Theatre Project's IN THE CLOSET is a Moving, Although Unpolished, Coming-of-Age Tale
August 22, 2018

Siegmund Fuchs's new play In the Closet, produced by Rainbow Theatre Project, manifests this space in vivid detail. Unlike similar coming out stories, Fuchs emphasizes the continual process of coming out over the course of one's life. Even when the script stumbles, the themes presented in this show are worth listening to intently.

August 20, 2018

Pointless Theatre's production of Don Cristobal is an inventive send-up to Punch and Judy shows that is unfortunately bogged down by a clunky script which spends too much time trying to set up profundities it doesn't successfully execute.

BWW Review: 4615 Theatre Company's MACBETH is Mired by Miscalculated Performances
August 8, 2018

Tackling Macbeth is no minor feat. Few shows inspire as much dread both onstage and off as Shakespeare's "Scottish Play." Daringly dark in both plot and theme, Macbeth relies heavily on the performances of the eponymous Scot and his wife to propel the plot along compellingly and with varying intensity. 4615 Theatre Company's production, unfortunately, falls victim to most of the pitfalls which riddle this complicated work. The final result is a revival which is bogged down by a slow-paced first act and lead performances which are unable to reveal anything new about this work.

BWW Review: 4615 Theatre Company Serves Up a Satisfying DINNER
August 7, 2018

Whatever happened to the theatrical thriller? There's something so incredibly fulfilling about a play that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Too often, there are elements that can pull you out of a thrilling production. It can be the smallest thing: from a flickering stage light to a fumbling actor. Thankfully for 4615 Theatre Company, their production of Dinner by Moira Buffini is devoid of any of these downfalls. Instead, the play comes together to create a sumptuous treat that will leave you wanting more.

BWW Review: GOD IS DEAD AND APRIL'S GETTING MARRIED and A TWO WOMAN HAMLET Don't Fully Execute their Visions at Capital Fringe
July 23, 2018

Capital Fringe productions tend to have a lot of ambition. No matter the quality of the show, there is a clear underlining of a message the playwright wants to get across to their audience. When this message is unclear, however, the work can begin to falter. Unfortunately, this is the kind of scenario that befalls two promising productions at the Festival: God is Dead and April's Getting Married and A Two Woman Hamlet. Neither is bad, per se, but each show fails at living up to the promise of their premises.

BWW Review: SHOPWORN at Capital Fringe Festival is a Real Diamond in the Rough
July 19, 2018

With over 80 plays to choose from, Capital Fringe Festival can be overwhelming for the average theatergoer. There are plenty of good choices ranging from over-the-top comedies to funky experimental dramas to allegories and satires and everything in between. Obviously, with so many offerings, there will be works that fail to execute their artistic vision effectively. Thankfully, Derek Hills's Shopworn, which opened on Tuesday night at Capital Fringe's Orange venue (Christ United Methodist Church), is a true diamond in the rough: a family drama that provides modern commentary without getting too preachy. It is thoroughly delightful and a perfect selection for Fringe veterans and first-timers alike.

BWW Review: Monumental Theatre Company's PIPPIN is a Faithful Revival
July 17, 2018

Pippin may be one of the most timeless American musicals ever written. No matter when or where it is presented, the production is easily molded to fit the social circumstances of the day. Whether the original Fosse-helmed production, the Diane Paulus circus-themed 2013 revival, or a regional production that falls in between, Pippin's journey of self-discovery is one that allows for-even encourages-reinvention and improvement. Fresh off their victory of The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company at this May's Helen Hayes Awards, Monumental Theatre Company's newest production presents Pippin as a coming of age tale for the millennial generation. The millennial spin is understandable but, unfortunately, the execution prevents Pippin's extraordinary tale from becoming more than an ordinary revival.