Signature Theatre Offers Backstage Experience With Brother Russia Presents

By: Jan. 17, 2012

Signature Theatre is now offering theater lovers everywhere the ultimate backstage pass with Brother Russia Presents, a six-session seminar that goes behind-the-scenes of the world premiere rock musical Brother Russia, from the award-winning creators of the hit musicals The Fix and Witches of Eastwick. From the Early Stages of the rehearsal process all the way through the final dress rehearsal, class members will meet the creative team and cast members, while getting a genuine inside look at all the stages involved in mounting a professional theatrical production.

Registration deadline to sign up for this unique theatrical experience is Wednesday, February 8 and tuition is $300. For more information, or to register for the seminar, please call David Zobell, Education Associate at (571) 527-1857 or visit

“For anyone who loves the spontaneous live art form that is theater, this extraordinary seminar is the perfect opportunity for them to get a definitive sneak-peek at the many stages involved in putting up a big musical,” said Signature’s Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer. “We are very excited to share this experience with theater fans of all ages, especially on a world premiere production that Signature is very proud to introduce to the public.”


Session I (February 15): From the Creative Process to Rehearsal

Composer Dana Rowe, book writer/lyricist John Dempsey, and director Eric Schaeffer share in an interactive talk about the creation of Brother Russia.
Session II (February 22): The Music of Brother Russia

Gabe Mangiante, the Musical Director, and members of the cast will talk about approaching the music and the characters in this inventive new musical. Attendees will listen to the music and find out what challenges the cast have in bringing it to life.

Session III (February 29): Tech Rehearsal

Watch an actual technical rehearsal as all of the elements (sets, props, lights, music, costumes, etc.) all come together to bring the premiere of Brother Russia to theatrical life.

Session IV (March 1): The Orchestra

The first rehearsal to add the orchestra into the mix is called a “sitz probe” where actors hear the music with full orchestration for the first time. Sit in and witness the cast blend their voices into the orchestral mix to make music together.

Session V (March 4): The Final Dress Rehearsal

The premiere of Brother Russia is now ready to meet its first audience. Be there front and center for the “invited dress” and see how the production comes together as the final, crucial element – you, the audience – is added.

Session VI (March 5): Critics’ Corner

Share a glass of wine with the creative team – as well as your personal critical opinions. An insightful and entertaining exchange of commentary, questions, and critiques on the process, the production, and the seminar are discussed.


In a desolate potato field north of Omsk, a comically fourth-rate Russian theater troupe sets up its tents and wows the local farmers with rock-fueled adaptations of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Tonight, however, the company tosses classic literature aside to showcase the life story of their impresario and star, the seemingly immortal Brother Russia – more commonly known as Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin. Yes, that Rasputin: the hypnotic mystic who seduced and ruled the Tsar and Tsarina in the waning days of Imperial Russia.

Brother Russia comes from the award-winning team of Dana Rowe (Music) and John Dempsey (Book & Lyrics). Directed by Eric Schaeffer, Brother Russia plays at Signature’s MAX Theatre from March 6 – April 15, 2012.


Performances of Brother Russia run from March 6, 2012 to April 15, 2012. Showtimes are Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm, Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. There will only be an 8pm performance on Saturday, March 10.

Tickets range from $63 - $87 and are available by calling Ticketmaster at 703-573-SEAT (7328) or visiting Group discounts are available for parties of ten or more by contacting Amanda McClish at or by calling (571) 527-1831. Student discount tickets are $30 and must be purchased the week of the performance. Signature is also offering “$22 for Tuesdays,” making available $22 tickets to the first two public Tuesday performances. For more information please visit


The remaining line-up for Signature Theatre’s 22nd season features the Tony Award®-winning shows Hairspray (now playing through February 5) and God of Carnage and the Washington DC premiere of the cult classic musical Xanadu. Signature is also home to the world premieres of the rock musical Brother Russia and the provocative new play Really Really (beginning performances January 31). Discount subscription packages (starting at 3 shows) are available by calling the Signature Box Office at (703) 820-9771 or visiting


Recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, Signature Theatre is a non-profit professional theater company in Arlington, Virginia dedicated to producing contemporary musicals and plays, reinventing classic musicals, and developing new work. Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, Signature has presented 36 world premiere productions and is renowned for combining Broadway-quality productions with intimate playing spaces.

In addition to hosting the finest talent from the DC metropolitan area and New York, Signature has been home to such theatre luminaries as Chita Rivera, George Hearn, Hunter Foster, Emily Skinner, Marc Kudisch, Judy Kuhn, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cameron Mackintosh, Terrence McNally, and the company’s signature composer, Stephen Sondheim. Since its founding in 1989, Signature has won 72 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region’s professional theater and has been honored with 293 nominations.

Signature is partially supported by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and by a gift from Arlington County through the Arlington Commission for the Arts and the Cultural Affairs Division of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources.


Located in Arlington, Virginia and complete with free parking, Signature Theatre is just 5 miles from the Washington Monument, an estimated 10-15 minute drive according to Using public transportation, Signature can be reached by the 7, 25 and 25A buses from Pentagon Metro Station or via a $12 taxi ride from the Pentagon City Metro stop (on both the Blue & Yellow lines) with a taxi stand located in front of the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

Signature Theatre is located at 4200 Campbell Avenue (22206) off I-395 at the Shirlington exit (#6). After the exit, blue Signature signs mark the way to the theatre. Please note that Campbell Avenue is a new street and some GPS online mapping systems do not yet recognize Signature Theatre’s address. For directions, visit