Washington Stage Guild Announces 2013-14 Season: THE OLD MASTERS, THE DOCTOR'S DILEMMA & More!

The Washington Stage Guild announces its 28th Season of our distinctive repertory, an array of eloquent plays of idea and argument, passion and wit - smArt Theatre for a smart town. The Washington Stage Guild's 2013-2014 season will focus on the fundamental basis of all art - the imagination. We will present four plays that examine the need to see beyond the mundane in order to create, to survive, to develop, to live. The Season of Dreams will travel from Vincent van Gogh's studio to Bernard Berenson's villa, and from the apartment of two fragile lives to as far as thought can reach. All four plays are Washington area premieres, and among the four is the first installment in a multi-year cycle leading up to our 30th anniversary, as we inaugurate our production of George Bernard Shaw's rarely seen Back to Methuselah.

"Art of any kind is imagination expressed, whether in words or images," says Artistic Director Bill Largess. "This season we'll focus on our need to dream things that are not real in order to make them so. Painters, poets, critics, scientists, and even a creative fraud or two will show up on stage at the Undercroft Theatre this year. We begin with American playwright Steven Dietz' Inventing Van Gogh, a clever and time-warping story where a young contemporary artist is asked to forge Van Gogh's lost, final painting, and finds that Vincent has some influence on the attempt. That perfectly pairs with Simon Gray's The Old Masters, where the famed critic Bernard Berenson finds his expertise challenged by economic demands. The Old Masters has a Washington connection, since it revolves around a painting that ended up in DC's National Gallery of Art. Next we'll embark on a journey unparalleled in Stage Guild history, as we begin a project that will take us to our 30th year - a multi-year presentation of GB Shaw's ambitious, brilliant Back to Methuselah. The cycle begins in the Garden of Eden and ends 30,000 years in the future, one of the first plays written that can truly be called science fiction. Funny and profound, it's not only about the power of imagination, it's one of the most imaginative dramatic works ever written! Finally, we'll present the area premiere of the London hit Elling, a touching and humorous story of two misfits who make their way through life together, and find that poetry gives them both a voice and a purpose. Besides these wonderful plays, we'll welcome back directors Kasi Campbell, Laura Giannarelli and Steven Carpenter who've done such fine work for us in past seasons."

The 2013-2014 Season of ART:

"Everything you can imagine is real." Pablo Picasso
Directed by Steven Carpenter
October 31 through November 24, 2013

A time-twisting look at Van Gogh and his legacies, both real and fake, as a contemporary young painter is hired to forge a lost painting, but then must justify his decisions to Vincent himself. The area premiere of the popular American playwright Dietz's play.

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." Oscar Wilde
Directed by Laura Giannarelli
January 2 through January 26, 2014

The DC area premiere of the London hit - The famed art critic Bernard Berenson is trying to ignore the approach of WWII in his villa outside Florence, when the arrival of Joseph Duveen, the dealer who sold many of the works now in the National Gallery, sparks a battle royal over a Renaissance painting that Andrew Mellon might buy - but only if it's by the right artist.


"To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything." Anatole France
Directed by Bill Largess
February 20 to March 16, 2014

A masterwork of gargantuan proportions, a cycle of plays rarely performed since its premiere in the 20s. Shaw examines the human life-span in a series of comic episodes that take us from the Garden of Eden to "as far as thought can reach" in the distant future. One of the first works of science fiction ever put on stage, with GBS' celebrated wit and a touch of satire. The first installment this season begins an ambitious, multi-year cycle of productions of Shaw's landmark in anticipation of our 30th anniversary.

Based on a novel by Ingvar Ambjørnsen
In adaptation by Axel Hellstenius in collaboration with Petter Næss
English adaptation by Simon Bent
"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds." G.K. Chesterton
Directed by Kasi Campbell, featuring Bill Largess
April 24 through May 18, 2014

A pair of oddly matched roommates must cope with the real world, and each other, as they try to prove they can cope with everyday life. Despite the challenges of their lives, poetry becomes the lifeline that makes independence possible. The DC premiere of a touching, humorous, and offbeat comedy.

by George Bernard Shaw
Shaw's look at Art & Medicine - Should a physician save a worthless saint or a despicable genius?
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 7 pm

by Sidney Howard
The heirs of a famous painter squabble over his legacy, until that legacy begins to crumble.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 7 pm

by Mark Twain
The great American humorist's look at the Garden of Eden!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 7 pm

by Iris Murdoch and J.B. Priestley
A comedy drama co-written by the brilliant Iris Murdoch and Priestley, author of the Stage Guild's smash hit An Inspector Calls.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 7 pm

Performance times and prices for all productions
Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. $40.00
Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. $50.00
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. $40.00
Discounts are available for senior citizens, students, and groups.
Season passes are available, offering incredible savings for the entire Stage Guild season.

Location for all performances
The Undercroft Theatre of Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church
900 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
The Undercroft Theatre is located in the heart of downtown Washington, on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 9th Street, NW. It's steps from the Convention Center, and blocks from the National Mall, the Smithsonian, the Verizon Center, Chinatown, and restaurants galore!

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