Author Archive | John Stoltenberg

Nate Shelton and Jane Petkofsky

Review: ‘The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington’ at Ally Theatre Company

“I do believe you darkies are trying to kill me,” says Martha Washington to her house slaves in this fantastical-historical play, just opened in a sensationally cheeky production at the new Ally Theatre Company. Martha has reason to be concerned. Philadelphia Playwright James Ijames, a 2017 Whiting Award recipient, made up the script’s surreal story: […]

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Holly Twyford as Aphra Behn. Photo by Grace Toulotte.

Magic Time!: ‘Or,’ at Round House Theatre

As play titles go, Or, is one of the most ungoogleable. It is a search engine dead end. And as an original mashup of past and present, prose and poetry, and performative purposes, Liz Duffy Adams’s  Or, is also one of the most unpeggable. My colleague David Siegel, in his rave review, called the production […]

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Off the Leash

Magic Time!: ‘Off the Leash: A Journey Into Reality One Black Life at a Time’ at Woolly Mammoth Rehearsal Hall

After I watched eleven B.F.A. candidates in Howard University’s Class of 2017 perform a program of self-scripted audition pieces—character-rich monodramas, actually—I had one overwhelming urge: I wanted to see every next play these actors get cast in after they graduate. Because they each knocked my socks off. Off the Leash: A Journey Into Reality One […]

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News Release: DCMetroTheaterArts Is Here to Stay!

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  DCMetroTheaterArts Squelches Rumors of Closing, Announces Plan for Future Leadership and Growth Staff Rallies in Response to Founding Editor’s Diagnosis, Thanks Local Theater Community for Its Continuing Support, and Vows to Keep Covering More Local Performing Arts Than Any Other Media Outlet Metro DC (April 11, 2017)—Joel Markowitz, publisher and founding editor of […]

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Review: ‘Lucy’ at UrbanArias

As the PETA-hounded circus left town on its farewell tour, I headed to the Atlas Performing Center to see Lucy, an UrbanArias opera about an actual chimp. I was reassured to learn that no animals were harmed in the production. In fact, throughout the oddly enjoyable hour, the only primate onstage was a human—one whose […]

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Review: ‘King Lear’ at George Washington University

Director Leslie Jacobson has book-ended Shakespeare’s dark tragedy King Lear with lyrical and lovingly-lit tableaux of the mad king’s court as if in a fairy-tale photo op—Lear regal on his throne, his daughters adoring at his feet, his subjects surrounding him smiling ear to ear. These are before-and-happily-ever-after snapshots that would be perfect for a […]

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No Sisters 4

Post-Play Palaver: ‘Three Sisters’ and ‘No Sisters’ at Studio Theatre

Post-Play Palaver is an occasional series of conversations between DCMetroTheaterArts writers who saw the same production—in this case the same two productions, Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Aaron Posner’s No Sisters, now both playing at Studio Theatre—and just had to keep talking about what they saw. Senior Reviewer and Columnist Andrew Walker White in his review […]

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Review: ‘Well’ at 1st Stage

“Social ills” is a term often used to name a problem without caring about the people affected by it—as in the phrase “racism and other social ills.”  It’s a way of keeping one’s distance by making the problem somebody else’s. It’s like the way one can hear said of someone chronically and inscrutably sick, “They […]

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Review: ‘Mnemonic’ at Theater Alliance

Just now when the world is wracked with wave upon wave of ethnic  animus—just now when our country has succumbed to xenophobia not seen on these shores for decades—there comes a work of theatrical art so richly imagined and so radically transformational that it causes a healing hush to fall over the audience. This happens […]

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Review: ‘No Sisters’ at The Studio Theatre

A shout-out to Studio Theatre co-founder Russell Metheny, who designed the complex on 14th Street, for installing a backstage stairway connecting the dressing rooms of the second-floor Milton and the ground-floor Mead. Were it not for that architectural passageway, there could be no No Sisters, and DC would be deprived of Writer-Director Aaron Posner’s latest […]

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The Subplot Quickens: A Q&A with Michelle Beck About Her Remarkable Role in ‘King Charles III’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

I greatly admired both the writing and the acting in Shakespeare Theatre Company production of Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III, but to be honest it was the character of Jessica and Michelle Beck’s performance in it that knocked me out most of all. I remember walking out of the Sidney Harman Hall wanting to see […]

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