MetroStage Announces Changes to its Spring and Summer Schedule: ‘Anne & Emmett’ and ‘The Letters’ Announced; ‘The River’ Returns

METROSTAGE UPDATE:

metrostage bannerA show added. Dates change. A show returns.

Everything you need to know about this spring (and summer) at MetroStage.

 A METROSTAGE UPDATE  in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER:
Anne-and-Emmett-Postcard2 (1)MetroStage is pleased to announce that Janet Langhart Cohen’s Anne & Emmett, directed by Thomas W. Jones II, with original music by Joshua Coyne and for this production addition original music by William Knowles, will be in performance at MetroStage May 7, 8, and 9th. This is a joint production of RARIA (Race And Reconciliation In America) and MetroStage.

Director Thomas W. Jones II met Ms. Cohen during the run of Bessie’s Blues and The Island, both of which he directed at MetroStage, and the planned remount of the play was put into place.

The play is based on an imaginary conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, both victims of racial intolerance and hatred. Anne is the 15 year old Jewish girl whose diary offered the world a gripping perspective of the Holocaust and touched the hearts of humanity. Emmett is the 14 year old African American boy whose brutal murder in Mississippi sparked the modern civil rights movement.

Given the current climate of racial tension in this country and the violence and hatred causing turmoil and destruction in other parts of the world, this is an uplifting tribute, a timely reminder and a call to action “tikkun olam” to repair the world. Atlanta actors Ann Marie Gideon and Enoch King will play the roles of Anne and Emmett. DC actors Roz White and David Jackson will play Mamie Till-Mobley, and Otto Frank.

Performances are Thursday May 7th and Friday May 8th at 8 pm, and Saturday May 9 at 3 and 8th.

Talkbacks will follow each performance. All tickets are $35, students $25.

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Immediately following will be The Letters, by John W. Lowell, now playing from May 15-June 14th (please note the change from the original announced date), directed by John Vreeke and featuring two MetroStage favorites Susan Lynskey (Girl in the Goldfish Bowl and Ghost-Writer) and Michael Russotto (Rough Crossing, Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, and Lonely Planet). The play takes place in an office in 1930’s Soviet Union. The Director calls Anna, a bureaucratic functionary, into his office, and a tense verbal and psychological cat and mouse game ensues. It represents a vivid slice of paranoid life under Stalin and the effort to edit/suppress/censor the writings of prominent artists.

It is based on the real life Soviet efforts to edit the sexually frank letters of Tchaikovsky. The Letters is an intense psychological drama: still timely, still universal, perfect for MetroStage’s intimate theatre setting. A Washington DC area premiere.

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The Island by Athol Fugard will return July 10th- Aug 2nd. Originally opening last March, both actors Michael Anthony Williams and Doug Brown sustained injuries during the first week which made it impossible to continue to perform so it was decided to delay the run until space opened in July. MetroStage looks forward to their return and the remount of The Island, considered one of Fugard’s masterpieces portraying the horrors of apartheid South Africa but also the resilience and triumph of the human spirit.

Together The Letters and The Island are an unexpectedly interesting pairing in that they both portray political situations (South Africa and the Soviet Union) which are devastating to the human condition, reflecting how individuals cope with oppression, repression, and degradation, some rising to greater heights of humanity, some using will and determination simply to survive–in both cases reflecting and dealing with life-threatening conditions.

The fact that the world at the moment is fraught with violence and conflict suggests that dramatic work such as these offer great rewards to the audience in depicting characters struggling to survive and challenging authority to hopefully reach a higher level of civilization and respect for humanity. Add Janet Langhart Cohen’s Anne & Emmett into the mix and it is a highly charged political series on our stage.

Performances for The Letters and The Island are Wed, Thurs and Fri at 8, Sat at 3 and 8, Sun at 3 and 7. Tickets are $50 and 55.

MetroStage – 1201 N. Royal St, Alexandria, VA.

Tickets: (703) 548-9044 or online.

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In Sum:

Janet Langhart Cohen’s Anne & EmmettMay 7 & 8th (8pm), and May 9th (3 & 7)

The Letters May 15th-June 14th: (Press night May 17th at 7pm).

The Island July 10th-Aug 2nd: (Remaining press July 11th or 12th).

 

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