Halfway through the 2018 Helen Hayes Awards ceremony, a bike whizzed onstage, jolting the audience to attention. On the bike was Theatre J Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr, clad in bike shorts and a helmet. The witty banter that ensued between Immerwahr and Helen Hayes President Amy Austin gave audience members a sense of the fun that the duo had planned for this year’s Theatre Week, when some of DC’s top theaters are offering $15 and $35 tickets to their shows.
While watching theater is usually a sedentary sport, Immerwahr has found a way to meld his love of theater and exercise: The Tour de DC Theatres Bike Ride.
The Tour de Theatres (a pun on cycling’s famous Tour de France) is a free community bike tour through the nation’s capital, punctuated by stops at Signature Theatre, Synetic Theater, and Arena Stage where riders can chat with the artists and administrators who make these theaters tick. And no worries if you are more accustomed to sitting in a balcony than speeding down a country lane, Immerwahr promises that the ride will be flat and relaxed and include some beautiful trails as well as a pit-stop for a cold drink at Shirlington’s Busboys and Poets.
Riders will find Immerwahr an enthusiastic proponent of bicycling. “I ride my bike to theaters all the time and I particularly love riding to Signature because the trails there and back are so nice. I thought it might be fun to combine my love of theater and my love of bicycling, and thus the Tour de DC Theaters was born!”
Immerwahr hopes the ride will inspire people to ride their bikes more often. “The ride celebrates not only the wonderful theaters we visit, but how easy and enjoyable it can be to get from one to another. Even more, it’s a terrific opportunity to meet and share the road with a bunch of like-minded theater lovers, in a relaxed and beautiful setting. And if you haven’t biked to Signature, you’ll be shocked by how easy it can be!”
The Tour de DC Theatres takes place this Saturday, September 22nd from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm. Participation is free but cyclists must register in advance. Participants should meet at Arena Stage. Riders have the option to stay at Signature Theatre for the 2:00 pm performance of Passion. Tickets to Passion must be purchased separately.
The 2018 Theatre Week Tour de DC Theatres includes:
- an exclusive backstage tour of Arena Stage
- a chance to visit one of our region’s most innovative theaters, Synetic Theater
- a stop at the acclaimed Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre
- a break at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington, VA
- A relaxed pace ride along the beautiful (and flat) Mount Vernon Bike Trail, led by Theater J Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr