4615 Theatre Company Announces 2019/20 Season

4615's third season includes a summer rep of Harold Pinter's 'Betrayal' and Lucy Prebble's 'Enron' and two world premieres.

4615 Theatre is proud to announce a sprawling, form-breaking new season of theatre, designed to thrill and challenge artists and audiences alike. The rapidly emerging company has garnered a reputation for its innovative, visceral, and often spectacular use of performance space, as well as its diverse, centuries-spanning choice of material, united by thematic connections and an exploration of storytelling structures. The company will unmoor itself from a single space, taking each production to a venue specifically chosen for the show’s world.

4615 Theatre Company Announces 2019/20 Season. Image courtesy of 4615 Theatre Company.

“Last season, we defined our voice and made our mark as a company,” said Founding Artistic Director Jordan Friend. “After finding a strong footing, the last thing we wanted to do was sit still. This year, we are pushing our vision in wild new directions, to the outer limits of what a new theatre is capable of.” On the decision to choose venues especially for individual shows, Friend said, “We are actually returning to our roots in a way. Before we were producing full time, back in our ‘incubation phase,’ we always chose spaces to fit the script. Back then, that meant basements, yards and classrooms, so the thrill is in coming back to that creative spirit, now with the means to do it on an exponentially larger scale.”

4615 Founding Artistic Director Jordan Friend. Photo by Jeffrey Mosier Photography.
4615 Founding Artistic Director Jordan Friend. Photo by Jeffrey Mosier Photography.

Dubbed Modern Myths, 4615’s third season includes two world premieres, a DC Premiere, and a modern classic; the most new work the company has ever produced. All four plays explore the act of mythologizing; how we tell and re-tell our own stories, and choose what we remember. The season begins in the Art Deco-style theatre at the Dance Loft on 14, with the Summer Scandal Repertory; a pair of wildly different plays that explore mistruth, illusion and memory on a public and private level. The cast includes an all-star roster of local talent, including Amanda Forstrom, Matt Dewberry, Caroline Dubberly, Andrew Scott Zimmer, Jared Graham, Nick Torres, Joshua Simon, Jon Jon Johnson, Sue Struve, Erik Harrison, Rachel Manteuffel, Ezra Tozian, Danielle Gallo, Michael Crowley, Charlie Cook, and Olivia Haller.

On the public end of the repertory is the DC area premiere of English playwright Lucy Prebble’s ENRON, a wild circus of a play which employs a mix of absurd fantasy and biting humanity to tell the story of America’s most notorious company. After a wildly successful, award-winning London run in 2007, the play opened on Broadway in 2008 only to close in a matter of weeks. “This is an extraordinary piece of theatre that hit American audiences just in time for the housing collapse,” said Friend, who is directing the production. “A decade later, I think DC audiences will be ready to both laugh and gasp in horror at what now feels like a creation myth for modern greed. It also doesn’t hurt that the play involves actual velociraptors.” 

Director Stevie Zimmerman. Image courtesy of 4615 Theatre Company.

Rounding out the summer rep on a more private scale is Harold Pinter’s legendary Betrayal, a tale of infidelity told moving from end to beginning, and the company’s classic piece for the season. Acclaimed director Stevie Zimmerman (Dinner, Venus in Fur) returns to direct her fourth show at 4615, now as the company’s newly minted resident director. “Betrayal is a play I’ve wanted to direct for 25 years,” said the London-born Zimmerman, who expressed particular excitement to dig into a seemingly simple story with “in a very English way, a lot going on under the surface.” For a theatre devoted to exploring story structure, the play’s reverse chronology and unreliable narrative make it a perfect companion to the comparatively linear Enron

Director Gregory Keng Strasser. Image courtesy of 4615 Theatre Company.

Following the summer rep is the company’s first of two world premieres this season, with adaptor/director Gregory Keng Strasser’s The Infinite Tales, a modern fantasy compiled from numerous Irish myths, and brought to life with ensemble storytelling, puppetry, and a live original score. Strasser, who also serves as 4615’s producing director, is a Chinese-Irish American director and adaptor/translator, currently splitting time between DC and Bangkok, Thailand. He now brings his passion for ancient poetry and oral tradition to 4615, after recently adapting and directing the first ever performance of Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey, at Michigan’s Brighton Center for the Performing Arts. Strasser’s new work is a project years in the making; one that pulls upon ancient stories to examine modern diaspora, and the search for a place to call home. 

Playwright Renee Calarco.

Closing out the season is Renee Calarco’s Museum 2040, a world premiere event which pushes the limits of what constitutes a play. Set at a museum dedication ceremony two decades from now, Calarco’s piece is a feat of world-building political satire, designed for multiple venues. In addition to the primary “performance,” audiences throughout the DC area will encounter pop-up shows, exhibits at satellite venues, and an immersive multimedia world. “Producing the world premiere of Joe Calarco’s Separate Rooms was a creative peak for 4615, and we looked high and low for a new way to top ourselves,” said Friend. “When I read Renee’s play, I thought ‘There is absolutely no way to pull this off, which is why we absolutely have to do it. We’re over the moon to work with another member of the absurdly talented Calarco family, on a piece that will break new ground for 4615.” Calarco, a founding member of the innovative Welders playwrights collective, said she entrusted the emerging company with the piece because “4615 really gets it. They’re bold and unafraid to go big-and this is big.” 

4615 THEATRE: Season III Modern Myths 

THE SUMMER SCANDAL REPERTORY
ENRON and BETRAYAL
Performed at the Dance Loft on 14
4618 14th St NW
Washington, DC 

ENRON – DC Area Premiere – By Lucy Prebble
Directed by Jordan Friend
August 9-September 1, 2019 

Witness the true rise and fall of America’s most infamous company in this blisteringly funny satire of modern greed. Featuring a cast of 13 playing over 60 roles Lucy Prebble’s epic dark comedy is an absurd crime saga of Shakespearean proportions, complete with poetic profanity, musical numbers, and even a few velociraptors. 

BETRAYAL By Harold Pinter
Directed by Stevie Zimmerman
August 16-September 8, 2019 

4615’s acclaimed resident director Stevie Zimmerman returns to helm Pinter’s masterpiece, in which an extramarital affair is told from all three sides, and in reverse. Beginning in 1977 and ending in 1968, BETRAYAL makes us question the very nature of love and honesty, constantly making us doubt what we’ve just seen. 

TWO FORM-BUSTING WORLD PREMIERES Venues to be revealed… 

THE INFINITE TALES
Adapted from Irish Myth and Directed by Gregory Keng Strasser
December 6-29, 2019

Gregory Keng Strasser brings his unique blend of lyrical text and astonishing spectacle to 4615 with his original adaptation of Irish mythology. This spellbinding fantasy follows the journey of four children who have been cursed, transformed into swans and banished from their homes for 900 years. Their struggle to return explores resonances with the Irish diaspora, as well as with all people who search for a place to call home.

MUSEUM 2040: A City-Wide Theatrical Event By Renee Calarco
March 13-April 5, 2020

From acclaimed playwright Renee Calarco comes a theatrical event that leaps beyond the theatre. The year is 2040, and an audience is gathered for the dedication of a museum; one built to commemorate an unforeseen American tragedy some time between now and then. When the ceremony is sent spiraling off course, a generation of survivors must reckon with how we choose to remember and retell our own history. Much more than just a play, MUSEUM 2040 is a sprawling, multi-location experience, featuring fully realized exhibits, pop-up performances at satellite venues, and a massive supporting multimedia world. 

For tickets, call (301) 928-2738 or go online.

ABOUT 4615 THEATRE COMPANY

4615 Theatre began when a group of undergraduate theatre artists staged a Jacobean tragedy in multiple rooms of a suburban home. In just a few years since, the company has rapidly expanded from backyards and basements into a thriving professional theatre; a hub for both reinvigorated classics and ferociously bold new works. 4615 creates “inverted epics”: large, narrative-driven stories brought to new life in an up-close setting. The company produces curated seasons of theatre, united wildly diverse material through shared themes. In the spirit of its roots, 4615 also maintains a robust apprenticeship program for high school and undergraduate students.