Author Archive | Elizabeth Ballou

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Interview: Actor Sara Barker Discusses Upcoming Performance of Lauren Gunderson’s New Play Against Gun Violence (1st Stage April 23)

On February 14, 2018, a gunman entered Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 students and teachers. On April 3, Playwright Lauren Gunderson made her new play involving gun violence, Natural Shocks, available for royalty-free performances the weekend of April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine school shooting. And on Monday, April 23, Sara Barker […]

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Review: ‘Potted Potter’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Potted Potter, Potted Productions’ rollicking parody of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, is full of toy snakes, terrible wigs, and boatloads of physical comedy. The audience plays Quidditch. The actors sing along to a karaoke version of “I Will Survive.” The lights go crazy. Potted Potter is a short, energetic show full of heart, even […]

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Review: ‘The Gospel at Colonus’ by Avant Bard

The Gospel at Colonus, Avant Bard’s production of the gospel-infused Oedipus story, opened on February 27 with a sweet, bright salvo of a song. Members of the Women’s Ecumenical Choir (headed by Becky Sanders) greeted the audience one by one as they filed onto the stage, and e’Marcus Harper-Short led them in a verse of a […]

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Interview: Kyla Garcia on Playing Sarah Ridge Polson in ‘Sovereignty’ at Arena Stage (Women’s Voices Theater Festival)

Kyla Garcia is starring as Sarah Ridge Polson in Sovereignty at Arena Stage. Sovereignty, by Mary Kathryn Nagle, tells two stories. One is of a modern Native woman (played by Garcia) fighting for her tribe’s rights. The other is of that woman’s ancestors, who made terrible sacrifices to try to keep the Cherokee people free. […]

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Review: ‘Jefferson’s Garden’ at Ford’s Theatre

The Ford’s Theatre production of Jefferson’s Garden (by Timberlake Wertenbaker), which had its American premiere on January 24, tries to balance the oft-tread narrative of Thomas Jefferson’s role in shaping America with a Greek chorus that flits between vignettes from 1760 to 1795. The result is a weighty, uneven production that nevertheless features some standout […]

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Report: Arena Stage’s Molly Smith and Playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle Discuss ‘Sovereignty’ and Why Plays by Native American Women Are More Vital Than Ever

In 1839, Mary Kathryn Nagle’s great-great-great grandfather, Cherokee statesman John Ridge, was assassinated for signing the Treaty of New Echota. In 2017, Nagle wrote a play about her family’s tangled history. And in 2018, Arena will stage its world premiere. Sovereignty, a play that bounces from Andrew Jackson’s presidency to a few years past 2017, […]

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Review: ‘Binomio’ at GALA Hispanic Theatre

Binomio, a flamenco show making its U.S. premiere at the GALA Hispanic Theatre, begins with two solo dances by Francisco Hidalgo and Anabel Moreno. The two dancers command the stage as they beat a fast rhythm with their heels, snapping out impossibly precise turns. Their faces are grave and composed, and so is the music. […]

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Review: ‘Lady M’ – A Co-Production of Collective Eleven, Women from Mars and Gitana Theatre at Atlas Performing Arts Center

In the first scene of LadyM, a show devised by Francesca Chilcote, Rachel Hynes, Vanita Kalra, and Anastasia Wilson, a woman dressed in white dumps an entire bottle of ketchup onto a burger. She tears the burger apart with her teeth, groaning with pleasure. The audience doesn’t know whether to laugh – to play along […]

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2017 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Four Broke Guys: LIVE!’

Four Broke Guys: LIVE! is classified as a comedy, but don’t expect mere fluff or pratfalls from this one-man show. Actor and playwright J. Shawn Durham’s sequence of four monologues from four separate characters is funny, but it can turn on a dime from darkly witty to mournful to self-aggrandizing. It’s Durham’s emotional range that […]

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