Tag Archives | Arena Stage


Review: ‘The Great Society’ at Arena Stage

Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 margin of victory – nearly 16 million popular votes and a lopsided total of 486 electoral votes – is almost unimaginable today. Armed as well with a 68-32 majority in the Senate, and a House dominated by Democrats, 295-140, his lofty legislative goals seemed well within reach. How, then, did LBJ’s support […]

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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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Kyla Garcia in Sovereignty. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

Review: ‘Sovereignty’ at Arena Stage

Sovereignty, the long-heralded new play by Mary Kathryn Nagle – a member of the Cherokee Nation and one of barely a dozen Native American playwrights writing today – has arrived. Inspired by a Supreme Court case that was heard just two years ago, the play, now in its world premiere at Arena Stage, is one […]

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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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Ed Gero. Photo courtesy of Arena Stage.

News: This Monday Don’t Miss ‘Holidays, Hearts, and Home,’ a One-Night Benefit Concert for Puerto Rico at Arena Stage Starring Ed Gero and Natascia Diaz

This Monday, December 11th, a one-night-only concert to benefit the victims of Hurricane Maria entitled Holidays, Hearts, and Home brings a not-to-be-missed roster of whos-who performers to Arena Stage. Hosted by four-time Helen Hayes Award-winner Ed Gero and featuring a lineup of talent including Natascia Diaz, Britney Coleman and Tim Rogan, Holidays, Hearts, and Home was conceived, […]

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Actress Allison Janney. Photo by Kate Romero.

News: The West Wing’s Allison Janney Named Honorary Chair of 2018 Women’s Voices Theater Festival

Allison Janney (The West Wing, and the Broadway revival of Six Degrees of Separation) is returning to Washington to lend her voice to support the 2018 Women’s Voices Theater Festival as Honorary Chair. “I was humbled that the organizers of the inaugural Women’s Voices Theater Festival invited me to join the initial Honorary Committee and […]

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Review: ‘Nina Simone: Four Women’ at Arena Stage

After the Birmingham 16th Street Baptist Church bombing of 1963, Nina Simone turned her singing career toward the Civil Rights’ struggle. After a decade of singing mostly popular music, and building a substantial fan base, she had had enough; she was ready to take on the world. Christina Ham’s Nina Simone: Four Women introduces us to that […]

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Review: ‘Native Gardens’ at Arena Stage

Native Gardens is a bloomin’ hysterical comedy at Arena Stage Need something to boost you up? Perhaps something to make you, temporarily, forget the current political and social climate? Or, the threat of a wall rising on our southern border? Head to Arena Stage’s Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C. You’ll have a […]

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Review: ‘Respect! A Tribute to Aretha Franklin’ at the American Pops Orchestra

Five fabulous divas joined the innovative new American Pops Orchestra to celebrate the music of Aretha Franklin at the Arena Stage’s Fichandler Stage on September 16. An energized audience sang, swayed – and, at times – nearly levitated above their seats as this breathtaking tour through Franklin’s years with Atlantic Records (1967-1979) called up vibrant […]

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Review: ‘All Shook Up’ at Act Two at Levine

Seeing All Shook Up at Act Two at Levine last weekend was like an adventure in time travel. The show, which played for one weekend only, offered a glimpse of a long-ago world—1955, when Elvis Presley and his pelvic thrust took America’s small town teenagers (and their elders) by surprise—as well as the one to come. […]

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Review: ‘Smart People’ at Arena Stage

As soon as the lights come up on Lydia R. Diamond’s Smart People, now playing at Arena’s Kreeger Theater, the focus is clear. Or is it? Are four really “smart” people, who are only trying to save the world from itself, being shut down by an entrenched Western, “racist” mindset? Or are four “smart” people […]

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Review: ‘Watch on the Rhine’ at Arena Stage

Lillian Hellman’s Watch on the Rhine came to DC for a command performance on January 25, 1942. The occasion: Franklin Roosevelt’s 60th birthday. America had just entered World War II and the fight against fascism. Hellman’s 1941 masterpiece came to DC again last night, opening at the Mead Center’s Fichandler Stage. The occasion: a heightened debate […]

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Magic Time! ‘Watch on the Rhine’ at Arena Stage

Whatever this play meant to Broadway audiences when it debuted in 1941, just prior to America’s entry into a war of resistance to fascism abroad, what matters now is what it means to audiences just as America has entered a war of resistance to fascism here at home. Does Lillian Hellman’s principled script—now in a […]

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Review: ‘The Originalist’ at Asolo Repertory Theatre

Playing now in repertoire with The Great Society, a stunning new play that New York has not yet seen, called The Originalist, is keeping the good citizens of Sarasota who clearly love good theatre happy. John Strand’s tight and combustible play opened January 20th, and it’s been packing them in ever since. Under Molly Smith’s […]

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DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #14: Best Design in Professional and Community Theaters in DC/VA/MD

DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2016 #14: Best Design in Professional and Community Theaters in DC/VA/MD Are: John Alexander for his lighting for Blackberry Winter at Forum Theatre. John Alexander for his lighting for Black Nativity at Theater Alliance. Brian Allard for his lighting for Sleeping Beauty at Synetic Theater. Clint Allen for his projections for Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches: […]

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