Theatre Reviews

DC Theatre Scene

  • Review of Antigone, Capital Fringe Festival 2014

This uneven opening foreshadows the rest of the movement-based retelling of Sophocles’ classic Greek text. The artists clearly put forth big, creative ideas, but as a whole, the concepts and performances fail to create a single cohesive narrative.IMG_1792

  • Review of Bethesda, Capital Fringe Festival 2014

With a wife devoted to quinoa and Whole Foods, a husband who loves poking jabs at the Washington Post, and two kids who hate looking up from their cell phone screens, Bethesda pays plenty of homage to its titular Maryland locale. But Jennie Berman Eng’s dark comedy isn’t a big-picture commentary on a place and time; it is a more microscopic story, a close-up examination of a family fraying at the edges.

  • Review of Coriolanus, Capital Fringe Festival 2014

Set in a very particular world with a very particular social and political structure, Córiolanus is not a play that lends itself particularly well to a “concept.” As director Elena Velasco proves with Elysian Theatre’s production, however, sometimes all it takes is a few strong casting choices to reinvigorate an otherwise straightforward Shakespearean tragedy.

  • Review of Tame, Capital Fringe Festival 2014

Sylvia Plath, the quintessential female voice in the face of 20th century patriarchy, serves as a chilling foil to the heroine in Jonelle Walker’s TAME. The tragic poet’s voice fills the space during scene changes, reminding the audience of the constrictive world in which her onstage counterpart is struggling to survive.

They might not be sporting doublets and hose, and modern day expletives might weave their way into Shakespeare’s elegant verse now and then, but the performers of R+J: Star Cross’d Death Match are using nontraditional means to achieve a very traditional end. They are performing Shakespeare the way it was originally intended: raunchily, unapologetically, and with plenty of booze.

The Elm

The lasting image from Nina Sharp’s senior directing thesis “PTERODACTYLS” was not a pterodactyl at all; it was the skeleton of a T-Rex alone in a ring of light and the ruins of a once animated, albeit dysfunctional, household. The contradiction between the title and the dinosaur onstage may have baffled some audience members, but Sharp wasn’t going for clarity so much as resonance.

Love was in the air in Decker Theater this weekend.

“The Voice of the Turtle,” a 1940s lighthearted comedy by John William Van Druten, brought New York romance to Washington College under the direction and design of drama Professor Jason Rubin.

A tree, some buckets of sand, a ramshackle cot and a Nativity set were all that greeted audiences when they walked into Tawes Theater for Tara Bancroft’s thesis production of “Tshepang: The Third Testament.”

In 1948, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published reporter Ray Sprigle’s recounts of his month-long journey as a black man traveling through the Jim Crowe South.

Sixty-three years later, drama lecturer and playwright Dr. Robert Earl Price’s poetic stage retelling of Sprigle’s story made its world premiere on the Washington College stage.

This weekend, the Decker Theatre will be host to a hypochondriac father, singing shepherdess, scheming apothecary, devious physician, saucy maid, and four ballerinas. Simply put, Moliere’s 17th century French play, “The Imaginary Invalid,” is far from boring.

Glitzy courtesans, bumbling old men, and dreamy-eyed lovers will be singing and twirling their way across a vibrant stage this weekend in a rib-cracking production of Stephen Sondheim’s one and only “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”


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