Washington’s most celebrated local playwright, Tony Award winner Ken Ludwig (Crazy For You, Lend Me a Tenor), was plenty prolific last season, debuting a new comedy, The Game’s Afoot, at the Cleveland Play House, and premiering two plays written for younger audiences. ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, his first show for children, ran in December at Adventure Theatre, while Midsummer/Jersey, a Shakespeare adaptation written for high school performers, played in November at Fairfax’s James Robinson High School.
Ludwig has also been hard at work on Baskerville, a five-actor adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, which audiences can first experience at this year’s Page-to-Stage festival at the Kennedy Center. Running September 1 through 3, the festival is an annual highlight for fans of new theater, offering staged readings and open rehearsals over three days by around 40 local companies.
Ludwig will direct the reading, which is co-presented by the Folger Theatre, Signature Theatre, and the Kennedy Center/Kenan Fellowship Program and stars husband-and-wife team Cody Nickell and Kate Eastwood Norris, recently onstage together in the Folger’s production of The Taming of the Shrew. The reading also features Ian Merrill Peakes (seen at the Folger in Othello and Henry VIII), James Konicek, and Jason Lott. Nickell plays Holmes and Peakes plays Watson, with the other three actors voicing the remaining 30-plus roles.
Other highlights of this year’s festival include a staging of Jacqueline Lawton’s The Hampton Years, presented by Theater J and directed by Shirley Serotsky. The show is scheduled to run at Theater J next June. There’s also an open rehearsal session for Synetic Theater’s new adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde, which debuts in Arlington September 20.
For more information about this year’s Page-to-Stage festival, visit the Kennedy Center’s website.