Things to Do

August Theater in Washington: Plays, Musicals, and More to See

Dirty Dancing, Shakespeare Theatre’s Free for All, and the start of Signature’s 25th-anniversary season.

Josef Brown, Amanda Leigh Cobb, and Britta Lazenga in Dirty Dancing at the National Theatre. Photograph by David Scheinmann.


Signature Theatre kicks off its 25th-anniversary season with Sunday in the Park With George, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Pulitzer-winning 1984 musical that takes its inspiration from a painting by Georges Surat. August 5 through September 21. 

Landless Theatre Company stages a progressive-metal twist on Sweeney Todd, Stephen Sondheim’s musical about a murderous barber. August 7 through 31 at Warehouse Theater.

At Anacostia Arts Center, the Pallas Theatre Collective presents a musical adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s 1839 story The Fall of the House of Usher. Tracey Elaine Chessum directs. August 13 through 31. 

In She Kills Monsters, presented by Rorschach Theatre, a teen creates a fantasy world to escape reality; after her death, her sister explores that world and must learn to control the creatures there. August 15 through September 14 at Atlas Performing Arts Center

Shakespeare Theatre’s Free for All presents The Winter’s Tale, the Bard’s comedy about a jealous king and the daughter he exiled. This is a remounting of director Rebecca Taichman’s 2013 production, which Washingtonian’s Sophie Gilbert called “transcendent.” August 19 through 31. 

Scena Theatre presents two works by Irish playwrights at Atlas Performing Arts Center this month. First is Shining City, Conor McPherson’s drama about a Dublin man who, haunted by visions of his dead wife, turns to a therapist who has her own problems. The play runs August 16 through September 21. And in the world premiere of the one-woman show Molly, by George O’Brien, Danielle Davy portrays the mistress of famed Irish playwright J.M. Synge. August 23 through September 21. 

Dirty Dancing, the 1987 Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey movie, comes to life at the National Theatre in this stage adaptation that features all the songs made famous by the film’s soundtrack, and presumably Baby refusing to stand in corners. August 26 through September 14. 

Theater J stages Yentl, an adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s story “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy,” which examines issues of gender equality and sexuality. This production—not to be confused with the Barbra Streisand movie musical—features new songs by Jill Sobule. August 28 through October 5. 


Binge, Washington Improv Theater’s five-week show performed by its six ensembles, continues through August 9 at Source Theatre

The BFG closes August 10 at Imagination Stage

An Evening With Danny Kaye closes August 16 at American Century Theater

The Campsite Rule is at Anacostia Playhouse through August 16. Read our review

Stupid F**king Bird closes August 17 at Woolly MammothRead our review

The Lion King closes August 17 at the Kennedy Center. Read our review

Gidion’s Knot is at Herndon’s NextStop Theatre August 28 through September 14, in a co-production with Forum Theatre. Read our review

Find Tanya Pai on Twitter at @tanyapai.

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