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How to Make the Most of TheatreWeek 2017

The annual (and discounted!) celebration of DC theater kicks off September 19.

Native Gardens is among the nearly 30 productions available at a discounted price during theatreWeek. Photo via New Arena Stage

Whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare or find Lin-Manuel Miranda more your speed, theatreWashington’s two-week lineup of discounted plays and musicals has something you can get excited about.

There are nearly 100 theater companies in the DC area, and about a third of those will be participating in the second annual theatreWeek. From September 19 to October 1 the 29 companies will offer $15 and $35 tickets to their various works.

“What I really want people to know is that there’s just this plethora of theater in the area,” says Amy Austin, president and CEO of theatreWashington. “There’s so much to choose from. There’s just no excuse not to go. There’s a show for everyone.”

The celebration of local theatre will begin with a kickoff party on Saturday, September 16, from 12-4 pm at Woolly Mammoth Theatre. It will be free and open to the public and feature local food, drinks and presentations from local theater companies about their upcoming seasons.

Tickets for the discounted shows are now available on TodayTix. For those who need help choosing a show, Austin offered a few suggestions from the long list of productions.

Native Gardens: Austin says supporting local playwrights is something that she looks out for. This new work about two couples at war over a garden fence from Karen Zacarias fits the bill. 

The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith: If you’re looking for something accessible, Austin says this may be the show for you. “It looks like an interesting show… sort of someone we know about but want to know more about,” she says.

Neverwhere: Like theater but not the crowds? “Rorschach Theater is a great local theater that’s more on the intimate side,” Austin says.

The Arsonists: This reflection on Nazism and Communism at Woolly Mammoth also represents an end of an era at the theater. “The show is going to be a performance by Howard Shalwitz, who’s leaving after being at Woolly for over 30 years as the artistic director,” Austin says. “It’s a chance to see him perform, which he’s done in the past, but not with a high degree of frequency.”

In the HeightsHaven’t made it up to NYC but love Hamilton? Austin suggests nabbing ticket to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s original hit and love letter to Washington Heights.

Word Becomes FleshIf you’re after an intense theater experience, Austin suggests this award-winning play about African-American men exploring what it means to become a father. “That’s a very powerful show,” she says.

View the full lineup online at theatreWeek.org.

Editorial Fellow

Christine Jackson joined Washingtonian as an editorial fellow in summer 2017. She enjoys writing about art, culture, history, news of the weird and, occasionally, hockey. She is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and is an alumna of the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri, more affectionately known as Mizzou. For now you can find her hanging around Cathedral Heights.