Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Week (April 29-May 1): DC Labor FilmFest, Anne Frank’s Diary in Song, and Lots of Theater

Richard Howard, Jeanne Paulsen, and Naomi Jacobson star in “The Children” at Studio Theatre, May 1 to June 2. Photograph by Teddy Wolff.


BOOKS In conjunction with an upcoming exhibit on women’s rights (“Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote” opens 5/10), the National Archives is hosting a lunchtime lecture with historian Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers about her new book, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South. Jones-Rogers examines how owning slaves was a primary source of wealth for white women—they typically inherited slaves rather than land—and how these women used their participation in the slave market for their own empowerment. The program will be followed by a book signing. Free (reservations recommended), noon.

MUSIC In honor of what would have been Anne Frank’s 90th year, the Westminster Williamson Voices and soprano Arianna Zukerman will perform “Annelies,” a vocal performance of Frank’s diary. The group received a Grammy nomination for its recording of this work in 2014; hear this choir perform it live with a chamber ensemble at the National Cathedral. $18-$48, 7:30 PM.


THEATER Signature Theatre’s production of Spunk is based on three short stories by author Zora Neale Hurston, which bring together tales of the early 20th century African American experience via fables set to guitar. Through June 23. $40-$89.

THEATER Shakespeare Theatre Company has commissioned a new adaptation of The Oresteia, written by Ellen McLaughlin. Based on Aeschylus’s tragedy about Queen Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, this new adaptation’s world premiere is the grand finale for STC’s Artistic Director Michael Kahn before his retirement. Through June 2. $44 – $118


THEATER Studio Theatre presents Lucy Kirkwood’s latest play, The Children, which was inspired by the 2011 nuclear explosion in Fukushima. A former colleague visits a retired pair of nuclear physicists after several decades, leading to deep conversations about responsibility and the legacy they are leaving behind. Through June 2. $60-$97.

FILM The DC Labor FilmFest, taking place at AFI Silver and other local venues, will include films about work, workers, and the issues that affect workers’ lives. Some are lighthearted and fun: Office Space celebrates its 20th anniversary with a screening on 5/10, while last year’s Support the Girls can be seen on 5/1. Others are more serious: watch Sally Field in Norma Rae, a film about a drive to unionize the workforce of a textile plant with poor conditions (screening on 5/30) or see Felicity Jones as a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On the Basis of Sex (screening on 5/6). In addition to the offerings at AFI Silver, there are free screenings throughout the month at other venues as well. Through May 31. $13 per film at AFI; other events are free.