Arena Stage announced its new season Thursday, featuring several productions that were postponed due to the pandemic, along with some new additions. Arena will also begin hosting cabaret nights with a variety of local performers this July ahead of the season.
In a press release, Molly Smith, artistic director of the Southwest DC institution, said she’s increasing Arena’s focus on diversity: “Even though about a third to more than half of our artistic voices have been people of color, it is time to do more—to amplify the voices of all artists to tell the stories of our time.” The season will begin on September 3 with Lydia R. Diamond’s Toni Stone. The play is named after (and based on) the first woman to play professional baseball in the Negro Leagues. The show will run through October 3. A special one-night performance will be broadcast live on the jumbotron at Nationals Park on a date yet to be determined, for up to 12,000 audience members.
Other productions for the upcoming season include:
Celia and Fidel
October 8-November 21
Eduardo Machado’s Celia and Fidel originally opened last March but was forced to close following its premiere because of the pandemic. The play touches on themes of morality and power by depicting an imagined conversation between Celia Sanchez, a Cuban female revolutionary, and Fidel Castro.
Catch Me if You Can
March 4-April 17
Based on a true story and the 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio film, Catch Me If You Can is a musical focused on the life of young con man Frank Abagnale, Jr. who over the course of multiple years poses as a pilot and lawyer, and escapes police custody. Corbin Bleu of High School Musical and In the Heights will star as Abagnale.
July 15-August 28
Arena Stage will close its 72nd season with American Prophet: Frederick Douglass In His Own Words, a musical about the abolitionist that pulls from Douglass’s speeches and writings.
For a full list of productions to come this season, click here.