2012/2013 Season

Event Calendar

“D.C.’s smartest, most ambitious theater.”— Washington City Paper

Welcome to the 2012/13 Red Hot Season featuring the best in American theater.

Filled with new, exciting American voices, the return of some of our favorite artists like Kathleen Turner and Mary Zimmerman, and a slew of DC premieres of Broadway hits, this is the year to subscribe to Arena Stage. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Molly Smith
Molly Smith
Artistic Director

Don't Mess With TexasRed Hot Patriot:The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins

Kathleen Turner
by Margaret Engel and Allison Engel
directed by David Esbjornson
in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle
AUGUST 23 – OCTOBER 28, 2012

Academy Award and Tony Award nominee, Kathleen Turner, brings her sizzling blend of sensuality and intelligence to the bravado of newspaper columnist Molly Ivins. A dyed-in-the-wool liberal from deep in the heart of Texas, Ivins’ rapier wit made her one of America’s highest-regarded columnists, satirists and beloved rabble-rousers. The incomparable Turner “excels” (Variety) in this searing, 75-minute show that weaves personal anecdotes and a look at our national pastime – politics. View details


Rock ‘n’ Roll BiographyOne Night with Janis Joplin

Randy Johnson
created, written and directed by Randy Johnson
in the Kreeger

With a voice like whiskey and a laugh like pure joy, Janis Joplin took the music scene by storm. Simultaneously rough and vulnerable, Joplin was dubbed the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, proving music wasn’t just a man’s world anymore. Packed with classic songs (“Piece of My Heart, “Summertime,” “Mercedes Benz”), the show also shines the spotlight on trailblazers who influenced Janis – like Bessie Smith, Etta James and Aretha Franklin. Now, in a new musical event featuring more than a dozen singers and band members, playwright-director Randy Johnson creates “a compelling portrait of an artist” (Culturemob) through the words, inspiration and music of one of America’s greatest rock ’n’ roll originals. View details

Gold Standard American musicalMy Fair Lady

Molly Smith
based on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
music by Frederick Loewe
directed by Molly Smith
choreographed by Daniel Pelzig
in the Fichandler
NOVEMBER 2, 2012 – JANUARY 6, 2013

Just as Molly Smith’s record-breaking production of Oklahoma! was enthralling audiences at Arena, her fresh reinterpretation of My Fair Lady set the all-time box office record at the prestigious Shaw Festival in Canada. And now Molly is reassembling her creative team to bring this breathtaking musical to Arena Stage. When Professor Henry Higgins wagers he can transform a Cockney flower girl into an aristocratic lady, he never guesses that Eliza Doolittle will in turn transform him. Lerner and Loewe’s sparkling score includes such enduring favorites as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “The Rain in Spain,” “On the Street Where You live,” and “Get Me to the Church on Time.” Based on Shaw’s most incisive social satire, My Fair Lady is a joyful, crowd-pleasing celebration for the entire family. View details

Blues-Fueled LocomotivePullman Porter Blues

Pullman Porter BluesCheryl L. West
by Cheryl L. West
directed by Lisa Peterson
a co-production with Seattle Repertory Theatre
in the Kreeger
NOVEMBER 23, 2012 – JANUARY 6, 2013

Jam-packed with 12 classic blues songs, including “Sweet Home Chicago,” Pullman Porter Blues is the world-premiere production that reveals the true heroes hidden within every man. It’s June 1937 and the Panama Limited, bound from Chicago to New Orleans, is bouncing to the beat of the rollicking Midwest blues. Most folks are tuned in to the Joe Louis/James Braddock championship bout, but the men of the Sykes family – three generations of porters – know there’s more at stake than just a boxing title, as they battle each other, racial tensions, and an uncertain future. Will the hope they get from the Brown Bomber be the fuel this family needs to make a better life or will progress tear them apart? View details

Powerful Social DramaGood People

Good People David
by David Lindsay-Abaire
directed by Jackie Maxwell
in the Kreeger
FEBRUARY 1 – MARCH 10, 2013

Enter South Boston’s Lower End, where minimum wage is the maximum wage and hard work and sacrifice don’t ensure success. Facing eviction, single mother and mouthy “Southie” native Margaret Walsh reunites with an old flame who “made good,” hoping that his fortune can somehow improve her own. But not every man wants to relive his past, and with each surprising twist of their meeting they discover the di re costs the truth can hold. From Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) and named the Best Play by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle during its Broadway run, Good People is a “poignant, brave and almost subversive” (New York Post) drama about life in a broke and broken American town. View details

Special Limited-Run Event
Double Edge Theatre presents
The Grand Parade (of the 20th Century)

Photos courtesy of Double Edge Theatre
in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle
FEBRUARY 6 – 10, 2013

Immerse yourself in the “unpredictable and imaginative” (American Theatre) world of acclaimed theater troupe Double Edge Theatre. Inspired by the multi-layered paintings of Marc Chagall, The Grand Parade is an original world premiere event that fuses physically daring spectacle with evocative music to create a thrilling, kaleidoscopic exploration of the 20th century.

Conceived by Artistic Director Stacy Klein and the Double Edge ensemble with original music by renowned Russian composer Alexander Bakshi. View details

Dazzling TheatricalityLookingglass Theatre Company’s production ofMetamorphoses

Mary Zimmerman
written and directed by Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman
based on a translation by David Slavitt of Ovid's Metamorphoses
in the Fichandler
FEBRUARY 8 – MARCH 17, 2013

Lost love, dangerous passion and reunited soul mates wrestle with fate in Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman’s Broadway smash, Metamorphoses.
Back in D.C. for the first time since her awe-inspiring productions of The Arabian Nights and Candide,Zimmerman’s “gorgeous” (NY Daily News) interpretation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses proves romance never goes out of style - even for the Gods. Lose yourself in a magical world of “powerful, moving, and funny” (Talkin’ Broadway) stories played out in a giant pool on our famous in-the-round stage. View details

World-Premiere PlayMary T. & Lizzy K.

Mary T. & Lizzy K. Tazewell Thompson
written and directed by Tazewell Thompson
in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle
MARCH 15 – MAY 5, 2013

"Smashing... stagged with theatrical dash by Tazewell Thompson." - Washington Post(M. Butterfly)

Writer-director Tazewell Thompson (dir. M. Butterfly, Yellowman) stitches together an insider’s look at the unlikely friendship between First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her talented seamstress, the successful freed slave Elizabeth Keckly. As one woman’s skilled hands work overtime, creating the most beautiful garments of her career, the other’s reality continues to slip ever further from her grasp. Old wounds and new recriminations explode in this riveting drama about loss, love and the importance of promises, both kept and broken. This world premiere drama is the first commission of Arena Stage’s American Presidents Project. View details

Award-Winning DramaThe Mountaintop

The Mountaintop Katori Hall
by resident playwright Katori Hall
directed by Robert O’Hara
a co-production
with the Alley Theatre
in the Kreeger
MARCH 29 – MAY 12, 2013

"The Mountaintop is a wonderful trip, as audacious as it is inventive." - Associated Press

Hailed as “daring, rousing and provocative” by Entertainment Weekly, The Mountaintop is Katori Hall’s bold reimagining of the last night of the historic life of Dr. Martin Luther King. Exhausted from delivering a significant speech, Dr. King rests in his room at the Lorraine Motel when an unexpected visit from a feisty, young maid compels him to confront his own humanity and the fate of our nation. Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Play, The Mountaintop’s “soul-stirring” (Variety) storytelling fuses theatricality with spirituality to reach a summit that will leave audiences breathless. View details

Insightful Comedy-DramaOther Desert Cities

Other Desert Cities Jon Robin Baitz
by Jon Robin Baitz
directed by Kyle Donnelly
in the Fichandler
APRIL 26 – MAY 26, 2013

After a six-year absence, Brooke Wyeth returns to her Reaganite parents’ Palm Springs enclave for the holidays. But the warm desert air turns chilly when news of her upcoming memoir threatens to revive the most painful chapter of the family’s history. Perception and reality grapple with love and mercy as old family wounds are opened, childhood memories are tested, and the Wyeth clan learns that some secrets cannot stay buried forever. Full of surprisingly touching moments, Pulitzer Prize nominee Jon Robin Baitz (A Fair Country) brings dysfunctional family drama to new heights in this witty, deeply enjoyable work NY1 called “one of the best new plays of the decade.” View details