ARLINGTON, VA–WSC Avant Bard is proud to announce its 24th season. With a rarely-produced Shakespearean history, two regional premieres, and the world premiere of a new glam-rock musical, WSC Avant Bard embarks on a season of reinvention through classic works, reimagined. Additional programming, including the second annual Gaurav Gopalan Free Reading Series, will be announced at a later date.
“The loss of our home at Artisphere forced us to find new ways of doing business, to ask questions about who we are and why we do what we do,” comments Artistic Director Tom Prewitt. “We discovered a company in a non-stop search for new ways of doing theatre, a continual quest for self-reinvention. This year we continue that quest with four fascinating shows that, each in its own way, mirrors WSC’s own mission of redefinition and discovery.”
Determined not just to survive but to thrive, WSC Avant Bard will expand its offerings this year to four full productions (including this fall’s Capital Fringe show), plus a full slate of free readings, including the ever-popular Halloween event at Lubber Run Park.
“I am thrilled that so many of our closest friends have chosen to join us on this journey of reinvention: at least ten Acting Company members (including Artistic Director Emeritus Christopher Henley) will take on starring roles in our shows, and another (Jay Hardee) will direct our Fringe production. And of course we return to our roots by opening the season with our oldest friend, our namesake playwright, William Shakespeare himself,” says Mr. Prewitt.
“We think of this season of reinvention as a rediscovery of our truest self and mission.”
Shakespeare’s King John
WSC Avant Bard will open its 24th season with a production of Shakespeare’s King John, one of the few plays by the Bard that the company has never previously produced. Will the king kill his kin in this real-world game of thrones? Shakespeare’s epic takes us beyond the villain of the Robin Hood legend and the Magna Carta, to reveal an enigmatic monarch wrestling with covetous heirs, rebellious lords, and his own conscience, in a fierce struggle to cling to his crown…and his sanity.
Directed by Mr. Prewitt, and featuring Acting Company members Christopher Henley, Cam Magee, Kim Curtis and Chuck Young, this epic struggle is bound to burst from Theatre on the Run’s intimate blackbox theater as a story of a royal family’s dysfunction and its anxiety over the rightful lineage to the throne.
We invite you to join us for King John at Theatre on the Run, 3700 South Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA 22206.
Previews: Beginning Sunday, October 27, 2013
Opening/Press Night: Friday, November 1, 7:30 pm
Closing: Sunday, November 24
There Is a Happiness That Morning Is
November will also see WSC returning to the Capital Fringe scene with There Is a Happiness That Morning Is by Mickle Maher, directed by Acting Company member Jay Hardee. In the wake of an inappropriate display of affection on the campus green, two William Blake scholars must publicly apologize to their students—in rhyming couplets, no less. Tom Prewitt states, “William Blake was the apostle of living the imaginative life to the point of recreating oneself. His poetry is filled with images of demonic energy, the fuel that drives creativity, and that energy causes the two main characters to get just a little bit carried away.” Infused with Blake’s lyricism and artistry, this play of scandal and repentance comes to DC after a critically-acclaimed run in Chicago and features Acting Company Members Brian Crane, Joe Palka, and Lynn Sharp Spears.
We invite you to join us for There Is a Happiness That Morning Is at Fort Fringe – The Shop, 607 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001.
Next, we travel through Shakespeare’s time and Blake’s with the regional premere of Orlando by Virginia Woolf, adapted by Sarah Ruhl, and first introduced to WSC audiences as part of the inaugural Gaurav Gopalan Free Reading Series last spring. Ruhl’s new adaptation of Woolf’s most imaginative novel is a wild and wonderful romp through centuries and across genders. Based in part on the life of Woolf’s lover Vita Sackville-West, the novel has been described as “the most charming love-letter in literature.” Orlando will introduce WSC audiences to Director Amber Jackson and will feature Acting Company members Sara Barker and Jay Hardee.
We invite you to join us for Orlando at Theatre on the Run, 3700 South Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA 22206.
Previews: Beginning Friday, February 21, 2014
Opening/Press Night: Wednesday, February 26, 7:30 pm
Closing: Sunday, March 23
The season’s final production brings the world premiere of Nero/Pseudo by local playwright Richard Byrne, with an original score by Jon Langford (of the rock band The Mekons) and Jim Elkington (of the Zincs). A traveling performer stumbles upon an open mic night at a local dive bar in the days after Nero’s demise. The bar’s proprietors take advantage of this talented stranger’s familiar good looks and make him over as the deceased Nero, returned for one last show. At its heart, Nero/Pseudo is a story of mistaken identity, re-creation, sex, glory and vanity, creating the perfect marriage of ancient Rome and glam-rock. Nero/Pseudo will feature Acting Company Member Kari Ginsburg.
We invite you to join us this spring for Nero/Pseudo at a venue and dates to be determined. Visit wscavantbard.org for further information.
WSC Avant Bard
Founded in 1990, WSC Avant Bard is a performing arts organization dedicated to producing classic works (both time-tested and contemporary), emphasizing a bold approach in an intimate setting that showcases the best emerging and established talent in the region.
At WSC Avant Bard, we are in the business of discovery. As a company at the heart of the vibrant theatre scene in our nation’s capital, we approach our work passionately and are dedicated to producing plays that inspire and challenge preconceptions of theatre.
WSC Avant Bard is supported in part by the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development; the Arlington Commission for the Arts; the Virginia Commission for the Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Arlington Community Foundation; and the Fund for Arlington. WSC was selected as one of the best small charities in the Greater Washington Region by the Catalogue of Philanthropy in 2011-12.