Avant Bard Theatre is a performing arts organization dedicated primarily to producing classic works–both time-tested and contemporary classics; emphasizing a provocative, bold approach in an intimate setting; and training and showcasing the best emerging talent in the region, mentored by seasoned, professional theatre artists.
Sara Barker (she/her) is a DC-area stage actor whose Avant Bard credits include Suddenly Last Summer, King Lear, Emilie, Orlando, Othello, A Misanthrope, Mary Stuart. Other DC-area credits: A Maze, This Storm is What We Call Progress (Rorschach), 4.48 Psychosis (Factory 449), The Importance of Being Earnest, A Woman of No Importance (Scena), and The Cherry Orchard (Faction of Fools). New York credits include Lear DeBessonet’s Death Might Be Your Santa Claus. In addition to her work with Avant Bard, Sara is a company member with Rorschach Theatre and Factory 449. Sara attended St. John’s College in Annapolis; lives in Arlington; works at CISA; is married to a Yorktown High School teacher; and is a mom of two kiddoes who attend Ashlawn Elementary. www.sarabarker.com
DeMone Seraphin is a Helen Hayes Award nominee for his direction of Avant Bard’s production of TOPDOG UNDERDOG. His most recent ABT production includes the critically acclaimed HOW I LEARNED WHAT I LEARNED. Other directing credits include the Off-Broadway revivals of SPLIT SECOND and THE EXONERATED, the world premiere musical ONCE UPONZI TIME: A Tale of An American Scheme at the McCarter Theatre, Off-Broadway premieres of YOURS TRULY, ELLA! A Celebration of The Ella Fitzgerald Songbook and THE KING; THE FINAL HOURS an Elvis Presley musical. International productions include the German premiere of August Wilson’s JITNEY, BARNUM and the musical RUNAWAYS. As an actor DeMone has appeared on Broadway, nationally and internationally in MISS SAIGON, RENT, RAGTIME, J.C. SUPERSTAR, AIN’T MISBEHAVIN, and MAN OF LA MANCHA. DeMone was the Founding Artistic Director of The New American Theatre Co. NY. and is a proud Producing Partner for Avant Bard Theatre in Arlington, Va.
Alyssa Sanders (Producer Partner) has been a local DC actor for over 15 years. Some of her favorite roles include: Goneril to Rick Foucheux’ Lear in Avant Bard’s King Lear; the dual roles of Mr. Bennet and Charlotte in NextStop Theatre Company’s production of Pride and Prejudice (Kate Hamill Adaptation); the dual roles of Trinculo and Sebastia in Avant Bard’s Tempest and Emilia in Avant Bard’s Othello. Other local theaters she has worked for include Quotidian Theatre Company (Company Member), Peter’s Alley Theatre, Lean & Hungry Theater (Company Member), Venus Theatre, Studio Theatre, Adventure Theatre. Training: American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Brandeis University, Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory. Avant Bard Theatre continues to be where her heart is and is thrilled to be a part of this new paradigm in artistic leadership.
Board of Directors
Marc Okrand • Wendell Ocasio • Richard M. Cooper • Sara Cormeny • Bill Perkins
Founded in 1990 as Washington Shakespeare Company, Avant Bard Theatre is a performing arts organization dedicated primarily to producing classic works—both time-tested and contemporary classics; emphasizing a provocative, bold approach in an intimate setting; and training and showcasing the best emerging talent in the region, mentored by seasoned, professional theatre artists.
Avant Bard’s mission is expressed through its commitment to artistic excellence, collaboration, developing talent, and promoting educational and social outreach.
Our history is replete with edgy, innovative productions of Shakespeare, from Julius Caesar on the top floor of an unfinished office building in Ballston to a Kubrick-inspired Richard II; productions of works by other world literary giants, from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot to Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman; American classics, from Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire to Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour and Edward Albee’s Tiny Alice; exciting new plays, including Jonelle Walker’s TAME, Matt Minnicino’s A Misanthrope, and Lauren Gunderson’s Ada and the Engine.
Our main stage programming, as well as our exciting “Scripts in Play” reading series, build on this tradition of bold productions of rarely produced classics, both time-honored and contemporary.
In 1995, Avant Bard converted a cavernous warehouse in Arlington into the Clark Street Playhouse, creating one of the DC area’s most flexible performance spaces. In 2010, Avant Bard became the resident theatre company at the 125-seat Black Box theater at Artisphere in Arlington. Since January 2013 Avant Bard has had Theatre Two of Arlington’s Gunston Arts Center as its primary performance venue.
Avant Bard enjoys the support of many sponsors and partners in the community, and we count on our audiences to support us through donations and ticket sales, including our popular Pay-What-You-Can Saturday matinees. Please consider making Avant Bard part of your commitment to the arts.