Unconventional Holiday Fun on DC’s Stages!

December 12, 2008 by

Looking for fun things to do, but tired of being bombasted with Christmas cheer? Here’s some great theater this weekend taking a new spin on merry.

1. Myth-Appropriation: The Bloody, Strange, and Wicked Origins of St. Nicholas

Six timeless tales. Six new plays. All created in just six days. Performing for ONE NIGHT ONLY! Saturday Dec 13, 2008 at 7pm, 9pm and 11pm (3 shows) at the Warehouse Theater on 7th street, NW.


Rorschach Theatre wants to make the holiday season just a little bit wilder. Rorschach will track old Santa Claus back to his religious, pagan and supernatural roots. Looking back to the myths of the Vikings, early Christians and native peoples of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, Rorschach turns its creative and artistic style on the jolly fat man in red and his larger than life cult of personality.

2. Santaland Diaries

by David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello, performed by Joe Brack. All tickets only $15 – http://cityartisticpartnerships.org 

This hilarious one-man show chronicles the wickedly funny adventures of a thirty-something slacker working as an elf in Macy’s SantaLand. Originally broadcast on NPR, this true account explores the American obsession with all things Christmas, from eccentric Santas and maniacal kids to unhinged parents and rampant commercial consumption. The perfect irreverent cure for your holiday blues!

3. The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at Forum Theatre


Forum’s smash hit from season 4 returns to H Street for a three-week run with all its original cast members. In a courtroom in Hope, Purgatory, Judas—the ultimate betrayer—is on trial. But he’s catatonic with guilt, so the lawyers, judge, jury, and witnesses—everyone from Mother Teresa to Satan—take it upon themselves to debate free will, divine intervention, punishment, and redemption. A challenging, boisterous examination of faith and forgiveness.

4. The Butterfingers Angel, Mary & Joseph, Herod the Nut, & The Slaughter of 12 Hit Carols in a Pear Tree


William Gibson (The Miracle Worker and Golda’s Balcony) brings forth the story of the Mary and and Joseph, told from a richly creative point of view. Combining traditional music, contemporary language, children, animals, a drum-playing Herod, and a cherry tree, “The Butterfingers Angels, Mary & Joseph, Herod the Nut, & The Slaughter of 12 Hit Carols in Pear Tree” is a wickedly entertaining way to celebrate the holiday season! Inthe newly renovated Smith Theatre at Rep Stage.


Rock the Voting Bloc: Wrap-up and Pictures

December 4, 2008 by

At long last, here are pictures from our recent show at Round House Theatre Silver Spring!

Presented on November 1st and 2nd, 2008 on the weekend before the Presidential election, this evening of plays focused on undecided voters who have trouble fitting in with one party or ideology.  Our XX playwrights were asked to write a piece based on one of these “purple voting blocs”: Progressive Evangelicals or Socially Conservative Liberals.  The plays and monologues explored issues of religion, morality, and personal choice. 

You can view the whole album here on Paul Gillis’ photo website.

Stage right cast, pre-show:


Stage left & Patrick giving pre-show speech:


More pictures and a run-down of the plays, under the cut!

Read the rest of this entry »

Cheap things to do in DC this weekend!

November 26, 2008 by

1) ALICE at Round House Theatre
This adaptation of Alice in Wonderland is recommended for ages 6 and up. There will be two PWYC performances – tonight, Wed 26th at 7:00 pm, tickets go on sale in the lobby at 6:00 pm. Saturday 29th at 3:00 pm, tickets go on sale in the lobby at 2:00 pm.

2) Cautionary Tales for Adults and the Many Adventures of Trixie Tickles
by Shawn Northrip
directed by Shirley Serotsky, music directed by Andy Welchel, choreographed by Melissa-Leigh Douglass, designed by David Ghatan and Erin Nugent, production managed by Katherine C. Mielke, featuring original cast members Casie Platt, Alessandra Migliaccio,and Stephanie Hammel; Bouncing Ball Regular Joe Pindelski; and introducing our newest family member, Chase Helton.

Friday November 28 at 8
Saturday November 29 at 3 and 8
Sunday November 30 at 3

Tickets only $15, $12 for seniors/students!

Winner of the 2007 Audience Choice for Best Musical at CapFringe, recipient of 5 Fringes from DC Theatre Scene, and called what you would get if you “reanimate Hunter S. Thompson and task him with creating an amalgam of Dora the Explorer and The Wiggles,” its a dark and twisted look at the perils of adulthood, and innocence of youth. Not appropriate for kids!

3) Last weekend for Honey Brown Eyes at Theater J – buy one get one tickets with code “BOGO” online. Only 4 performances left!

Tuesday, November 25 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 29 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, November 30 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, November 30 at 7:30 pm

4) And for you astronomy nerds: the three brightest bodies in the sky, Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon, will be coming together or a beautiful conjunction, reaching its zenith on Dec. 1st. The Great Conjunction comes!!


Check out this show – cheap tickets for closing weekend!

November 12, 2008 by

AS AMERICAN AS, by Ken Prestininzi. 
Journeymen Theater Ensemble
at Church Street Theater
1742 Church St, NW (Between P/Q). 

Wed.11/12  @ 7:30, PWYC [reg. $20/15] 
$10 tix this weekend ONLY, 202.669.7229; Code RECESSION.

Homeland security comes at a personal price in this dark comedy.  When war and terrorism come home to Middle America, the Penini’s basement is transformed into a black site and a hooded man is interrogated by two Franks.
Shirley Serotsky directs Gerald Browning, Maboud Ebrahhimzadeh, Zehra Fazal, Danny Gavigan, Deborah Kirby, and Colin Smith.
Closing 11/15; shows Wed-Sat.  Mature audiences; contains profanity.

Thank you!

November 3, 2008 by

An extra special thanks to everyone who helped with this weekend’s X-Play Edition at Round House Silver Spring. We’ll be posting a wrap-up soon with pictures and details about the performances

Meanwhile, DCist has listed the delicious multitude of free stuff you can get with your “I voted” sticker tomorrow. Coffee and Ice Cream and Tacos, oh my!

If you want to check out some politically charged theater this week, definitely head over to Georgetown for The Race, a plugged-in exploration of all the issues surrounding the election. The Washington Post published a great review today of this performance.

Do you wonder what our presidential candidates’ favorite books are? This New York Times article details which books Barack Obama and John McCain have kept on their bedside table.

And if you’re tired of hearing about the current election but still want to get a bit of history, check out this article about the new collection of songs about all 43 previous presidents, entitled “Of Great and Mortal Men”.

ROCK THE VOTING BLOC with us this weekend!

October 31, 2008 by

Hello everyone, we hope you’ll be joining us for the shows tomorrow and Sunday. Below is a blurb that you can copy and paste. Please forward or send to anyone who might be interested!

eXtreme eXchange and Round House Theatre’s Silver Spring Series present

Rock the Voting Bloc:
X-Plays DC Edition 7

Saturday November 1st at 8pm
Sunday November 2nd at 3pm

On the eve of perhaps the most consequential elections in recent history, many agree that our next President will, in effect, be chosen by the undecided 10-15% of the country. ROCK THE VOTING BLOC delivers a fresh batch of original short plays focusing on voters who don’t fall in lock-step with any one party or ideology. Our XX playwrights have each been asked to write a piece based on one of these “purple voting blocs” – Progressive Evangelicals and Socially Conservative Liberals. As with all X-Plays, ROCK THE VOTING BLOC will be an irreverent, thought provoking and intelligent performance, immediately followed by a moderated discussion between the audience and the artists.

At Round House Theatre Silver Spring
8641 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD
(next to the AFI/Silver Theatre)
Silver Spring metro-Red Line
Tickets: call 240-644-1100
Admission: $15, ask for code LOWT discount tickets for $12!
http://extremeexchange. wordpress. com

Here’s some interesting reading to get you ready for your pre-election Halloween weekend! A recent AP survey shows that 1 out of 7 voters is still undecided. Meanwhile in MD, ministers are making a last-minute attempt to block a plan to fund schools with slot machines. And whatever your leanings are, here in DC you can always dress up as a political character or a pundit for Halloween.

No Offense

October 30, 2008 by

If you missed it last weekend, check out this Post article that chronicles the capital offense of DC-dwellers who secretly hate politics and have to hide their guilt.

Tonight, go discuss how artists can be involved in politics!
“Citizen Artist: Your Voice Counts – Issues, Strategies and Tactics for making better arts policies and better policy-makers,” will be presented by the DC Advocates for the Arts. Karen Bradley will lead this event from 6:30-8:00 pm at the new Busboys and Poets location – 1025 5th St NW. The closest metros are Gallery Place and Mt. Vernon Square. Following the presentation there will be time to discuss how artists can influence policy, locally and nationally. And of course, time to chat with peers. The DC Advocates for the Arts are an all-volunteer organization working to increase support for art and artists in Washington, D.C.

Our XX teams had their first spacing rehearsals last night in the beautiful Round House Theatre in Silver Spring. The tech cues have been set, the entrances and exits are figured out, and the actors are working to memorize their lines before Saturday! This X-Play edition promises to be one of our most provocative yet. Our teams are exploring the difficult grey areas between traditional definitions of “left” and “right”. For some food for thought, check out Conservatives for Change, Rednecks for Obama, and Democrats for McCain.

Political Theatre Roundup #5

October 29, 2008 by

Lots of great stuff this week around town!

First off, a special thanks to DC Theatre Scene for mentioning our upcoming show in their article on pre-election theater!  Our teams are meeting at Round House Silver Spring tonight to rehearse in the theater, and they’ve been working hard on their hilarious and thought-provoking plays to get them ready for this weekend.

Last night was the 23rd annual High Heel Drag Race in DC, which is always held the week of Halloween. If you haven’t seen the pictures yet, check them out over at DCist. Political figures definitely made a good showing this year, with many variations on the Sarah Palin theme.

Tonight, previous X-Play director Shirley Serotsky is directing a free reading featuring Jonathon Church, a previous X-Play actor!  THE TRAGICAL HISTORY OF DOCTOR FAUSTUS will be presented at Source Theater at 7:30, just in time to get you in the mood for Halloween.  This classic tale is of a scholar who turns to the black arts when science, philosophy, law and religion lose their appeal, and sells his soul to the devil for knowledge, experience and power.  Directed by Shirley Serotsky. Cast: Jonathon Church as Faustus, Nanna Ingvarsson as Mephistophilis, with: Katie Atkinson, Michael Feldshur, John Geoffrion, Ashley Ivey, Anne Nottage, Amy Quiggins, Theodore Snead & Scott Zeigler.  Seating is first-come, first-served. Doors open 6:45 pm.  For more info check out the Constellation website. 

Tomorrow night, The Race premieres on the Georgetown campus. This collaboration between Portland Oregon’s Sojourn Theatre and Michael Rohd’s class Ensemble Theater Practicum takes the form of a three-act play that engages the issues and dynamics of the 2008 Presidential election as it moves towards its dramatic conclusion. Performances from October 30-November 1 at 8 PM, November 2 at 2 PM, with a Special Election Night event on November 4, and November 5-8 at 8 PM, in the Gonda Theatre in the Davis Performing Arts Center – 108 Davis Performance Arts Center, NW in Washington, DC at 37th & O Streets. More info available at the Georgetown theater department website. Tickets range from $7 to $18 with discounts for students and seniors.

Going into Pay-What-You-Can previews Friday and Saturday night at 8 is PUNCH: that’s the way we do it!. This distressed, dissatisfied, discontent and totally disturbed adult puppet show features a gaggle of folks who’ve been involved with our X-Plays! Puppetry by producing team member Betsy, fights by previous X-Play director Lorraine, and featuring several talented actors who’ve lent their skills to one of our previous Editions. The show is playing through November 22nd at Flashpoint at 916 G street NW, and all tickets are $15. Acting by Josh Drew, Niki Jacobsen, Lee Liebeskind, and Dan Van Hoozer, Fights by Lorraine Ressegger, Blood by Casey Kaleba, Puppets by Betsy Rosen, Sets and Lights by Colin K. Bills, Costumes by Margo Bierne, Masks by Wyckham Avery. Cash only at the door. For more info check out the dog and pony dc website.

Political Theatre Roundup #4

October 24, 2008 by

Lots of interesting stuff for you this weekend, folks.

But first, in news of the really, really weird, a campaign worker who claimed that a black man attacked her at an ATM, saw her McCain bumper sticker and then carved a “B” into her face is now under investigation for possibly making up her story. Even Michelle Malkin is suspicious.

Locally, you can check out some pretty cool stuff with a political slant.

At DCAC in Adams Morgan, the always-adventuresome Landless Theatre Company is presenting the musical President Harding Is A Rock Star through November 30th.

Civilian Arts Projects is presenting Darfur/Darfur through December 6th – a travelling exhibition of images of the struggle in Darfur by world-renowned photojournalists.

This Sunday from 4 – 6pm, XX friends Patrick Crowley and Anu Yadav are presenting a workshop reading of CLASSLINES, a new multimedia performance exploring issues of class in DC. They will be sharing a montage of stories through performance, video, and audio. Audience participation and feedback will be instrumental in shaping the final piece which debuts next year. More info at Busboys and Poets.

Political Theatre Roundup #3

October 22, 2008 by

In today’s Backstage column, Jane Horowitz details the collaboration between Theater J and Journeymen Theater Ensemble on their “Ethics and War” reading series to be held at the Church Street Theater. These upcoming readings will focus on political plays that explore further the issues that these companies are putting onstage right now.

This week, Journeymen Theater Ensemble opens the world premiere of As American As by Ken Prestininzi, directed by Shirley Serotsky. The darkly comic take on the “war on terror” going out of control on the home front runs tonight through Nov. 15 at Church Street Theater.  Showtimes are Wednesdays at 7:30 pm: Always Pay-What-You-Can, Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm. 

Also this week, Theater J opens Honey Brown Eyes by Stefanie Zadravec, directed by Jessica Lefkow.  This drama about Muslims and Christians caught up in the Bosnian war of the early 1990s is in pay-what-you-can previews tonight and runs through Nov. 30. Showtimes are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm.

Ethics and War Reading Series:

Monday, Oct. 27th: Deposition on Water-Boarding: From the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel Testimony Before the House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, adapted and directed by Jeffrey Sichel.

Monday, Nov. 3: The Trial of the Catonsville Nine by Daniel Berrigan, directed by Rahaleh Nassri.

Monday, Nov. 10: Benedictus: An Iran-Israel-US Collaboration by Motti Lerner, directed by Daniella Topol.

Also, take the Political Compass test to see where your allegiances lie!