Arena Stage The Mead Center for American Theater MY ACCOUNT
Ben Platt welcomes you to the 2016/17 Season

2013/2014 Season

Event Calendar

Welcome!

Molly Smith

What makes your heart race? What inspires you? For those of us living and working in the theater it can be about telling new stories in wholly unexpected ways. Or discovering a surprising wrinkle in a classic play that we didn’t realize was there. It’s about illuminating the text or a song to make audiences catch their collective breath. It’s seeing a new theatergoer make a connection between the work on the stage and a moment in their own life. It’s a sensation, a rush, a thrill. It’s our job to create it. At any given performance, the moments can be magical.

Come join us for all of the magical moments of the 2018/19 Season.

Molly Smith
Molly Smith, Artistic Director

A Comedic Legend Turn me loose
Gretchen Law
In association with John Legend, Get Lifted Film Company,
Mike Jackson, The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation ,
Beth Hubbard, The Private Theatre, Eric Falkenstein,
SimonSays Entertainment, Jamie Cesa, Jana Babatunde-Bey
By Gretchen Law
Kreeger Theater | September 6 – October 14, 2018

This intimate and no-holds-barred drama chronicles Dick Gregory’s rise as the first Black comedian to expose audiences to racial comedy. His comedy spared no one including politicians, celebrities and the white supremacists who were part of his regular audience. In confronting bigotry head-on with biting humor and charm, Gregory turned his activism into an art form, risking his own safety at each performance. “Scorchingly funny and brilliant” (New York Times), Turn Me Loose is an exuberant and raw tribute to Gregory’s life as a civil rights activist, comic genius and unapologetic provocateur.

Gold Standard Musical Anything Goes
Molly Smith
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Original Book by Guy Bolton & P. G. Wodehouse and Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse
New Book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman
Directed by Molly Smith
Choreography by Parker Esse
Music Direction by Paul Sportelli
Fichandler Stage  |  November 2 – December 23, 2018

The SS American has set sail from NY to London. Aboard, the lovelorn Billy has stowed away on a mission to stop the marriage of his mystery muse, countess Hope Harcourt, to the millionaire Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Now, it is up to Billy with the help of showgirls, sailors, and public enemy #13, to find, woo and win back his true love. Unlikely alliances arise as mischief and mayhem ensue in this madcap musical by beloved composer and Tony Award winner Cole Porter. It’s the perfect night out at the theater — contagiously fun and pure “musical comedy joy!” (New York Times)

A Timeless Masterpiece Indecent
Paula Vogel
By Paula Vogel  |  Directed by Eric Rosen
Co-production with Baltimore Center Stage
and Kansas City Repertory
Kreeger Theater  |  November 23 – December 30, 2018

In 1923, the Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s Yiddish drama God of Vengeance set the stage for an explosive moment in its theatrical history. The evocative work of Jewish culture was praised and criticized for taboo themes of censorship, immigration and anti-Semitism. Inspired by these true events and the controversy, Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel tells the behind-the-scenes story of the courageous artists who risked their careers and lives to perform a work deemed “indecent.” “Brimming with good faith” (New York Times), this Tony Award-winning intimate and enchanting play filled with music and dance is a testament to the transformative power of art that is timelier than ever before.

Fearless Political Journey Kleptocracy
Kenneth Lin
By Kenneth Lin
By special arrangement with Robert Ahrens
Kreeger Theater  |  January 18 – February 24, 2019

It is one of the most pivotal moments in history — the Soviet Union has collapsed. In the ensuing rampage of hyper-capitalism, the Oligarchs, a new class of robber barons, plunge Russia into a terrifying dark age of chaos and corruption. When the richest and most ruthless Oligarch attempts to reform and open Russian markets to the world, he’s confronted by a young Vladimir Putin who is charting his own path to power. This world-premiere drama by Kenneth Lin (House of Cards) turns the spotlight on U.S. — Russia relations when crude oil is the language of diplomacy and events that dominate today’s headlines are first set in motion.

A Portrait of Courage The Heiress
Seema Sueko
By Ruth Goetz and Augustus Goetz
Suggested by the Henry James Novel Washington Square
Directed By Seema Sueko
Fichandler Stage  |  February 8 – March 10, 2019

Finding one’s voice is never easy. Socially awkward and plain Catherine Sloper has struggled her entire life under the disapproving and resentful gaze of her father. It is the unexpected visit from a suitor full of sincerity and instantaneous devotion that awakens Catherine’s long abandoned hopes of true love and the opportunity for a fresh start. A devastating betrayal forces the scorned Catherine to learn how to roar, realize her truth and take control of her destiny.

World-Premiere Power Play JQA
Aaron Posner
Written and Directed by Aaron Posner
Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle  |  March 1 – April 14, 2019

Complicated, passionate and difficult, John Quincy Adams was a brilliant diplomat, ineffectual one-term President and congressman known for his eloquence, arrogance and integrity. This unique, highly-theatrical play by award-winning playwright Aaron Posner (Stupid F**king Bird) imagines key confrontations between JQA and some of America’s most dynamic figures: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, his own father, John Adams and more. At once provocative, haunting and hilarious, this Power Play challenges the way we think of our country, our government and ourselves.

Wall Street Drama Junk
Ayad Akhtar
By Ayad Akhtar
Directed by Jackie Maxwell
Fichandler Stage  |  April 5 – May 5, 2019

As the brilliant and calculating Robert Merkin prepares a hostile takeover of a family-owned manufacturing company, he is not concerned about crossing the line to get what he wants in the name of “saving America.” Inspired by the volatile and cut-throat financial world and the junk bond giants of the 1980s, “this epic piece of work” (Chicago Tribune) is an enticing look at the money makers, their hubris and those who tried to hold them accountable. Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar’s (Disgraced) latest work asks if redemption is truly possible or if there is always a new scheme waiting in the wings.

Inspirational A Capella Tribute Jubilee
Tazewell Thompson
Written and Directed by Tazewell Thompson
Kreeger Theater  |  April 26 – June 2, 2019

The world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers shattered racial barriers in the U.S. and abroad, entertaining kings and queens. For centuries, the bold a capella African American ensemble born on the campus of Fisk University has blended their rich voices together sharing a heritage of suffering, strength and endurance. “A known showman” with a “gift for stirring theatricality” (Washington Post), playwright and director Tazewell Thompson brings an innovative and heart-stirring score to life in this world premiere. With uplifting spirituals and hymns including “Wade in the Water,” “Ain’t That Good News,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” this a capella musical with more than three dozen songs is sure to ignite audiences.

Special Add-on Event

World-Premiere Musical Dave

Tina Landau Based on the Warner Bros. motion picture written by Gary Ross
By special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, The Donners’ Company and Larger Than Life
Book by Thomas Meehan and Nell Benjamin, Music by Tom Kitt and Lyrics by Nell Benjamin
Directed by Tina Landau
Kreeger Theater  |  July 13 – August 19, 2018


From a Tony and Pulitzer Prize Award-winning creative team and adapted from the Oscar-nominated film, Dave tells the story of high school teacher (and presidential lookalike) Dave Kovic, who is hired by the Secret Service as a stand-in for the Commander-in-Chief. When the President falls ill under less than “presidential” circumstances, Dave is thrust into the Oval Office to avoid a national scandal and must find a way to gain the trust and love of the American people … and the First Lady. View details