Silver Spring Stage returns to live performance with bold 53rd season

The company "is reaching beyond its comfort zone" with "a fully multiethnic, intersectional selection of plays."

Silver Spring Stage is set to return to live, in-person performances beginning in October. The 2021/22 season opens with the world premiere of A Black and White Cookie by Gary Morgenstein (October 1–3, 2021), which focuses on the unlikely yet powerful friendship between conservative African American retiree Harold Wilson and eccentric 1960s Jewish radical Albie Sands.

“Silver Spring Stage is starting its season with a question for our times: ‘Why can’t we all just get along?’” said director Jackie Youm. “This is a story where all of the main characters go on a journey of self-reflection, discovery, and compassion. President Obama declared the black and white cookie to be a symbol of racial harmony, and it is the perfect symbol for this play.”

For its annual holiday production, the Stage will present A Christmas Story by Philip Grecian (December 11–19), based on the 1983 film.

Next year will bring Dead and Breathing by Chisa Hutchinson (January 28–February 19 2021), Back of the Throat by Yussef El Guindi (March 11–April 2), and Native Gardens by DC-based playwright Karen Zacarias (April 29–May 22), which Zacarias has called “a love letter to our city.”

“With this year’s season, Silver Spring Stage is reaching beyond its comfort zone to bring our audiences a fully multiethnic, intersectional selection of plays,” said Board Chairperson Bill Hurlbut. “These plays are a down payment on our pledge to bring our audiences both the best of contemporary theater that challenges heart and mind, and to stretch the boundaries of our community.”

Silver Spring Stage performs at 10145 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD. When tickets become available, they can be purchased online.

Now in its 53rd season, Silver Spring Stage is a community theater with a mission to present the best in contemporary plays. Our seasons include compelling, intellectual, progressive works that offer creative opportunities for actors, directors, and designers.


A Black and White Cookie
By Gary Morgenstein
Directed by Jackie Youm
October 1–3, 2021 | world premiere

In the provocative and timely A Black and White Cookie, Harold Wilson, a gruff, conservative African American in his late 60s, finally reopens his New York City newsstand following the pandemic lockdown. But an exorbitant rent increase forces him to close after 30 years and reluctantly retire to Florida with his niece Carol. Enter Albie Sands, an eccentric 1960s Jewish radical, who persuades Harold to fight the landlord. Overcoming their differences, Harold and Albie form an unlikely yet powerful friendship to confront corporate greed and prejudice.

A Christmas Story
By Philip Grecian, based on the motion picture A Christmas Story, © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Sheperd, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark; and on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, by Jean Shepard
Directed by Fred Zirm
December 11–19, 2021

This stage version of young Ralphie Parker’s great quest to ensure that a Red Ryder BB gun will await him under the Christmas tree was inspired by the movie cherished by so many. The memorable characters and setting are all there — it is Christmas time in the Midwest in the 1940s and Ralphie must grapple with bullies, friends, his little brother, parents, teachers, and even Santa Claus himself… all the moments your friends and family can’t wait to revisit year after year will be inventively brought to life on stage! With wonderful roles for actors who are both young and young-at-heart, this play promises to delight audiences of all ages while relishing the process of telling what some might argue is the greatest holiday classic of them all!

Dead and Breathing
By Chisa Hutchinson
Directed by TBD
January 28–February 19, 2022

Cranky old Carolyn Whitlock has been in hospice for far too long and just wants to die already. But she’ll have to work harder than she ever has in her privileged life to convince her oversharing and very Christian nurse to help her end it. Through surprising humor and persistent questioning, Dead and Breathing investigates morality, mortality, and the intense tug-of-war between the right to die with dignity and the idea of life as a gift.

Back of the Throat
By Yussef El Guindi
Directed by Nicholas Bashour
March 11–April 2, 2022

In this darkly comedic and politically charged play, the audience is invited to examine the balance between freedom and fear, and to question what they would be willing to sacrifice in exchange for feeling safe. With equal doses of intellect and humor, Back of the Throat devolves from a seemingly friendly visit by two government officials into an out-and-out inquisition. The story takes place in the home of Khaled, an Arab American writer who is being accused of possible ties to terrorists. As the probe continues, and the officials reveal their “evidence” — including testimonies from witnesses we encounter through flashbacks — are we being shown the truth? Or, rather, are we left with a different appreciation of what euphemisms like “person of interest” seek to obscure? Filtered through the lens of the ArabA merican experience, Back of the Throat leaves the audience to question what it really means to be an American. 

Play Selection in Process
April 29–May 22, 2022

Native Gardens
By Karen Zacarias
Directed by TBD
June 24–July 16, 2022

In a story that playwright Zacarias has called “a love letter to our city in a sense,” Native Gardens both makes an audience from the DMV feel right at home while also challenging us with an intimate look at how border disputes are happening in our own backyards. Issues of race, class, privilege, gender, and age intersect as we spend time with Pablo and Tania, the young couple who have just moved into the neighborhood, and Virginia (Ginny) and Frank, the nearly retired couple who have lived there for decades. Good intentions come head-to-head with deeply entrenched beliefs in this brilliant comedy in which everything isn’t coming up roses. 

All production staff, volunteers, and patrons of Silver Spring Stage are required to present a photo ID and proof of vaccination at the time they enter the theater. Those who are exempt from vaccination must provide results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of the performance start time. Non-performers are required to wear masks throughout the duration of a show.


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