Washington Stage Guild’s in-person season to spotlight trust

Four plays that show trust being built, being questioned, fraying, and breaking.

The Washington Stage Guild, celebrating the 35th anniversary of its founding, announces its return to in-person production with a season of four plays. All confront the issue of difficult choices being defended, challenges accepted in unexpected ways, and the importance of trust — gained and lost — that requires one to be vulnerable and courageous to persevere.

The season includes the production that was halted by COVID-19 just prior to its opening, Sam & Dede, Or My Dinner with Andre the Giant by Gino DiIorio. This long-delayed area premiere will be joined by three plays that were planned for 2020–21 but are coming to the stage this season instead.

“We can’t wait to get back on stage after such a long hiatus,” said Artistic Director Bill Largess. “The season in store will have been worth waiting for, though. After so many doubts in the recent past, it seems especially apt to look at the yearning we have to trust others, whether friends, colleagues, relatives, or even the government. Society relies on these connections and these four plays show us trust being built, being questioned, fraying, and breaking. And as always at the Stage Guild, the four plays speak to each other, in harmony or contrast.”

My Children! My Africa! by Athol Fugard
11/11/2021 to 12/5/2021
Directed by Gerrad Alex Taylor

The great South African playwright’s meditation on education and its role in the struggle for justice, along with its sad limits in a culture of oppression and bigotry. In an Eastern Cape Karoo town in South Africa in 1984, devoted teacher Mr. M seeks to provide a future for his prize pupil Thami by forming a debate team with a bright student from the local white school, Isabel. But Mr. M’s hopes for Thami are challenged by their generational divide and the political violence brewing outside the classroom.

Sam & Dede, or My Dinner with Andre the Giant by Gino DiIorio
1/13/2022 to 2/6/2022

Directed by Steven Carpenter and starring Alan Wade and Scott McCormick. Postponed from last season, an eye-opening account of two very unexpected friends and their influence on each other through the decades. Their unlikely friendship began when an aspiring writer, an Irish expatriate in France, gave a young man (whose remarkable size made him the object of derision) rides to school each day, discussing playwriting, pro wrestling, and where their lives would lead them. A belated area premiere.

Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw
2/25/2022 to 3/27/2022
Directed by Michael Rothhaar

Two of Shaw’s greatest women clash as Mrs. Warren and her daughter Vivie struggle to connect in light of their very different views on women, morality, and business. Shaw’s play was considered explosive when it premiered in 1905, drawing ire from the Lord Chamberlain’s office for its frank examination of the hypocrisy surrounding prostitution. It still packs a punch today. This new production will be helmed by the director of the Guild’s 1991 production.

Memoirs of a Forgotten Man by D.W. Gregory
5/5/2022 to 5/29/2022
Directed by Kasi Campbell

A 2018 hit at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Gregory’s play portrays the determination of a totalitarian regime to erase history, and the tragic effect that has on a man who can forget nothing. Based on a true story, a man with a photographic memory finds himself and those around him in peril under an authoritarian regime that erases its political enemies.

SEASON PASSES are on sale now — at the same low price as before — $125 for four admissions to be used in any combination! SINGLE TICKET prices have also not been raised. To purchase go online.

Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm   $50.00
Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm   $60.00
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm   $50.00
Discounts are available for senior citizens, students, and groups.

The Undercroft Theatre of Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Avenue NW, in the heart of downtown Washington, DC, on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 9th Street NW.

The Washington Stage Guild has prepared carefully for a return to live theater. To that end, we have joined with other area theaters to require that patrons be vaccinated while attending performances at our theater.  And we are committed to a rigorous set of health and safety protocols that include enhanced cleaning and social distancing in the theater.  Masks will also be required for all guests, regardless of vaccination status.  These policies will be in effect until the CDC and DC/federal government guidance deem them unnecessary.

We have by no means been idle during the 18-month hiatus caused by the pandemic. Thanks to a grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the generosity of many individual donors, we completed a major “green” rehaul of our lighting system, which will be more energy-efficient and make the shows we present look better than ever. We also pivoted to digital production and offered four online presentations that have kept our audiences engaged; three of our online performances were plays by our “house playwright,” George Bernard Shaw (Don Juan in HellThe Devil’s Disciple, and How He Lied to Her Husband), and the fourth play offers a glimpse into Shaw’s personal life (Dear Liar By Jerome Kilty, adapted from the correspondence of Bernard Shaw and Mrs. Patrick Campbell).

Dear Liar streams free from September 29 at 8 pm through October 3, 2021, at 8 pm. To view this unique performance, patrons can go to Washington Stage Guild’s event page at ShowTix4U.com/events/wsg and follow the prompts to obtain a free ticket good for watching anytime during a 48-hour rental period.

SEE ALSO: Shaw and his star actress will drop lines in ‘Dear Liar’ from WSG


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