Signature Theatre announces 2024/25 season

Signature's 35th season includes five musicals and two plays, four of which are DC premieres.

Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner and Managing Director Maggie Boland have announced Signature Theatre’s 2024/25 season. The 35th season highlights Signature’s commitment to produce new works and reimagined classics and includes five musicals and two plays, four of which are DC premieres. Signature is also unveiling a new visual identity this season developed on conjunction with local Alexandria, Virginia, agency Yes&, that is inspired by Signature’s unique role in the theatre landscape, its distinctive storytelling, intimate performance spaces, and commitment to new and reimagined musicals. More information on the 2024/25 season is now available at SigTheatre.org/Subscribe.

“For 35 years, Signature has been an important voice in championing new work, especially in musical theater,” said Signature Theatre Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner. “This year, we are proud to share four DC premieres with our audiences as well as beloved musicals in all new productions. Soft Power and The Untitled Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical are two new musicals receiving their second productions here at Signature. Eboni Booth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Primary Trust, will have its DC premiere in our intimate ARK Theatre, while Max Wolf Friedlich’s critically acclaimed hit, Job, will receive its regional premiere this January fresh off a recently announced Broadway run. In its 35th season, Signature continues to demonstrate the ambitious range of its programming.”

“As Signature enters this milestone season, we are introducing a new visual identity that reflects everything quintessentially Signature: audacious storytelling, intimate performances, and new and innovative work,” said Signature Theatre Managing Director Maggie Boland. “Signature has long been a national force in musical theater, and our new season features work written by some of the art form’s most important voices, including Stephen Sondheim, Jeanine Tesori, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Trask and Joe Iconis. This season truly exemplifies what makes Signature unique, from premiering exciting new work and reimagining classic musicals – the hysterical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the joyous In the Heights, and the queer cult classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch – to telling these stories in intimate spaces where our audiences can hear every breath and see every expression.”

To kick off the season, Associate Artistic Director Ethan Heard (Signature’s The Bridges of Madison County, Pacific Overtures) will direct the Washington, DC premiere of Soft Power (August 6 – September 15, 2024) in the MAX Theatre. A visionary musical fantasia by Tony Award-winners David Henry Hwang (Yellow FaceM. Butterfly) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun HomeKimberly Akimbo), Soft Power is an exhilarating ride through political absurdity with a faceoff between Chinese and American exceptionalism. After the 2016 election, when a Chinese American playwright is attacked by an unknown assailant, he hallucinates a Golden Age musical comedy about a Chinese theater producer and Hillary Clinton falling in love. Hilarious and biting, this political satire dares to ask: Does American democracy still work? And is it worth believing in?

In the ARK Theatre, Taylor Reynolds (Studio Theatre’s Fat Ham, Woolly Mammoth’s The Sensational Sea Minkettes) will direct the Washington, DC premiere of playwright Eboni Booth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Primary Trust (September 10 – October 20, 2024), a touching and funny story of finding connection and moving forward. Wally’s Tiki Bar serves the sweetest mai tais in town, and Kenneth never misses a happy hour with his best friend. But when a job loss upends Kenneth’s static existence, he must discover the courage to open a new door and change his life – even if it means facing the past and letting go. A New York Times Critic’s Pick, Primary Trust is a beautiful and tender journey towards new beginnings and seeing the world for the first time.

This fall, Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner (Signature’s HAIR, Ragtime) will bring a comedy tonight to the MAX with Stephen Sondheim’s zany, hysterical, Tony Award-winning musical romp, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (October 29, 2024 – January 12, 2025), based on the work of Roman playwright Plautus and featuring a hilarious book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. In one of the greatest musical comedies of all time, three households reside next to each other in ancient Rome. Just outside their doors, the exploits of a quick-thinking Roman slave, a braggart soldier, a beautiful courtesan, a lovesick young man and others devolve into uproarious chaos in a fast-paced, witty and monumental escapade. With mistaken identities, wily ruses, madcap chases, a love story, and a happy ending of course, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’s audacious and irreverent spectacle has something for everyone.

Up next in the ARK, Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner will direct the regional premiere of playwright Max Wolf Friedlich’s Job (January 28 – March 16, 2025), a psychological thriller with a shocking and disturbing twist that will leave you breathless. A young woman whose screaming breakdown at work has gone viral must receive an evaluation from a crisis therapist before she can return to her job at a well-known tech firm. During the appointment, however, secrets emerge, and filters strip away as doctor and patient edge toward an epic showdown. An Off-Broadway sensation and New York Times Critic’s Pick, this intense play skewers the insidiousness of the internet, the meaning of work and the menace behind the social media smile.

This spring, Signature will transport you to Washington Heights with a brand-new production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s (Hamilton, Disney’s Encanto) Tony Award-winning hit musical In the Heights (February 11 – May 4, 2025). Featuring a heartfelt book by playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes (Daphne’s DiveWater by the Spoonful), the production is directed by James Vásquez (Two River Theater’s HAIR, Goodspeed’s Cabaret). This joyous and vivacious musical triumph brings the lights up on Washington Heights, NYC, where the streets are full of music, and everybody’s got a dream. With the neighborhood on the brink of gentrification, and a life-changing winning lottery ticket somewhere in their midst, the vibrant inhabitants share hope, loss and love as they plan their futures while cherishing their home. Latin rhythms and hip-hop lyrics infuse “96,000,” “Paciencia y Fe,” “Carnaval del Barrio” and the title song as this breathtaking celebration of community and culture energetically bursts off the stage with Signature’s trademark immersive style.

Signature’s final ARK production this season will be the queer musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch (April 15 – June 22, 2025). Associate Artistic Director Ethan Heard will direct the production. With text by John Cameron Mitchell and an electrifying score by Stephen TraskHedwig and the Angry Inch is a radical rock musical that explodes with glam, grit, glitter and heart. With killer heels and a fabulous wig, Hedwig tours the country, trailing the ex-lover who stole her songs and made it big. Tonight, Hedwig will tell her story on her own terms, in an unforgettable show about growing up in Communist East Germany, the botched sex change operation that allowed her to come to the United States, and life beyond the binary. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this queer anthem cult classic celebrates surviving against all odds.

To close the season, Signature will produce the Washington, DC premiere of The Untitled Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical (June 3 – July 13, 2025), which comes off of its sold out run at La Jolla Playhouse. This exciting new musical about the infamous author comes from the mind of Joe Iconis (Be More Chill, NBC’s Smash) and co-book writer Gregory S. Moss (Indian SummerReunion), and directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley (Come from Away, Signature’s Freaky Friday). A collision of politics, counterculture and rock and roll in human form, Hunter S. Thompson is impossible to pin down. Careening from the 1940s to 2005, Thompson invents Gonzo journalism, attempts to take down a corrupt president, and quests for equality for his fellow weirdos, outsiders and freaks. However, this anti-hero’s drug-fueled tornado leaves a trail of destruction as he grapples with his legacy in a world that has left him behind. Funny and unique, as anarchic and irreverent as the writer himself, this explosive rock musical will spark a revolution for the rebel inside us all.

Signature’s Cabaret Series will kick off this summer with Summertime: Awa Sal Secka Sings Ladies of Jazz (July 23 – August 4, 2024), featuring a few riffs and a lot of fun as powerhouse vocalist Awa Sal Secka toasts luminaries such as Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and more. In the fall, Signature invites you to groove to the smooth style of the Memphis recording company that discovered Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes and more in I’ll Take You There: Stax Record Co. (November 12 – 24, 2024). And next summer, Signature closes out its 2024-2025 cabaret season with You’ve Got a Friend: Women Pop Songwriters (July 2 – 13, 2025) as we celebrate the amazing women who not only sing but write their own music, from Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Dolly Parton, and Carly Simon to Brandi Carlile, Alicia Keys, Sara Bareilles, and Adele.

Signature’s special events include the Signature Seminar: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a five-part behind-the-scenes seminar with the cast and creative team of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The seminar will run from March 27 to April 14, 2025. The 2024-2025 season will also see the landmark 30th year of Signature in the Schools, an award-winning arts education program provided for free to schools across northern Virginia. Public performances of the Signature in the Schools play will be held on March 3 and March 10, 2025.

Signature offers flexible subscription options for the 2024-2025 season. Season Subscription packages are now on sale. Custom packages can be created for 3-, 4-, 5-, 6- or the full 7-show season. Season subscription package prices begin at $202. Benefits of subscribing include first choice of seats, savings over individual ticket prices, and discounts on extra tickets. Call Signature’s Box Office at 703.820.9771 or visit Sigtheatre.org/Subscribe.

Single tickets for the entire season will go on sale mid-July. 

SIGNATURE THEATRE’S 2024-2025 SEASON LISTINGS

DC Premiere
Soft Power
August 6 – September 15, 2024
MAX Theatre

A visionary musical fantasia by Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (Yellow FaceM. Butterfly) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun HomeKimberly Akimbo).

After the 2016 election, when a Chinese American playwright is attacked by an unknown assailant, he hallucinates a Golden Age musical comedy about a Chinese theater producer and Hillary Clinton falling in love. Hilarious and biting, this political satire dares to ask: Does American Democracy still work? And is it worth believing in?

An exhilarating ride through political absurdity with a faceoff between Chinese and American exceptionalism, Soft Power makes an electric debut in the nation’s capital.

“Subversive as well as funny, touching and thoroughly entertaining… You may never look at an American musical the same way again.”
– Variety 

Play & Lyrics by David Henry Hwang 
Music & Additional Lyrics by Jeanine Tesori
Directed by Ethan Heard

August 6 – September 15, 2024
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app.
Pride Night: August 23, 2024
Post-show Discussions: August 28 and September 10, 2024
AAPI Affinity Night: August 20, 2024
ASL Interpreted: September 6, 2024
Masks Required: August 18 (2PM) and September 10, 2024

DC Premiere
Primary Trust
September 10 – October 20, 2024

ARK Theatre

A touching and funny story of finding connection and moving forward that won the 2024 Pulitzer Prize.

Wally’s Tiki Bar serves the sweetest mai tais in town, and Kenneth never misses a happy hour with his best friend. But when a job loss upends Kenneth’s static existence, he must discover the courage to open a new door and change his life – even if it means facing the past and letting go.

New York Times Critic’s Pick, this DC premiere is a beautiful and tender journey towards new beginnings and seeing the world for the first time.

“It will restore your faith in theatre’s elemental storytelling powers.”
 The Observer 

By Eboni Booth
Directed by Taylor Reynolds

September 10 – October 20, 2024
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app.
Pride Night: September 27, 2024
Post-show Discussions: September 24 and October 9, 2024
Masks Required: September 24 and October 5 (2PM), 2024

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
October 29, 2024 – January 12, 2025

MAX Theatre

It’s a comedy tonight in Sondheim’s zany, hysterical, Tony Award-winning musical romp.

In one of the greatest musical comedies of all time, three households reside next to each other in ancient Rome. Just outside their doors, the exploits of a quick-thinking Roman slave, a braggart soldier, a beautiful courtesan, a lovesick young man and others devolve into uproarious chaos in a fast-paced, witty and monumental escapade.

With mistaken identities, wily ruses, madcap chases, a love story, and a happy ending of course, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum‘s audacious and irreverent spectacle has something for everyone.

“This brazenly retro Broadway musical, inspired by Plautus, is almost as timeless as comedy itself.”
– The New York Times 

Book by Burt Shevelove & Larry Gelbart 
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim 
Originally produced on Broadway by Harold S. Prince
Directed by Matthew Gardiner

October 29, 2024 – January 12, 2025
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app.
Pride Night: December 6, 2024
Post-show Discussions: November 19 and December 11, 2024
ASL Interpreted: November 21, 2024
Masks Required: November 19, December 1 (2PM) and January 3

Regional Premiere
Job
January 28 – March 16, 2025

ARK Theatre

A psychological thriller with a shocking and disturbing twist that will leave you breathless.

A young woman whose screaming breakdown at work has gone viral must receive an evaluation from a crisis therapist before she can return to her job at a well-known tech firm. During the appointment, however, secrets emerge, and filters strip away as doctor and patient edge toward an epic showdown.

An Off-Broadway sensation and New York Times Critic’s Pick, this intense play skewers the insidiousness of the internet, the meaning of work and the menace behind the social media smile.

“Engrossing, disturbing and frequently funny. It might even scare you off social media for a day or two.”
– The New Yorker

By Max Wolf Friedlich
Directed by Matthew Gardiner

January 28 – March 16, 2025
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app.
Pride Night: February 21, 2025
Post-show Discussions: February 11 and March 12, 2025
Masks Required: February 11 and March 2 (2PM), 2025

In the Heights
February 11 – May 4, 2025

MAX Theatre

The joyous Tony Award-winning triumph by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and Quiara Alegría Hudes (Daphne’s Dive).

Lights up on Washington Heights, NYC where the streets are full of music, and everybody’s got a dream. With the neighborhood on the brink of gentrification, and a life-changing winning lottery ticket somewhere in their midst, the vibrant inhabitants share hope, loss and love as they plan their futures while cherishing their home.

Latin rhythms and hip-hop lyrics infuse “96,000,” “Paciencia y Fe,” “Carnaval del Barrio” and the title song as this breathtaking celebration of community and culture energetically bursts off the stage with Signature’s trademark immersive style.

“When this musical erupts in one of its expressions of collective joy, the energy it gives off could light up the George Washington Bridge for a year or two.”
– The New York Times

Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Directed by James Vásquez

February 11 – May 4, 2025
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app.
Pride Night: April 25, 2025
Post-show Discussions: March 18 and April 9, 2025
Carnaval del Barrio: Latine Affinity Night: April 4, 2025
ASL Interpreted: March 29 (2PM), 2025
Masks Required: February 23 (2PM), March 27 and April 9, 2025

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
April 15 – June 22, 2025
ARK Theatre

In Signature’s remarkably intimate ARK Theatre, this radical rock musical explodes with glam, grit, glitter and heart.

With killer heels and a fabulous wig, Hedwig tours the country, trailing the ex-lover who stole her songs and made it big. Tonight, Hedwig will tell her story on her own terms, in an unforgettable show about growing up in Communist East Germany, the botched sex change operation that allowed her to come to the United States, and life beyond the binary.

Hilarious and heartbreaking, with an electrifying score, this queer anthem cult classic celebrates surviving against all odds.

“The most exciting rock score written for the theatre since, oh, ever!”
– Time Magazine

Text By John Cameron Mitchell
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Trask
Directed by Ethan Heard

April 15 – June 22, 2025
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app.
Pride Nights: June 6 and June 20, 2025
Post-show Discussions: May 20 and June 4, 2025
Masks Required: April 27 (2PM), May 20 and June 12, 2025

DC Premiere
The Untitled Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical
June 3 – July 13, 2025

MAX Theatre

Let’s get wild in this exciting new musical about the infamous author from the mind of Joe Iconis (Be More Chill) and directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley (Come from Away).

A collision of politics, counterculture and rock and roll in human form, Hunter S. Thompson is impossible to pin down. Careening from the 1940s to 2005, Thompson invents Gonzo journalism, attempts to take down a corrupt president, and quests for equality for his fellow weirdos, outsiders and freaks. However, this anti-hero’s drug-fueled tornado leaves a trail of destruction as he grapples with his legacy in a world that has left him behind.

Funny and unique, as anarchic and irreverent as the writer himself, this explosive rock musical will spark a revolution for the rebel inside us all.

“Funny, freaky, informal, fiercely independent… an emotional passing of the torch to the future activists of the world, a celebration of and a primal call to the freaks and misfits.”
San Diego Magazine‘s review of the original sold out run at La Jolla Playhouse

Music and Lyrics by Joe Iconis 
Book by Joe Iconis and Gregory S. Moss 
Directed by Christopher Ashley

June 3 – July 13, 2025
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app.
Pride Night: June 27, 2025
Post-show Discussions: June 17 and July 9, 2025
ASL Interpreted: July 8, 2025
Masks Required: June 28 (2PM) and July 9, 2025

Cabaret Series

Summertime: Awa Sal Secka Sings Ladies of Jazz  
July 23 – August 4, 2024  
A few riffs, a little scat, a lot of fun, and all jazz as powerhouse vocalist Awa Sal Secka toasts luminaries such as Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and more. This sultry evening featuring songs such as “Take The A Train,” “Summertime,” “My Funny Valentine,” and “Guess Who I Saw Today.” This cabaret will leave you feeling “Misty.”

I’ll Take You There: Stax Record Co.  
November 12 – 24, 2024  
A counterpart of Motown, Stax Record Co. brought America “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay,” “Soul Man,” “Mr. Big Stuff,” “What A Man,” “In the Midnight Hour,” and the “Theme from Shaft.” Now groove to the Southern soul with the smooth style of the Memphis recording company that discovered Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Booker T & the M.G.’s, Carla Thomas, and the Staple Singers.

You’ve Got a Friend: Women Pop Songwriters  
July 2 – July 13, 2025  
From Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Dolly Parton and Carly Simon to Brandi Carlile, Alicia Keys, Sara Bareilles, and Adele, Signature celebrates the amazing women who not only sing but write their own music. From pop standards to newer hits, revel in the singer/songwriters who composed “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Rolling in the Deep,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” “You’re So Vain,” and “Cactus Tree.”

Special Events

Signature Seminar: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
March 27 – April 14, 2025
Signature puts on the makeup and takes the wig out of the box for this five-part behind-the-scenes seminar into the making of the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Meet director Ethan Heard and the creative team, get an exclusive look into the technical magic, and watch how the cult classic rock concert goes from page to stage in the intimate ARK Theatre.

Signature in the Schools
March 3 and March 10, 2025

Now in its 30th year, Signature in the Schools, Signature Theatre’s flagship education program, is a multifaceted program that encompasses workshops for English, Social Studies and Theatre classes, theatrical training for young artists, and the creation of an original play. The program includes pre-show visits to school classrooms, resources for students and curriculum guides for teachers. Signature in the Schools is offered to all participants free of charge. Students from throughout Northern Virginia also attend daytime performances for free to see their peers perform.

The program centers on an original play written by a professional playwright and performed by Arlington County high school students with one professional actor. The play is specially tailored to the personalities and abilities of the student performers and focuses on themes from Arlington Public Schools social studies’ curriculum and its connection to the present. Past topics have included the Great Depression, civic engagement, freedom of expression, immigration, propaganda, and women’s rights.

ABOUT SIGNATURE
Signature Theatre is a Tony Award-winning regional theater that broadens and brightens the region’s cultural landscape with its bold productions of challenging new and established works and engaging education and outreach programs. Founded in 1989 by Eric Schaeffer and Donna Migliaccio, and currently under the leadership of Managing Director Maggie Boland and Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner, musical theater is Signature’s “signature,” and the Theatre is renowned for its definitive Sondheim productions, inventive adaptations of overlooked or forgotten works, and investment in fresh new projects. Signature combines Broadway-caliber productions with intimate playing spaces and aims to be a leading force in U.S. musical theater.

Since its inception, the Theatre has produced 61 world premiere works—including 19 new musical commissions. Signature opens its doors to more than 100,000 people annually from the Washington, DC region and beyond and reaches more than 10,000 students every year through its innovative education programs, including the award-winning initiative Signature in the Schools. Signature has won 142 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region’s professional theater and has been honored with 502 nominations.

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