When the Rolling Stones wanted a chorus to sing with them during their last gig on their "50 and Counting" tour, they knew who to call: The Washington Chorus. That unexpected melding of talent is a testament to the group's stellar reputation—the Grammy-winning ensemble is noted for its ability to engage a wide range of audiences. And they've done just that for more than 50 seasons, delighting ears with a repertoire of classical masterpieces and modern compositions. Equally committed to enriching their community, the chorus performs free concerts throughout the greater D.C. area, sponsors a junior choir, and gently corrects anyone who misspells "requiem."
To showcase the work of its young scribes, once a year Young Playwrights’ Theater hosts its New Play Festival, providing an opportunity for budding playwrights to see the fruits of their creative labor flourish on stage. Watching their work as it's performed for an appreciative audience may be a student's first taste of artistic accomplishment, substantiating in them a desire to expand their horizons academically and creatively. The students collaborate with professional actors, dramaturges, and directors to produce 15 student-written plays during three nights. In addition to its benefits to the writers as individuals, the festival—which audiences attend free of charge—enhances public regard for young artists and fosters a dialogue regarding matters of vital importance to the community.
First things first: the letters stand for "Laugh Your Grits Off." Second things first: the name springs from LYGO's early beginnings, when the group hosted Sunday brunch comedy shows. The combination of food, mimosas, and some of the city's best up-and-coming comedians caught on, and soon the company was organizing post-breakfast standup shows throughout the city. But while their menu may have expanded, the goals of LYGO remain the same: to bring comedy to a wider DC audience, promote a greater sense of community amongst comedians, and to provide performers an opportunity to launch and build on their careers, both in and out of the city.
THEARC Theater was created out of necessity. The first theater in Ward 8 in Washington, DC, it was founded to provide residents living east of the Anacostia River with expanded cultural opportunities and hide-and-seek spots. Constructed by local nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River, the theater aims to improve the lives of children and adults in southeast Washington through educational, health, and social-service programs such as free theater workshops and youth internships in technical theater management. Noting the tower of glass windows that crowns the entrance, the Washington Post called it "a veritable lighthouse of learning—a $27 million, 110,000-square-foot campus set on 16 beautiful green acres."