Since 1981, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, has aimed to provide a gathering place for gay people and educate the public about their community through the arts. Since then, the award-winning choir—which rings with the voices of nearly 300 members—has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Theatre, and the Obama inaugural celebration, as well as at venues throughout the world. Their upbeat productions also have been the soundtrack at community events for the Whitman-Walker Clinic and PFLAG.
Constellation Theatre Company immerses audiences in ensemble-driven plays that explore vast expanses of human emotion and experience. Written by famed Spanish dramatist Federico García Lorca, Blood Wedding weaves a dark tale of romantic longing, betrayal, and murder, all set around a rural wedding. The play seesaws between psychological realism and dreamlike sequences starring the moon, her priestess, and death incarnate, which elevate the show's meditations on violence to haunting allegory while conspicuously snubbing other A-list celestial bodies. Song-and-dance sequences set to live music further draw showgoers into the onstage action. Constellation Theatre Company's black-box theater fosters an intimacy that breaks down emotional fourth walls and social prohibitions against holding a stranger's hand during the scary parts.
Converted from a historic 1930s art-deco theater, the modern iteration of the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse is a combination restaurant, movie theater, and performance space. Besides screening blockbusters, the venue also hosts regular comedy shows featuring standups who have shared their skills on The Tonight Show, David Letterman, and Conan O'Brien. Between laughs, audience members can take bites from a complete menu or sips of selections from a full-service bar.
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.
ArtSmash, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop’s annual gala, promises to present a lively evening of food, drinks, arts, and entertainment, with proceeds benefitting CHAW’s tuition assistance, outreach, and education programs. Admittance to the celebration gets gala-goers a potable philanthropic portion of delectable food, palate-pleasing wine and beer, and a signature cocktail. During the three-hour festivities, a spirited assortment of performers will entertain attendees, from a-capella collective Not What You Think to the casts of CHAWbaret and The Mikado. Take home work from local artists or the Capitol Hill Art League members in a silent auction, participate in invigorating dance lessons, or learn how to paint like the Renaissance masters, all skills and resources which can be later incorporated into lobbying for federally funded anarchist-hardcore day camps.
Studio Theatre began as an acting conservatory, and its four theaters are so intimate, it may as well still be one. The difference: gone are the raw rehearsals, replaced by intellectually-stimulating works from luminaries such as August Wilson and Caryl Churchill.