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Arts America Blog

No Rules Theater Company Brings “Suicide, Incorporated” to Washington, DC

Joshua Morgan, Co-Artistic Director of New Rules Theatre Company, explains the challenges and delights of staging Andrew Hinderaker’s play, “Suicide, Incorporated,” about a man who gets a job with a company that helps suicidal people compose satisfying and eloquent final notes.

1. How did the play “Suicide, Incorporated” come to your attention?

We had settled on our 11/12 season when Brian (Co-Artistic Director and “Jason” in “Suicide, Incorporated”), who had been talking …more…

Washington, DC’s WSC Avant Bard Mixes Classic Themes with Bold Innovation

Frank Britton in "The Bacchae"

Until the drumming began and the guitars wound their gypsy music across the stage and members of the chorus began to gyrate, I didn’t realize how much I was longing to see something new.

I shouldn’t be surprised that I found it at WSC Avant Bard’s production of “The Bacchae.” Although the play premiered in 405 BC, WSC Avant Bard managed to infuse it with energy, excitement, …more…

Free D.C.: The Strathmore Outdoor Summer Concert Series

As the warming sun heralds summer in the D.C. metropolitan area, it’s time to begin searching for the right music to infuse the balmy nights that will inevitably follow. And what better way to enjoy a warm summer evening than with free, quality music concerts?

Cultural Community Art at the Fridge DC

For my next adventure into new art realms in Washington D.C., I decided to drop by a place called the “Fridge.” After weaving through some tricky DC traffic, I ended up parking the car and walked along some pleasant streets in a neighborhood southeast of the U.S. Capitol Building. I ended up in an alleyway, facing a colorfully-painted building. A small, swinging orange sign read: The Fridge.

The Fridge is a …more…

American Balalaika Symphony to perform on Saturday in Northern Virginia

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “balalaika”?

Maybe you see an image of the triangle-shaped instrument. Or maybe you hear a distinctive tremolo melody in your head. Or maybe you just think of something “Russian”, Dr. Zhivago-style.

For the core followers of the American Balalaika Symphony, and for the 50-plus volunteer musicians who travel for miles around the tri-state metropolitan area to play in the group, associations …more…

Norman Scribner bids farewell to the DC Choral Arts Society

This month, celebrated conductor Maestro Norman Scribner retired from his post as artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington D.C. after 46 years of leadership. The chorus, which is one of the largest and foremost choral organizations in the United States, was founded by Maestro Scribner himself.

‘Colorful Realms’ in D.C.

Living in Washington D.C, it’s easy to forget just how close I am to some of the world’s greatest art. I am literally a 30-minute drive from the fabled, but oft-publicized monuments and statehouses that comprise our nation’s capital. These neo-classical structures are themselves works of art. Seeing them on TV (and on currency) has somehow elevated them to a near-mythical status in my eyes. But, as I recently discovered, …more…

DC Playwrights Plot to Take the Stage

Gwydion Suilebhan

Theater in DC seems to live in the shadow of New York. Many of the big theaters here cast actors out of New York, rather than casting from the talented local pool. And they readily introduce new plays to the area, as long as they’ve had a successful run elsewhere. Like New York. All of which frustrates DC’s playwrights.

Although the Washington, DC, area might not seem to be …more…

Washington, DC’s Cutting-Edge Hub is in the ‘Burbs

Helen Pafumi, Artistic Director at The Hub

Not everyone respects the suburbs. Certainly when I lived in DC, I believed rats and sirens were a prerequisite for vibrancy, the grit that settled on the window sills a crucial creative leavening. The Virginia suburbs especially were pathetic—and Fairfax County? The least cool place within a fifty-mile radius. Ironic, then, that I moved there. But some of the newest, most vibrant theater …more…

How To Tango in D.C.

The tango is arguably one of the most popular dances worldwide.

According to music historian and ethnomusicologist Chris Goertzen, “Over a century after its gestation in the slums of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, the tango has become a global music…it is global in the most literal sense of geographic reach, flourishing in Buenos Aires and Tokyo, in Saigon and Durban, in small towns in Scandinavia and in the U.S.” (1)

Sergio Alessandro …more…

The Halls Are Alive

Is it something in the air? There’s so much opera going on as spring sets in, you’d swear we were genetically programmed to burst into song in sync with the  croci and daffodils.

I’m super-psyched to hear Anna Caterina Antonacci making her New York recital debut as part of Lincoln Center’s “Art of the Song” series at Allice Tully Hall on April 8. Antonacci – celebrated on the Continent — can …more…

DC’s Source Festival Culls Plays for 2012

Many playwrights nationwide were disappointed recently, and a few elated, as Source Festival, Washington, DC’s annual summertime splurge of brand new work, announced its 2012 line up. In its fifth year, Source Festival is a coveted production opportunity. A fully financed and fully mounted production of a previously unproduced ten-minute play is a rare opportunity, and in this era of budget-strapped theaters unwilling to risk ticket sales on new work, …more…

The Washington Ballet’s Andile Ndlovu

Andile Ndlovu

Born in the rough Soweto township of Ladysmith, Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa, Andile Ndlovu was drawn to dance as a little boy.  His family moved to Johannesburg when he was ten and it was then that he started ballroom dancing, shifting to ballet when he was fifteen.  After he was noticed dancing at a local outreach program by South African choreographer Martin Schonberg, he was offered a …more…

D.C. Community Music Store Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Middle C Music, Washington D.C.’s only full service music store, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month. In addition to providing music lessons and selling instruments, Middle C functions as a space to foster creativity, musical growth and community outreach. ...more...

D.C. Artist Profile: Joseph Gascho and the Early Music Revival

Musical genres are better understood as complex groups of subcategories rather than as giant monoliths. Just as The Beach Boys and Led Zeppelin – different as they were in terms of style, period and audience – both contributed broadly to the larger genre of rock and roll, classical music is equally comprised of varied and nuanced sub-genres. And the greater Washington D.C. area is a prime place to choose from …more…

DC’s Forum Theatre Tackles the Question of Gender Bias

Washington, DC’s Forum Theatre is redressing a basic wrong—or, more accurately, taking a crucial first step. Forum recently hosted a discussion on the disparity, nationwide, between the rates at which female and male playwrights’ work is produced. Forum Theatre itself had produced only three plays by women in its nine-year history. Forum Theatre artistic director Michael Dove remedied that situation, slating three plays by women for his 2011-2012 season and kicking off a Female Voices Festival, culminating in the panel discussion. ...more...

The Baltimore Symphony Presents: WOW Women of the World Festival

Tickets are on sale now for the inaugural WOW Women of the World Festival in Baltimore, running March 2 – 4. Brainchild of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop, the festival is modeled after the premier WOW Festival launch in London’s Southbank Centre last year.

Free D.C.: Area Student and Faculty Recitals

Despite its constant presence on lists of America’s most expensive cities, Washington D.C. has a music scene that easily lends itself to budget conscious concert-goers. With a strong focus on community-based arts and local outreach, free classical music concerts are easy to find.

Brooklyn Mack: What’s In a Name?

In this case… everything.

First the stats: from Elgin, South Carolina, he started his career at 12 years old, studying with Radenko Pavlovich and Milena Leben and then getting himself a scholarship at the Kirov in Russia. From there he apprenticed with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, joined the American Ballet Studio Company, and danced with a number of other solid companies, winning medals and prizes until today where he is now in his 3rd season with the Washington Ballet. ...more...

The National Chamber Ensemble Presents a Musical Journey to Russia

Photo credit: National Chamber Ensemble

The National Chamber Ensemble, one of northern Virginia’s foremost professional music groups, is gearing up for its third concert of the season on February 4.

Dance Place: Washington DC’s Hub for Dance

Adding its heft to the cultural scene, Washington, DC’s Dance Place has become a haven for dilettantes who enjoy learning how to move their bodies as well as aficionados who want to perfect their dance technique.  By providing the community with artistic inspiration, Dance Place expands audience awareness while giving young people viable alternatives to expressing themselves through movement and creative expression.

Dance Place offers a diverse range of classes such …more…