Friday, May 26, 2006

Notes from the Underground

As summer begins I am reminded that there is a lot of great stuff currently on stage in Washington DC stages. We at Rorschach have had the good fortune for the last couple of years to have a sort of theater co-op going with two companies whose work we respect and who put together some of the most exciting and important plays not being produced by Rorschach Theater in town.

I am speaking of Catalyst Theater and Theater Alliance. Along with Rorschach, these three theater companies make up "The Edge." Young companies with big ambitions and remarkably talented people both on stage and off. Regular theater goers will see Rorschach alums and company members on all three stages. Personally I have worked for all three companies and while Rorschach is my home, I think all the companies are creating some of the most exciting and intelligent work in DC today.

While Rorschach is gearing-up for The Arabian Night might I suggest you spend some time in the theater this weekend, with either Catalyst or Theater Alliance.

Theater Alliance has two shows running in rep. Two Rooms by Lee Blessing featuring Rorschach company member Jason Stiles and Rorschach alum Kerri Rambow. Costumes by Rorschach company member Deb Sivigny.

Two Rooms
By Lee Blessing

Directed by Shirley Serotsky
Featuring Kathleen Coons, David Johnson, Kerri Rambow and Jason Stiles

April 27 – May 28, 2006 as part of the The Pangea Project

“Mr. Blessing reaffirms his authority with timely political questions.” – New York Times

A cell in Beirut. A living room in America. Love and life are welded together as a husband and wife torn apart examine the world around them. This arresting work explores a subject much in the thoughts of contemporary society – the taking of innocent lives by revenge minded governments.

Also in rep at Theater Alliance is The Monument. Featuring Mr. Alexander Strain, hot off his dynamite performance in A Bright Room Called Day.

The Monument
American Premiere!
By Colleen Wagner

Directed by John Vreeke
Featuring Jennifer Mendenhall and Alexander Strain

May 20 – June 11, 2006 as part of The Pangea Project

“The Monument is emblazoned on our hearts and minds forever.” – Toronto Globe & Mail

In an unnamed country a young soldier is being convicted of war crimes. Just at the moment he is to be executed, a mysterious woman appears at his side and offers him freedom if he promises to obey her for the rest of his life. This electrifying drama is a torpedo aimed directly at the nature of evil. Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, Canada’s equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize. Mature content.

And over on Capital Hill, Catalyst Theater is presenting Someone Who'll Watch Over Me. With Rorschach alums Dan Via and Cecil Baldwin.

Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
by Frank McGuinness
directed by Christopher Gallu
May 3 – June 10, 2006

Three strangers fight to survive torture, privation and each other as hostages in a Middle East prison cell. Catalyst company member Christopher Gallu (1984) directs Frank McGuinness’s taut, inspiring drama, featuring company members Christopher Janson and Dan Via, plus Cecil Baldwin.

Performances at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop545 7th Street, SE (2 blocks from the Eastern Market Metro station)

All of these shows are affordable and more importantly they are the work of our friends and they need to be seen.

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