1st Stage will remain closed in compliance with federal, state, and local guidelines until it is safe to welcome audiences back to the theatre. Programming changes have been necessitated by this prolonged closure. 1st Stage will next produce A New Brain by William Finn and James Lapine, directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer. Dates will be announced when possible. The Waverly Gallery, originally scheduled for spring 2020, will now be part of the 2020-2021 season. In response to the current crisis, the theatre has made the extremely challenging decision to cancel this year’s Logan Festival of Solo Performance, scheduled for July 16-26, 2020. Artistic Director, Alex Levy said, “We are very grateful to the Logan family for their continued friendship. They have pledged to continue their support for the festival and 1st Stage, and we are so appreciative.” The Logan Festival will return in the summer of 2021.
The 2020-2021 season begins in September with Mlima’s Tale, by Lynn Nottage, directed by José Carrasquillo. Pulitzer Prize Winner and Macarthur Genius Grant Winner Nottage gives us the story of Mlima, an elderly “big tusker” elephant from a protected reserve in Kenya. The production has been praised in The New York Times for its “theatrical inventiveness and discipline.”
In December, Deidra LaWan Starnes directs the beloved romantic classic The Rainmaker, by N. Richard Nash. The story follows the Curry family as they love each other in the midst of the Great Depression. The New York Daily Mirror called it, “a hit you must see.”
February features The Waverly Gallery, written by Kenneth Lonergan and directed by Alex Levy. In this 2019 Tony Award nominee for Best Revival of a Play, Gladys, the elderly matriarch of the Green family is always irascible but now increasingly erratic, Gladys becomes a cause for concern to her family. “Deeply theatrical and often deeply funny,” raved The New York Times.
In April, Nick Olcott directs The Nance, by Douglas Carter Beane. This witty, Tony Award-Nominated play, filled with music, dance, and comedy sketches, introduces us to Chauncey Miles, a gay burlesque performer at the Irving Place Theater. The Nance is a “funny but bittersweet portrait of a vanished era” according to The Chicago Tribune.
May features a look into the potential future with The Phlebotomist, by Ella Road, directed by Alex Levy. In a sci-fi-inspired world where genomics are the norm, every person gets assigned a “rating” at birth based on their genetic map. The Guardian celebrated the production as “…a racy dystopian thriller that is part Black Mirror and part Brave New World.”
1st Stage will conclude its exciting 13th Season with The Logan Festival of Solo Performance, a festival of solo performances featuring national, award-winning performers.
The 2020-2021 season is generously sponsored in part by Sandy Laeser, in honor of her husband, Dick Laeser.
Subscriptions and Flex Passes are available for savings of up to 40% off regular price tickets. Tickets, Subscriptions, and Flex Passes can be purchased online at www.1ststage.org or by calling the 1st Stage box office at 703-854-1856.
PLAY DESCRIPTIONS AND SUMMARY FOR CALENDAR LISTINGS
Mlima’s Tale by Lynn Nottage
Directed by José Carrasquillo
September 10 – October 11, 2020
Pulitzer Prize Winner and Macarthur Genius Grant Winner Lynn Nottage gives us the story of Mlima, an elderly “big tusker” elephant from a protected reserve in Kenya. When Mlima is poached for his glorious ivory tusks, those tusks begin a journey across the world, introducing us to a string of characters, each with their own goals and struggles surrounding the ivory trade. In every scene, Mlima’s own magnificent presence hovers in the background, lending the weight of his history to this beautiful story.
“Ms. Nottage….[has] shaped this story with such theatrical inventiveness and discipline that it never feels sensational.” –The New York Times
The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash
Directed by Deidra LaWan Starnes
December 3, 2020 – January 3, 2021
This beloved, romantic classic follows the Curry family as they love each other in the midst of the Great Depression. Lizzie, the only daughter, is deeply self-conscious about her approaching spinsterhood, while her father and brothers go to sometimes ridiculous lengths to find her a husband who will see the beauty that she doesn’t see in herself. It takes the arrival of Starbuck, a con man promising to bring back the rain, to make Lizzie and her family start believing in their dreams.
“Admirable skill […] [and] insight into the human heart […] The touch of a poet […] A hit you must see.” –New York Daily Mirror
The Waverly Gallery
Directed by Alex Levy
February 4 – February 28, 2021
In this 2019 Tony Award nominee for Best Revival of a Play, Gladys, the elderly matriarch of the Green family, has run an art gallery in a small Greenwich Village hotel for many years. The management wants to replace her less-than-thriving gallery with a coffee shop. Always irascible but now increasingly erratic, Gladys becomes a cause for concern to her family. By the Academy Award winning writer of Manchester by the Sea, this production is poignant, wacky, and heartrending.
“Deeply theatrical and often deeply funny.” –The New York Times
The Nance by Douglas Carter Beane
Directed by Nick Olcott
April 1 – April 25, 2021
This witty, Tony Award-nominated play, filled with music, dance, and comedy sketches, introduces us to Chauncey Miles, a gay burlesque performer at the Irving Place Theater. Chauncy specializes in playing the stock character of “the nance,” an extremely effeminate, blatantly homosexual staple of the 1930s stage. As New York’s Mayor LaGuardia cracks down on any kind of deviant or scandalous behavior onstage, Chauncey and the cast of The Irving Place Theater have to decide what they are willing to stand up for.
“Beane’s funny but bittersweet portrait of a vanished era contains just enough warning about the guardians of “morality” who are always waiting in the wings to make ‘The Nance’ timely as well as nostalgic.” –The Chicago Tribune
The Phlebotomist by Ella Road
Directed by Alex Levy
May 20 – June 13, 2021
In a sci-fi-inspired future where genomics are the norm, every person gets assigned a “rating” at birth based on their genetic map. Bea, a phlebotomist, finds herself being pulled deeper and deeper into the dark side of the genetic testing underworld even as she falls in love with Aaron, a man she met by accident who has a near-perfect rating that far exceeds her own. Ella Road’s The Phlebotomist was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement, and had a sold-out run at the UK’s Hampstead Theater in 2018.
“…a racy dystopian thriller that is part Black Mirror and part Brave New World.” –The Guardian
The Logan Festival of Solo Performance
July 15 – July 25, 2021
The Logan Festival will feature national, award-winning solo performers showcasing their impressive skills in some of the most groundbreaking solo pieces in recent years.
About 1st Stage:
Now in its 12th Season, 1st Stage Theatre is an award-winning professional theatre in the heart of Tysons, Virginia. The company serves as a cultural hub for the community producing first-rate theatrical productions as well as hosting professional musicians, orchestras, and visual artists, and providing educational opportunities for the community. In 2020, 1st Stage was nominated for 18 Helen Hayes Awards, including Outstanding Production of a Play (The Brothers Size). Other awards include the American Theatre Wing National Theatre Company award, Last year, the company won 5 Helen Hayes Awards, including an Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical (Fly By Night). Additionally, 1st Stage is a member of the Catalogue for Philanthropy class of 2016-2017. In September 2016, The Wall Street Journal called 1st Stage “one of America’s most impressive smaller regional companies.” For more information, visit 1st Stage online at www.1ststage.org or follow the theater on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.