Theatre In Washington, DC

Cultural Travel, Extras, Parties, Festivals & Events, Washington D.C. — By on October 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm

by Nancy Yeomans

LG Air Travel Editor

Monuments, museums and statues, oh my! The thought of Washington, DC probably brings images of one of these to mind. The District of Columbia is all about politics and power. History, too, plays a big role in why visitors choose the area as a travel destination every year. What most of these visitors – and some locals as well – might not be aware of is that DC is home to a long-standing and thriving theater and arts scene. Throughout the winter season, on any given evening, you can catch a dance production, classic performance of a Shakespeare play or an avant-garde composition.

Penn Quarter, nestled between The National Mall and Chinatown, is a relatively new neighborhood and is where you’ll find the arts and culture in town. The theaters in this neighborhood include The Woolly Mammoth, The Lansburgh Theater and Sidney Harman Hall among others. Make a night of it; before or after you see the show, check out one of the restaurants nearby. Try Jaleo for Spanish tapas or something completely different like the chocolate inspired menu at Cocosala.  Better yet, stay the night at one of the Kimpton hotels nearby – the Hotel Monaco or Hotel George – and luxuriate in their animal print bathrobes.

The kickoff to the season is held early in September in the form of the Arts On Foot Festival. Arts On Foot celebrates all forms of art and entertainment with many free performances offered throughout the weekend. A sampler of sorts; in one day you could watch a flamenco dance or ballet performance and listen to a live band and see a snippet of a brand new play. Food vendors and juried craft artisans offer their specialties at the outdoor booths lining the streets. This year’s event also featured the Wines of Argentina; with a $10 admission over 100 wines were yours for the tasting.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company is the central force in the DC theater world and specializes in classic theater and Shakespeare plays. The principal venue for the STC is Sidney Harman Hall.This new, completely modern building features an acoustically isolated theater with moveable seats for different set configurations. For an accessible and approachable introduction to the arts check out the Happenings at the Harman every Wednesday at noon from September through June. It’s free and with a different type of performance featured each week you’re sure to find one you like.

Not a fan of traditional theater? Try a comedy show a la The Second City at the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company. Still not doing it for you? Odds are you’ve never seen a show like the ones performed at the Synetic Theater. Synetic is a physical theater company and their Silent Shakespeare series puts a distinct spin on the classics like Hamlet and Othello. To entice the young professionals crowd The Shakespeare Theatre Company offers a series of Young Prose Nights aimed at the 21-35 age range. For these performances ticket prices usually run around $30.

So the arts and theater world in DC costs less and is cooler than you think. Don’t hibernate this winter; get out, see a show and broaden your intellectual horizons.

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