DC at Night

DC at Night

Monday, September 1, 2014

Page to Stage @The Kennedy Center

It's too late for this year, but next year, if you are in the DC area over Labor Day weekend, you might want to consider attending the annual 3-day Page-to-Stage new play festival at the Kennedy Center.

This year marked the 13th staging of the event. More than 40 DC-area theater companies participated in the festival, which paid tribute to the Women's Voices Theater Festival - an initiative by 50 local theaters to each produce a world premiere play by a female dramatist in the fall of 2015. Thirty of Page-to-Stage programs showcased created by females.

We attended 2 of the performances.

Author Walter Dean Myers
In His Own Words: A concert tribute to Walter Dean Myers

Presented in collaboration with the University of Maryland and the Kennedy Center, the theatrical tribute combined music, dance, and the spoken word to honor noted young adult black writer Walter Dean Myers. 

Myers, who died in July of this year at 86, wrote more than 100 books in a career spanning 45 years.

Included in the program were excepts from his picture book We Are America, his gritty teen novel Monster, and his memoir Bad Boy. Segments from 2 Kennedy Center-commissioned adaptations of his work - Harlem and Blues Journey - were also performed by the 10-member cast.

Talented cast members from the Venue Theater

Witches Vanish

Members of the local Venus Theater staged a reading of the still-in-development play Witches Vanish written by Claudia Barnett, who attended the 90-minute performance.

In the surrealistic play, the 3 witches from William Shakespeare's classic Macbeth ("Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble") are involved in the stories of women who have disappeared in real life such as Virginia Dare, Amelia Earhart, and the scores of young Mexican girls missing from Juarez. The theme is given extra poignancy as the weird sisters recite a litany of names prior to each of the 10 scenes in the 1-act play. There are also vignettes featuring fractured fairy tale accounts of young heroines such as Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood.

When it is actually produced by the Venus company in 2105, the play will include a boiling cauldron, puppets, and mutilated doll figures. I will definitely put this one on my calendar of plays to see.

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