Theatre Week kicks off in DC with discounted shows, backstage tours and even bike rides

Theatre Week returns to D.C. from Sept. 21 through Oct. 8. (Courtesy Carletta Girma)

WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews Theatre Week (Part 1)

D.C. always stages great theater, but this is an especially good time to see a show.

The seventh annual Theatre Week kicks off this Thursday, Sept. 21 through Oct. 8.

Actress Felicia Curry told WTOP that the event is “basically the Super Bowl of theater,” hitting the District since 2017.

“Last year, we sold 16,000 tickets, amidst everything going on in the world, which tripled the tickets we did in 2019, so Theatre Week has been thriving. … [We had] over 20 productions last year,” Curry said. “This year we have over 25 productions and we’re hoping that we can double or triple that again — come on, D.C.!”

Start off by enjoying a kickoff party at Arena Stage in Southwest on Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. It’s a “free, interactive, all-day event where you can get up close and personal with over 50 of the theaters,” according to Curry.

“There are performances, there are workshops, there are panel conversations, there’s food and drinks,” she said. “I think this is a wonderful way for our audiences to get to know the theaters specifically — and you can be right down there by The Wharf in Arena Stage’s beautiful space, which I think is super exciting.”

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For 18 days, audiences can purchase discounted tickets to various shows around town.

Curry compared it to D.C.’s Restaurant Week.

“We’re offering the public an opportunity to not see one show, not two, but maybe to try out several shows. We have tickets at $20, $40 and $60 through our partner TodayTix,” she said. “We’re really encouraging folks to try all that D.C. theater has to offer. We have musicals, plays, new works, theater for young audiences. This is a chance for you to try all those things out and not really hurt the bank.”

It’s also your chance to get in on the ground floor of brand new works that have never been seen. There will be “several world premieres,” according to Curry.

“At Woolly Mammoth Theatre, there’s a new play called ‘My Mama & The Full-Scale Invasion’ that touches on the crisis in Ukraine. … ‘Monumental Travesties’ at Mosaic Theatre about a subject right in our backyard at the Emancipation Memorial. … We have several plays written by Latinx playwrights, one at Studio Theatre called ‘Espejos: Clean.’ … and another, ‘ALCESTE,’ at IN Series,” she said.

If you have kids, there’s also plenty of theater for young audiences.

“Families sometimes get discouraged from going, but this is an opportunity to do that without breaking the budget,” Curry said. “‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’ is happening at Adventure Theatre. If you have teeny, tiny ones, there’s ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar,’ which was a book [by Eric Carle], being done at Imagination Stage.”

Of course, there’s all the blockbuster mainstream productions in town as well.

“Obviously, the big ones — you have ‘Evita’ happening over at Shakespeare Theatre, you have ‘Moulin Rouge!’ still happening over at the Kennedy Center,” Curry said.

Beyond the shows, Theatre Week offers several interactive experiences, including a bike tour starting at Studio Theatre on 14th Street in Northwest D.C. at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30.

There are also two walking tours from National Theatre to the National Portrait Gallery. The first is sold out on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 1 p.m., but a second tour was recently added for Sunday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m.

“We’re taking you backstage at some of the local theaters,” Curry said. “We also do a bike tour for those of you that prefer to get on some wheels and do the travel. It’s a 20-mile bike tour, so be sure you bring your water, but again, giving you an opportunity to learn the history of some of the theaters.”

Toward the end of Theatre Week, you can celebrate “Black Broadway” on U Street in Northwest from Oct. 5-8.

“This is a really exciting event specific to Washington D.C.,” Curry said. “It’s an immersive multimedia exhibit celebrating some of the most iconic Black female artists of our time, including Pearl Bailey. I think they might talk about Cab Calloway in that too, who’s not female, but just celebrating Black artists. I think that is really exciting because Black Broadway is what U Street used to be called.”

In the end, the overall hope is that audiences will continue to support local shows long after Theatre Week, including Curry, who will be starring in the Broadway hit “POTUS” at Arena Stage from Oct. 13 to Nov. 12.

“When Theatre Week is over, we want to encourage folks to continue to see theater,” Curry said.

Find more information here.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews Theatre Week (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Spin Founder Robert Guccione Jr Defends Jann Wenner’s ‘Right To Be Wrong’

The founder of Spin magazine, Robert Guccione Jr, has come to the defence of another founder of a magazine, Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner, with an op-ed under the Spin masthead.

Wenner recently came under fire after a recent interview with The New York Times was published. Promoting his new book, The Masters, Wenner was asked to address the seven white men who make up the interview subjects in his new book: Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Bono, Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, John Lennon, and Pete Townshend.

Defending the lack of diversity in The Masters, Wenner argued that Black artists and women in music “just didn’t articulate at the level” compared to the white men interviewed in his book.

“All he’s really guilty of is expressing that opinion in clumsy language, if we’re being generous, or stupid, insensitive language if we’re not,” Guccione Jr. declared in his Spin op-ed. “Mostly he’s guilty of expressing a sentiment that is not politically correct. One that’s not part of the prescribed, sanctioned set of things you can say and think in America today.”

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While he added that “of course Jann is factually wrong” to make the statements he did to The New York Times, Guccione Jr said that Wenner had never interviewed the likes of Sinéad O’Connor or Tori Amos or Killer Mike, so, therefore, he didn’t realise how intelligent other artists are and how enthralling their options can be on rock music, Guccione Jr believes that Wenner is entitled to his opinion.

Guccione Jr. also writes in the subheading, “If you believe in free speech, you have to defend his right to be wrong”, forgetting that freedom of speech doesn’t equal freedom of consequences when using harmful language.

Throughout the article – which isn’t all about Wenner – Guccione Jr. attacks American liberals and cancel culture and goes on a bizarre tirade that, for some reason, includes transgender children in an argument that has nothing to do with trans people.

Giuffre wrote, “Music, and the arts in general, make life worth living. But they also still exist in value systems, which means that some people’s stories get told more often and more easily than others. If you have benefited from that before you don’t have to go away or delete all your files, but also understand we all benefit if we expand our history rather than tearing each other apart to only fight over scraps.”

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North Carolina fights back against youth overdose epidemic

In the wake of the devastating overdose epidemic in North Carolina, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services is stepping up to aid families and provide resources for youths battling substance abuse disorders.

State data show in 2021 alone, overdose deaths in North Carolina spiked by 22%, and nationwide, teen overdose deaths rose by 20%.

Kelly Crosby, director of developmental disability and substance use services for the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, said recognizing many adults with substance use disorders start using during their teenage and young adult years, it is crucial to educate and support young people in preventing substance abuse and overdoses.

“In North Carolina, among kids 12 to 17 years old, around 5% had a substance use disorder in the past year,” Crosby reported. “That’s more than 41,000 kids.”

Crosby pointed out the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated mental health challenges and substance use, with increased reports of anxiety, depression and substance misuse.

Sara Howe, CEO of Addiction Professionals of North Carolina, said to help address youth substance use challenges, a range of resources are available in the state. Some resources include education, harm reduction and treatment and mental health support.

Howe noted parents can get additional help at

“They can look, they have a list of what they provide, what insurance they take, do they take Medicaid, do they take commercial insurance, and do they have intensive outpatient, residential,” Howe outlined. “This is a resource that we have right in our backyard that we can take advantage of today.”

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed other protective factors to youth substance abuse disorder are family engagement, conversations around the disapproval of substance use, and mental health support.

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