Sussing out the real story from the dozens of narratives that emerge from any event has become something of a talent for journalists and media consumers. From tweets to blog posts to think pieces, the way people receive the news has rapidly evolved over the past several decades. A new “performance essay” on stage at Atlas Performing Arts Center seeks to explain why skepticism is a natural resource 21st-century residents must have in abundance. Presented by local playwrights collective The Welders and performed by member Gwydion Suilebhan, the piece places audience members in armchairs set up around old radios. The Performer then leads a lesson in 20th century history that blends sound experiments with jazz music and horror stories plucked out of current events. If the premise sounds confusing, don’t worry. Just grab a seat, open your ears, and expect to think twice before sharing that political meme you found so hilarious. The play runs April 28 to May 28 at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $15–$30. (202) 399-7993. atlasarts.org.

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