The theater seems like a perfect place to take a break from the constant political bickering that fills airwaves and Twitter feeds and just relax. Shakespeare Theatre Company’s latest offering, however, hits close to home in an election year when candidates threaten to deport people by the thousands and block Muslims from entering the country. At the Lansburgh Theatre, the local troupe has partnered with British theater ensemble Headlong to present Headlong’s stage version of George Orwell’s 1984. The tale of an all-knowing government that monitors the actions of its numbered citizens is haunting enough on the page, but when presented in front of an audience, with flashing lights and loud noises, the narrative becomes even more chilling. The play even carries a warning that the content is only suitable for mature audiences. Whether you read the book once in a high school English class or return to it regularly, its message and this stirring retelling have never been more relevant. The play runs March 9 to April 10 at the Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. $25–$123. (202) 547-1122. shakespearetheatre.org.