Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
A typical theater season in D.C. likely features a few of the Bard’s tragedies and comedies from the artists at the Folger and Shakespeare Theatre Company, local adaptations of popular Off-Broadway dramas at Signature, and at least one enormous musical revival directed by Molly Smith at Arena Stage. But this year, audiences were treated to entirely new works that premiered right here in D.C. Thanks to new programs like Studio Theatre’s Lab, which serves as an incubator for world premieres, viewers can experience new plays as they’re conceived. The Kennedy Center’s dedicated so much time to adjusting its new musical, Little Dancer, that reviewers weren’t invited to see the show until 10 days before it concluded its month-long run. Even local premieres that have since departed D.C. continue to enjoy success, like a new version of the musical Side Show that premiered at the Kennedy Center in June and received a rave review from the Times when it opened on Broadway. Big-budget premieres might get more attention, but D.C.’s independent theater companies and original playwrights also benefit from this environment that’s eager to support new work.