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This holiday season, theatergoers looking for a little less cheesy yuletide cheer and a little more dark fare will find their gift in Terminus, a gloomy, pared-down play by Irish writer Mark O’Rowe that explores loosely interlocking tales of fear and terror. Over the course of one dreary night in Dublin, the lives of a crisis hotline worker, a lonely young woman, and a serial killer come crashing together. Celebrated local actor Tom Story returns to direct at Studio’s 2ndStage after helming last season’s powerful high school drama Moth. In Terminus, the story is told as a rhyming monologue with modern, violent verse—a whole lot more daring than traditional holiday tales of yore. The play runs Dec. 10 through Jan. 4 at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. $20–$30. (202) 332-3300. studiotheatre.org.