We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


Twins, displaced and desperately in love—that’s as good a description of the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express (SSE) as of the play it’s performing (in rep with The Tempest). The company is displaced because its usual home at the Folger Shakespeare Library was occupied by Source’s The Merchant of Venice. Forced to look elsewhere, SSE ended up doing a spare, economical, frequently very funny Twelfth Night at Source’s unoccupied mainstage. Alas, during its first week, the theater was largely unoccupied too, because it was playing in competition with Carter Barron’s free version. What’s a poor company to do? Well…pander to audiences, and pray for word of mouth. So far, the ploy seems to be working, helped by SSE’s obvious passion for the Bard, and its insistence on getting the crowd out in two hours. The aim of SSE’s modern-dress, super-accessible approach is to make every word work, even for those who don’t know Shakespeare from Shinola. It’s ideal for kids, and a nice change from the fuss-and-fustian productions available elsewhere. At 2 p.m. July 1 at Source Theater, 1835 14th St. NW. $12-16. (202) 232-8011. (Bob Mondello)