Every Thursday, we round up Pay-Whats and other cheap seats at local theaters. Just so’s your weekend is a little easier.

Before we start, remember the general rules: (A) Reservations for these? Not so much. (B) They’re offered on a space-available basis, so have a backup plan. (C) Click each theater name for details and contact info. Oh, and you might tell ‘em City Paper sent you.

The frost is on the Pay-What pumpkin, mostly ’cause there aren’t that many shows in previews right now. But this Monday night at 7, Solas Nua kicks off a new playreading series at the Savory Cafe in Takoma Park. The first show is Made in China, from Dublin writer Mark O’Rowe, whose Crestfall (at Studio Secondstage) is one of the hottest tickets in town right now; Solas Nua promises an ongoing overview of Ireland’s most interesting contemporary playwrights. Admission is free.

Washington Shakespeare Company launches its Best of the Brits reading series on Monday, too. Shrivings, the first play in the series, is by Peter Shaffer, whose Equus just opened on the WSC mainstage. (This one’s a Pay-What.) Up next: Sarah Kane‘s Blasted, on Nov. 13.

And I know I’ve said this more than once, but the best deal in town right now is the always-$10-a-seat Catalyst Theater, making a zoot-suit riot out of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Bertolt Brecht’s cautionary black comedy about the Hitler-style rise of a Chicago gangster. It’s gotten rave reviews (including mine)—and it’s been extended to Nov. 11.

Otherwise, here’s what I know about:

  • Bulletins from Fatland, Horizons Theatre. Caren Anton in “a darkly funny, poignant and occasionally shocking” solo piece, portraying “a female sumo wrestler, an African American pastor, an East London housewife, and a Big Easy waitress—all struggling with body image, acceptance, redemption,” and of course the dreaded F-word. Pay-What previews Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. At Warehouse Theatre Second Stage, 1019 7th St. NW.
  • Equus, Washington Shakespeare Company (regularly $25-$30). The play about the horse-fucker. (Well, sorta kinda.) Lee Mikeska Gardner directs what’s actually a major piece of 20th-century theater (by Amadeus author Peter Shaffer); it mourns the banal tyranny of the “normal,” and it involves sex, obsession, religion, and yes, a naked young man on the back of a horse. Pay-What matinees every Saturday at 2 p.m. At Clark Street Playhouse, 601 South Clark Street in Crystal City.
  • Communion, Horizons Theatre. “Uses stories excavated from the back pages of the newspapers and interviews with women from all walks of life to examine the intersection of spirituality and sexuality as it lives in women’s bodies.” Pay-What preview Saturday at 7:30 p.m. At Warehouse Theatre Second Stage, 1019 7th St. NW.