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.

So—the theater season’s still not back into full gear, though things do pick up this weekend with openings at the Shakespeare Theatre and Woolly Mammoth. (Let me just tell you now: Buy your tickets now for In the Continuum at Woolly. Bob Mondello’s back from his six weeks of vacation, the bastard, and he’ll be reviewing it in next week’s paper, but I saw the show earlier this year, and it’s superb. And it’s only here for four weeks.)

No Pay-Whats for either of those shows, though. Here’s what I know about:

  • In the Mood, Olney Theatre Center. A new play from D.C. writer Irene Wurtzel asks what happens when “till death do us part” gets tested by bipolar disorder; a sculptor and her diplomat husband wrangle with her growing fame and his growing illness. Chris Lane, MaryBeth Wise, and Halo Wines are in the cast; critics see it Sept. 9. Pay-What previews Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 7:45 p.m. At Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. in Olney, Md.
  • Spinning Into Butter, Journeymen Theater. Hate mail sparks an uproar (and some painful self-examination) on a supposedly liberal college campus. Jeff Keenan directs; critics see it next Friday. Pay-What previews Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 6 and 7, at 7:30 p.m. At Clark Street Playhouse, 601 South Clark St. in Crystal City.
  • MacBird!, American Century Theater. LBJ meets the Scottish Play, in this ’60s-era satire. It’s a musical, and the off-Broadway original starred Stacy Keach. ‘Nuff said. Critics see it next Saturday; Pay-What preview next Thursday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. (call 703-553-8782 or e-mail info@americancentury.org and use the code “JFK” if you wanna reserve in advance).
  • Oh, and we don’t typically review ’em, but if you’re into the National Players (the venerable touring troupe based out at Olney), they’ve got an Importance of Being Earnest going up. Pay-Whats are next Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 6 and 7, at 7:30.