The Jungle
Courtesy of Woolly Mammoth and STC

For less than a month, Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Harman Hall, which usually seats over 700, will be transformed into 14 geopolitical states including Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, and Syria. For this immersive political drama, the theater will only seat 347 people per production, including some on floor cushions surrounding the stage. Set in “the Jungle,” a former refugee camp in Calais, France, the play centers the voices and experiences of refugees far from home, looking for a safe haven just across the channel in the U.K., and trying to find community and create a society in the meantime. Centrally located in the camp is the Afghan Cafe, where the characters bond over meals and memories, relate their experiences, share their wishes for a new life, and debate about improving their temporary circumstances. Earning rave reviews during its original London and later New York runs, this coproduction between STC and Woolly Mammoth Theatre was delayed for three years due to the pandemic. But finally, this ambitious, timely, and necessary drama is finding its home in the District. Welcome to the Jungle. The Jungle runs March 28 through April 16 at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Harman Hall. $35–$140.