The Kennedy Center

Happenstance Theater


Happenstance Theater is a professional company committed to creating and producing original, poetic theater with performer-created visuals. With the simplest means we seek to elevate the moment when the performers and audience meet, to lift the encounter beyond the daily and pedestrian into the realms of dreams, poetry, and art. Meaning is often found by happenstance.

Since 2006, they have produced more than 10 shows, all to great acclaim. Prufbox, which premiered at the first Capital Fringe Festival, was remounted at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA as part of their Joseph Cornell Exhibits. The Seven Ages of Mime sold out its 3-week run at Round House Theatre Silver Spring, was extended and sold out again, while Low Tide Hotel premiered at and was voted Best Comedy of the 2007 Capital Fringe and was selected as a City Paper “Best Bet." MANIFESTO! premiered at the 2008 Capital Fringe, traveled to the New York Clown Theatre Festival in Brooklyn, and was awarded the DC City Paper’s Second-Best-Offer “Fringe Show That Didn’t Win a Fringe Award-but-should-have.” FarFar Oasis was created as a desert companion piece to the maritime themed Low Tide Hotel; they ran as a double-bill at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Cabaret CooCoo was voted Best Comedy of the 2009 Capital Fringe. LOOK OUT BELOW! an original clown theater piece was commissioned by and performed at Round House Theatre’s main stage in Bethesda in December 2009. Handbook For Hosts, a film noir comedy-cocktail, ignited by the 1949 Esquire tome of the same name, was a huge Capital Fringe hit in 2010, and the offbeat Vaudeville duo of Diz and Izzy Aster: Vaudeville’s Late Bloomers, who bring their baggage to the stage in harmonies from Between-the-Wars and cheery songs of the Great Depression, just returned from a run at the NY Clown Theatre Festival. We have also built Cabaret Macabre, an Edward Gorey inspired, Victorian-Gothic romp, which we hope to make an annual autumnal event.

Watch Past Performances

Video 5/6/2012: STREET TO STAGE: Happenstance Theater, Mucca Pazza

Chicago-based circus-punk marching band Mucca Pazza brings its sweet sounds indoors, using trombones, marching drums, accordions, and more to get the audience moving. Happenstance Theater presents its blend of cabaret, mime, and slapstick comedy in a visual, poetic theater performance. Part of Look Both Ways: Street Arts Across America.

Happenstance Theater