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Prelude Festival 2005

National Symphony Orchestra at 75Theater & ComedyIt's All About the MusicShall We Dance?KC Jazz ClubOpen House Arts FestivalPage-to-Stage New Play FestivalMillennium Stage Prelude Series

Page-to-Stage New Play Festival
Media Partners: Washington CityPaper

Saturday-Monday, September 3-5 from 3-10 p.m.
Various venues throughout the Kennedy Center
Free, no tickets required.
Limited seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.
General admission seating opens approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of each event.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts hosts its fourth annual PAGE-TO-STAGE New Play Festival, featuring more than 25 theaters from the D.C. metropolitan area, all with a mission to produce and support new work. The three-day Kennedy Center–wide event offers a series of free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals being developed by local, regional, and national playwrights, librettists, and composers.

This year’s highlights include a new adaptation of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island by Tony Award®–nominated playwright Ken Ludwig, in cooperation with the Kennedy Center’s Kenan Apprentice Program and The Alley Theater. Alice, adapted by Kim Hines from the book by Whoopi Goldberg, is presented by the Kennedy Center’s Youth and Family Programs. Quotidian Theatre Company performs the never-before-staged production of The Beginning of Summer, written 50 years ago by Pulitzer Prize winner Horton Foote. The new musical Nevermore, with music by Matt Conner and lyrics by Edgar Allen Poe, is brought to life by Signature Theatre. And Contemporary American Theatre Festival stalwart Richard Dresser offers his new play Augusta.

Plus, don’t miss out on Cabaret and Cabernet, presented in conjunction with Judy Simmons and the DC Cabaret Network, which showcases talented singers performing cabaret standards plus new compositions.

With so much talent under one roof, the PAGE-TO-STAGE New Play Festival is your best chance to get a fascinating first look at works being developed for upcoming Washington premieres!


Actors’ Theatre of Washington

Accokeek Creek Theatre Company

The Actor’s Center

African Continuum Theatre Company

Alley Theatre

Black Women Playwrights’ Group

Catalyst Theater Company

The Catholic University of America

Charter Theatre

Contemporary American Theatre Festival

DC Cabaret Network

Journeymen Theatre Ensemble
Kennedy Center Festival of China

Kennedy Center Youth and Family Programs


New Play House

Olney Theatre Center for the Arts

PlayGround Playwrights at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

The Playwright’s Forum

Quotidian Theatre Company

Rorschach Theatre Company’s Artists’ Lab–“The Kitchen”

Round House Theatre

Scena Theatre

The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting
Signature Theatre

Smallbeer Theater Company

Source Theatre

Synetic Theater

Theatre Alliance

Theater of the First Amendment

Trumpet Vine Theater Company

Tsunami Theatre Company

Venus Theatre Company

Washington Improv Theater

Washington Shakespeare Company

Women’s Work Writer’s Group

Schedule and artists subject to change without notice

Actors’ Theatre of Washington


By Roy Burkowitz

Chip and Sylvia have been best friends for 30 years. He’s a gay actor struggling to find work, lose weight, and keep the neighbors from attacking each other–while she’s a lawyer with HIV struggling to regain her life. Can their bond survive the trauma of life outside the comfort and safety of their friendship?

Accokeek Creek Theatre Company

By Audrey Cefaly

Disillusioned mill workers Fin and Euba sit out back with a cold brew and plot their escape from their whacko landlady and her tacky yard art.

By Roberto Marinas

You wouldn't think it's a big deal to use loader #26 or loader #7. But, then again, you're not Buddy in this humorous glimpse into how a mindless company policy change leads to an existential crisis.

By Bob Bartlett

Thirty-something brothers Rafe and Mitchell are stranded on the side of a quiet road in the middle of the night. While attempting to change the tire of their 1972 Chevy Nova, the brothers begin working through the pain of their incestuous pasts.

African Continuum Theatre Company

By David Emerson Toney
Directed by Jennifer Nelson

This gritty, funny, urban tale–loosely based on Shakespeare’s Richard III –is set in Cleveland above a barbeque joint. Eddie, Rickey Trey, and Clarence are three brothers sparring for the inheritance of the family business and legacy. Yet, when a young woman is brought in to give birth to an heir, the sibling rivalry erupts into chaos.

Black Women Playwrights’ Group

By Betty Miller Buttram, Joy Hunter Carroll, E. Christi Cunningham, Karen L. B. Evans, Louise V. Gray, Joy Jones, and Donise Stevens

Get a sneak peek at new scenes and monologues from full-length plays and one-acts by member playwrights.

Catalyst Theater Company

By Christopher Gallu

Funny and tragic, this story of a husband and wife struggling to protect their family from the increasingly invasive influence of modern culture examines ways that society binds us together and tears us apart.

The Catholic University of America

By Deborah DeGeorge

Death, Life, and Survival of the Fittest: this new play examines the impact of Darwinism in the modern world.

By Warren Perry

This series of vignettes explores the relationship of artists to their subjects. Beginning with Gilbert Stuart and George Washington, and concluding with Andy Warhol’s soup can, the story of American art is the story of America. Somewhat. Maybe. Just a little bit, perhaps.

By Glenn Sevilla Mas
Presented in Association with Yellow Taxi Productions

A Ford Foundation Fellow and winner of the prestigious Don Palanca award for Philippine writers, Sevilla Mas presents excerpts from his new full-length play, which follows a wandering man as he is transported to the depths of his memory by an evil guardian of space and time.

Charter Theatre

By Keith Bridges, Chris Stezin, and Richard Washer
With Mario Baldessari, Rachel Gardner Bridges, Ray Ficca, and Hope Lambert

Don’t miss this breezy look at pain, loss, and politics in America featuring many off-beat characters, including a cockatoo with Tourette’s.

Contemporary American Theatre Festival

By Richard Dresser
Directed by Ed Herendeen

Featuring Kaci Gober, Lee Sellars, and Carolyn Swift
Follow the lives of two women in Maine who clean the homes of the wealthy in order to get by. Claire is young and full of hope, yet Molly is grimly accepting of her fate. They work for Jimmy, a middle-manager in free-fall who holds their fates in his trembling hands. In this desperate dance of survival, it’s hard to find someone to trust.

DC Cabaret Network

DC Cabaret Network showcases DC's most talented Cabaret performers singing their favorite cabaret songs. The KC Cafe will be transformed into an intimate Cabaret Club featuring music from the American Popular Songbook repertoire to current composers. Great wine selections will be available for purchase from Restaurant Associates. Come join this lively event full of wonderful music, voices, and laughter!

The IN Series in collaboration with Smallbeer Theater Company

Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Adapted by Elizabeth Pringle (Libretto), and Bari Biern (Lyrics)

This sexy and sassy version of Mozart’s madcap opera takes place in Las Vegas during the 1960s: booze, broads, and as broke you can get. To the good and buttoned-up sensibilities of the ’50s and ’60s, Vegas is a seething subconscious fantasy fleshed out. Join Figaro, Susanna, and all the cohorts, cronies, guys, and dolls for romance and hope with gold paint and red velvet.

Journeymen Theatre Ensemble

By Ross Maxwell
Directed by Dominic D’Andrea

Years ago, the only clue left behind for Trudy Wutherford and her daughter Zoe was a postcard with the word "CROATOAN" written on it by their abandoned husband and father. Now, on the eve of an impending hurricane, a cagey young Bible salesman appears on their doorstep with clues to the missing man’s identity and an agenda of his own. This fractured Southern gothic tale portrays the spaces between American myth and memory.

The Kennedy Center Festival of China

Written and Performed by Qian Yi

Cultures mingle and clash as East meets West, tradition meets modernity, and time effaces history. But throughout all this, love survives in the form of a ghost, in the form of a traditional Kunju Opera spirit, who wanders the earth searching for lost love.

The Kennedy Center Kenan Apprentice Program in association with Alley Theatre

Family Friendly!
By Ken Ludwig
Adapted from the Novel by Robert Louis Stevenson
With John Astin, Michael Ray Escamilla, Daniel Frith, Rick Foucheux, Mitchell Hébert, Jennifer Mendenhall, Karl Miller, Hugh Nees, Holly Twyford, Michael Anthony Williams, and Geraint Wyn Davies
One of the classic adventure stories of all time is adapted by Tony Award®–nominated playwright Ken Ludwig (Moon Over Buffalo and Lend Me a Tenor). Masterfully crafted, Treasure Island is a stunning yarn of piracy on the fiery tropical seas and an unforgettable tale of treachery featuring a host of legendary swashbucklers–from honest young Jim Hawkins, to sinister two-timing Israel Hands, to evil incarnate blind Pew. It is a complex study of good and evil as embodied by that hero-villain Long John Silver, the unscrupulous buccaneer-rogue whose greedy quest for gold cannot help but win the heart of every soul who ever longed for romance, treasure, and adventure.

Kennedy Center Youth and Family Programs

Family Friendly!
By Kim Hines

Adapted from the Book by Whoopi Goldberg
Kim Hines (My Lord, What a Morning) adapts Whoopi Goldberg’s inner city revision of the classic Lewis Carroll tale. Follow smart and sassy young Alice when she wins a mysterious sweepstakes and there's no time to lose to claim her prize! With her two best friends in tow—a white rabbit who's, well, kind of invisible, and a card-playing nerd who has a thing for hats—Alice heads into the topsy-turvy neon wonderland of the Big City in a race against the clock.


By Sean Huze

The acclaimed Los Angeles-based actor-Marine-playwright of The Sandstorm: Stories from the Front offers this new satire about controlling the flow of military information as it follows the story of a battalion commander intent on making an example of a subordinate by invoking “Article 134: Conduct Unbecoming.”

New Play House

By Jonah Knight

Three corporate officers are found murdered in a penthouse suite as their company faces fraud inquiries from Congress and the SEC. What should have been handled as a standard homicide investigation is clouded when the assigned detectives are unable to put their personal differences aside.

Olney Theatre Center for the Arts

Family Friendly!
Book and Lyrics by Kathleen Cahill
Music by Deborah Wicks LaPuma
Featuring Sheri S. Edelen, Stephen Schmidt, and Bobby Smith

Krista Fay Floeting is a young woman with a boring bank job who gets through the day distracted by her own daydreams. Clark Delgato is a rejected loan applicant who has lost his voice. These very separate lives are thrown together when they become the victims of the bank's unscrupulous loan officer Lloyd Maloney, who manages to frame Clark as a dangerous, stop-at-nothing bank robber and Krista as Clark's six million dollar hostage. Trapped in the subterranean world of the bank vault, Krista's daydreams and fantasies become so vivid that Clark can see them, too. Fantasies become the key to setting these individuals free from the bank vault so that they may regain their former lives.

PlayGround Playwrights at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

By Michael Merino

A janitor and dishwasher by day, secret artist by night, Henry Darger secludes himself in his apartment for more than 40 years and dedicates his life to a world of writing and painting. This play draws upon the literary and visual worlds created by this enigmatic Chicago outsider artist, who used art as both his confessor and, at times, his tormentor.

The Playwright’s Forum

By Bobbi Blok

Average Joe meets I Want to Marry a Millionaire on stage! Audience participation is welcome and encouraged while two friends experience the trials and tribulations of dating via the personal ads and the Internet, with a little help from a very talented waiter. True love is just a phone call or e-mail away from reality!

The Playwright’s Forum in association with The Actors’ Center

Washington’s Playwrights’ Forum and The Actors’ Center join for this unique evening of entertainment, in which a group of playwrights and actors present a series of short readings that push conventional limits. A spontaneous mix of comedy, drama, and audience interaction ensues as some of the city’s best theater artists get together for the first time to present this never-before seen-work.

Quotidian Theatre Company

By Horton Foote

Never before staged, The Beginning of Summer was written in 1955 by Pulitzer Prize, Emmy, and Academy Award® winner Horton Foote (To Kill a Mockingbird, Tender Mercies, The Young Man from Atlanta). As the second installment of three works featuring the characters Mamie Borden, her daughter Julia, and Julia’s husband Albert Price, The Beginning of Summer returns to Albert and Julia as they are about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. With a 19-year-old son, Borden, and their marriage falling apart, Mamie’s control of their lives is still very much evident.

Rorschach Theatre Company

By Randy Baker

Directed by Jenny McConnell Frederick
From the rubble of Baghdad, a modern-day soldier narrates the oldest story in the world: a tale of love, friendship, greed, and jealousy in which Gilgamesh, the world’s first hero, risks everything in his quest to overcome death.

Round House Theatre’s Artists’ Lab–“The Kitchen”

By Mando Alvarado
Directed by Michael Ray Escamilla

A troubled Marine comes home from the war in Iraq knowing he has an unpleasant task to accomplish. With the help of his best friend, a therapist, and the love struck pigeons in the park, he confronts the truth of his past in order to complete his final order.

Scena Theatre

By Otho Eskin

This is a new play by one of Scena’s playwrights-in-residence, Otho Eskin, whose previous projects with the company include Duet, A Season in Hell, and Julie.

The Shakespeare Academy for Classical Acting

By James Magruder
Directed by Catherine Weidner

Don’t miss this comic look at the secrets behind one of the nation’s founding fathers, James Madison, by the Tony®-nominated book-writer of The Triumph of Love.

Signature Theatre

By Janet Allard
Conceived and Developed with Michael Bigelow Dixon
Directed by Rick DesRochers
Featuring Scott Kerns, Cheryl Resor, Nancy Robinette, and Holly Twyford

This satiric spoof of one of America’s fastest sport reveals how our competitive edge becomes corrupted by our relentless drive for commercial success. When a female driver takes the lead in the NASCAR season standings, sabotage and scandal dent the polished reputation of this high-octane enterprise. A primarily female cast portrays the all-male universe of NASCAR daredevil antics in an all-out race for love and money with some crazy gender-fender-benders.

Music by Matt Conner
Lyrics Adapted from the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe
Featuring Matt Conner, Eleasha Gamble, and Stephen Gregory Smith

Take a dark and mysterious journey into the life of Edgar Allan Poe with this imaginative world-premiere musical using Poe’s poetry and short stories as a base for his shifting obsessions with the women in his life. With hauntingly beautiful melodies, Nevermore breathes new life into Poe’s work and explores the twisted true-life tale that is as bizarre as his classic stories of the macabre.

Smallbeer Theater Company

By Scott Sedar

A rich history of 350 years offers a broad range of stories about Jewish immigrants struggling to assimilate in America, yet seeking to remain true to their Jewish heritage. This play portrays a few poignant stories of the people seeking and finding new homes, struggling against the majority, and finding a voice to express minority rights.

Smallbeer Theater Company and Source Theatre


This 10-Minute Play Competition celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Washington Theatre Festival.

Synetic Theater

Directed by Paata Tsikurishvili
Choreographed by Irina Tsikurishvili

From vampiric wolves howling in the Transylvanian night to the demonic desires of the Count and his consorts, the story of Dracula has stood the test of time in the imaginations of innumerable artists. Now Arlington, Virginia’s Synetic Theater applies its own unique blend of movement and experimental theater to Bram Stoker’s classic work. Company founders Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili, multiple Helen Hayes Award winners, lend their "ferocious theatricality" (The Washington Post) to this haunting world premiere adaptation that will inflame your blood…and perhaps drain it as well.

Theatre Alliance

By Stephen Massicotte
Directed by Jeremy Skidmore
With Jennifer Mendenhall, Michael Ray Escamilla, and Kathleen Coons

Catch a glimpse of this new play by the author of Mary’s Wedding, which was the recipient of seven Helen Hayes Award nominations last season including Outstanding Resident Play.

Theater of the First Amendment

By Karen Zacarías
Directed by Kristin Johnsen-Neshati

A mother’s universe spins out of control when her bubbly sister-in-law is viewed as a saint and her troubled teenage son seems to be impossibly pregnant.

Trumpet Vine Theater Company

Written and Directed by Paul Donnelly

When a gay son and his sister return home for their mother’s second wedding and encounter a homophobic born-again Christian, things are guaranteed to go wrong. Whole Against the Sky follows the two siblings over the course of several years as changes occur in their relationships with each other, their partners, and their mother. In the process, the lessons they learn about acceptance and unconditional love change them forever.

Tsunami Theatre Company

By Suzue Toshiro
Translated by David G. Goodman
Directed by Michael Chamberlin

This new work follows the story of three couples on a lonely quest for connection and compassion in contemporary Japanese society. The characters’ emotions, like the fireflies that no longer exist, burst into light and extinguish at random, signaling their search for acceptance and affection.

Venus Theatre Company

By Deb Randall
Featuring Monalisa Arias, Fiona Blackshaw, and Abby Wood

In the back storage room of a music store, a group of women who made a pledge to their own secret society in 1992 are called to duty. A musical chaos ensues…world peace is achieved!

Washington Improv Theater

Washington Improv Theater ignites the KC Café with laughter, no rules, and a no-holds-barred style of improvisational comedy. Sparked by audience suggestions, WIT’s players explore a vast and completely unpredictable universe of characters, themes, and stories that change with every performance of pure inspired fun.

Washington Shakespeare Company

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Shawn Northrip
Featuring Kevin Duffin, Jewel Greenberg, Leo Goodman, Andrew Honeycutt, Casie Platt, Tracy Olivera, and Lauren Williams
In this new rock musical, multiple stories unfold in a cafeteria as eighth graders find different ways of dealing with moments between childhood and adulthood which, in many cases, come down to one thing: first love. While the students tread softly for fear that a wrong misstep will end up on their permanent record, they face off with their first crushes and first kisses, loss of a best friend to a girlfriend, and a game of MASH gone completely wrong. Lunch, everyone’s favorite subject!

Women’s Work Writer’s Group

By Shelley Herman Gillon
Featuring Caren Anton

Exploring acceptance and redemption in the context of obesity, food obsession, and body image, these monologues by 12 women of various shapes and sizes take place in a fictitious yoga class. Among the players: a middle-aged East London housewife with an Oprah Winfrey fixation, a society matron who teaches her daughter how to purge after bingeing, a 70-something Jewish member of a 12-Step-Program who fires and rehires the god of her ancestors, a female sumo-wrestler-in-training, and a nun-cum-art-historian with a passion for zaftig women.

By Nicole J. Burton

Fred, a young tanker with the 761st, met 16-year-old Jewish girl Frieda the day his all-Black tanker battalion liberated Orhdruf concentration camp, the first concentration camp liberated by the Allies. More than 50 years later, Frieda’s son Michael/Moshe pleads with Fred to meet him in Berlin, where his aging mother has inexplicably decided to settle in a small but growing Jewish community. When Fred and Frieda meet again, they encounter the deep truth about the moment that changed both their lives, a moment that holds the key to freeing Michael from his fear and from a promise made long ago.

Schedule and artists subject to changes without notice.

FF - Family Friendly


3:00 p.m
5:30 p.m.
6:00 p.m.
7:15 p.m.
Dracula, Synetic Theater


3:00 p.m
6:00 p.m.
7:15 p.m.
Take Stock,
New Play House


3:00 p.m. TERRACE GALLERY Kingdom , African Continuum Theatre Company NORTH ATRIUM FOYER
Whole Against the Sky , Trumpet Vine Theater Company
Fireflies (Kami Wo Kakiageru) , Tsunami Theatre Company

A Robe for the Moon , The Kennedy Center Festival of China
Washington Improv Theater
El Virgen, Theater of the First Amendment
5:30 p.m. THEATER LAB
Augusta , Contemporary American Theatre Festival

6:00 p.m. KC CAFÉ
Cabaret and Cabernet, DC Cabaret Network

Nevermore from Signature Theater
Best of Rising Tide: a Flood of New 10-minute Plays, Smallbeer Theater Company and Source Theatre

Pumpkin' and Poopsie, Actors' Theatre of Washington
Happy Holidays , The Playwright's Forum
Monkeyboy, Charter Theatre
Treasure Island, The Kennedy Center Kenan Apprentice Program in association with Alley Theatre

Expert Americans, The Shakespeare Academy for Classical Acting
Over, or Those Crazy Kids! , Catalyst Theater Company

The Kennedy Center Main Level

Eisenhower Theater Opera House Concert Hall Millennium Stage Kennedy Bust Millennium Stage Concert Hall Israeli Lounge Chinese Lounge Opera House Eisenhower Theater Bird Room Hall of Nations Hall of States
[Key for the Kennedy Center Map.]

The Kennedy Center Roof Level

Theater Lab Terrace Theater South Roof Gallery North Roof Gallery Terrace Gallery East Roof Terrace West Roof Terrace