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Theater & Performance Studies
A guide for theater, dance, and performance studies.
The Historical Society of Washington, DC, publishes Washington History and hosts programs and exhibits. The Kiplinger Research Library collects a wide range of materials documenting all aspects of Washington, DC, history.
"World’s largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art." Note that the Folger building is closed as of March 1, 2020, due to a multi-year renovation project. Folger Hours & Closings provides current updates.
D.C. Public Library's Special Collections (Washingtoniana, Black Studies, and the Peabody Room (Georgetown branch library)), house a comprehensive collection of material on Washington, D.C., from the late 18th century to the present, including the reference library, the photograph collections and the D.C. community archives, some collections are digitized in Dig DC. Getting Started with Washington, D.C. History is a good place to begin.
One of the nation’s original resident theaters, with a "distinguished record of leadership and innovation in the field. With the opening of the new Mead Center for American Theater, Arena Stage has become a national center for the production, presentation, development and study of the American theater."
A "groundbreaking and energetic 'theater with a different accent,' presenting classical and contemporary plays in Spanish and English, plus an accompanying program of dance, music, poetry, spoken word, art and, more recently, film. . . . In January 2005, after 29 years of moving between venues, GALA moved into its permanent home in the historic and newly renovated Tivoli and established itself as A NATIONAL CENTER FOR LATINO PERFORMING ARTS."
Based in Montgomery County, Maryland, Round House Theatre produces nearly 200 theatrical performances each season at its 400-seat Bethesda theatre and 150-seat black box theatre in Silver Spring. Recognized nationally as a center for the development of literary works for the stage.
Focusing "on works with profound themes, complex characters and heightened language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and those playwrights he influenced, the Shakespeare Theatre Company's artistic mission is unique among regional theatres: to bring to vibrant life groundbreaking, thought-provoking and eminently accessible classic theatre in a uniquely American style."
"A Tony Award-winning, non-profit professional theater company with a mission to produce contemporary musicals and plays, reinvent classic musicals, develop new work, and reach its community through engaging educational and outreach opportunities." Located in Arlington’s Shirlington Village since 2007.
"The Studio Theatre is dedicated to producing the best in contemporary theatre. Our restless, innovative spirit generates an uncommonly rich and diverse body of work, encompassing provocative new writing from around the world, unique special events, and inventive stagings of contemporary classics."
"Founded in 1992, The Theatre Lab is Washington, D.C.’s largest and most comprehensive independent, nonprofit school for the dramatic arts. Our mission is to transform lives through theatre. We work to make the real-life benefits of theatre training accessible to all regardless of age, income, or experience level."
Founded in 1980, the Woolly Mammoth seeks "to ignite an explosive engagement between theatre artists and the community by developing, producing, and promoting new plays that explore the edges of theatrical style and human experience, and by implementing new ways to use the artistry of theatre to serve the people of Greater Washington, DC."