Exploring the Round House Theatre National Capital New Play Festival

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Washington D.C. is a diverse landmark full of historical significance and endless possibilities. Home to nearly 700,000 residents, there are plenty of things to see and do in and around DC.

Whether you’re looking to move to DC or are visiting and exploring the area, you don’t want to miss out on the best local festivals, shows, and events. And if you’re a theater buff, you’re in luck.

The year 2022 welcomes back the Round House Theatre National Capital New Play Festival. An annual event that celebrates some of the country’s leading playwrights and new voices, this is a must-see for creative art lovers.

Keep reading for all the details on this year’s event including dates, performances, tickets, and more!

The History of the Round House Theatre

Exploring the Round House Theatre National Capital New Play Festival 2

The Round House Theatre is one of the “Big Six” professional theatres in the Washington DC area. Round House considers itself “a theatre for everyone” and strives to enrich the local community through bold and educational theatrical performances. 

The entire experience is designed to inspire empathy and spark conversation. The Round House Theatre is also committed to equality, diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility. 

Through art education, Round House works to break down barriers to learning, creating, and attending the theatre. They believe that engaging in the creative arts is essential to the human experience. All guests and performers are welcome regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, or economics.

The ultimate mission of the Round House Theatre is to create local art that has a global impact. They also strive to enhance the local community through art both on the stage and in the classroom.

Community outreach is in these local areas:

If you find yourself in DC and want a culturally rich experience, visit this historical theatre that showcases local artists from all walks of life.

The National Capital New Play Festival 

The National Capital New Play Festival is just one of many events hosted by the Round House Theatre. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, all shows over the last 18 months were performed virtually. 

While equally captivating, Round House is excited to open its doors once again and showcase live performances! And what better way to kick things off than with the 44th season of the National Capital New Play Festival?

The local festival will run from April 5th until May 8th, giving both DC residents and visitors plenty of time to experience the talent of both seasoned and up-and-coming artists. Guests are treated to six performances — two on the main stage and four developmental readings. 

Artistic Director Ryan Rilette says, “We are welcoming audiences back to live performances with a theatrical journey around the world.”

Additional panel discussions and events may be announced as the event date nears, but in the meantime, let’s take a sneak peek at what’s in store for this year’s festival.

On the Main Stage

This year’s National Capital New Play Festival will showcase two performances on the main stage — it’s not a trip it’s a journey and “We declare you a terrorist…”.

It’s not a trip it’s a journey 

This play is written by Charly Evon Simpson and directed by Nicole A. Watson. The story follows June and her friends on an impromptu adventure that takes them (minus their cellphones) from NYC to the Grand Canyon.

You’ll follow these four wildly different friends as they navigate the United States, battling adversity every step of the way. This intimate and raw performance is about friendship, road trips, and discovering the difference between surviving and thriving.

Tickets for this witty and heartwarming adventure range in price from $41 to $56. Click here for showtimes and availability. 

All attendees must wear a face covering and show proof of Covid-19 vaccination. 

“We declare you a terrorist…”

Written by Tim J. Lord and directed by Ryan Rilette and Jared Mezzochi, “We declare you a terrorist…” takes place in Moscow during the year 2002 halfway through Putin’s first term as president.

The story follows a group of Chechen insurgents that hijack a blockbuster musical and take the audience of 800 people and the playwright hostage. The story is based on real events that occurred during the Dubrovka Theater hostage crisis.

Considered a “nail-biting political thriller”, “We declare you a terrorist…” is a recent recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

You can also purchase tickets for this performance for between $41 and $56 by clicking here. The same vaccine and mask requirements apply to all performances at the Round House Theatre.

Developmental Readings 

If you want to enjoy some free fun while visiting or living in DC, the National Capitol New Play Festival also offers four developmental readings at no charge. You can get your entry tickets by either purchasing a festival ticket package or by reserving individual tickets, which will become available in mid-March 2022. 

All readings are hosted in the Round House Theatre event room. This year’s festival includes:

Jennifer, Who is Leaving 

This reading, which is written and directed by Morgan Gould, will have two showings on April 28th and 30th.

Jennifer, Who is Leaving is a profoundly relatable exploration of the expectations that are placed on women, including the physical mental, and emotional labor of being a caregiver. Guests will see Jennifer’s story unfold and what happens when she reaches her breaking point.

On the Far End 

Written by Mary Kathryn Nagle and directed by Laurie Woolery, visitors can hear this reading on April 29th and May 1st.

On the Far End is a reference to the 2020 Supreme Court ruling in McGirt vs. Oklahoma surrounding the sovereignty of Muscogee territories. This is a deeply personal account of Nagle’s mother-in-law and highlights broken promises between nations.

Adia and Clora Snatch Joy

Written and directed by Mfoniso Udofia and music by Nehemiah Luckett you can hear this performance on May 5th and May 7th.

Structured as a nine-play meditation on American immigration, the story follows a Nigerian family through a lively musical of love, destiny, and fellowship.

Madre de Dios

Written by Marvin González De León and directed by Nadia Guervara, this reading concludes the festival on May 6th and May 8th. 

Madre de Dios is part family drama and part biblical myth, set in a post-environmental-apocalyptic landscape amid supernatural forces.

Experience the Culture and Creativity of Washington DC

The Round House Theatre National Capital New Play Festival is the perfect way to experience all that Washington DC has to offer. A mix of creativity, artistic beauty, and local culture, this month-long festival embodies the area’s diversity and deep ties to the community.

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