James Bullough, section of Tin-Can Telephone, mural at 3609 13th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Photo by Bayou Elom.
“Resurrection,” from the Latin “resurgent” meaning “to rise again,” is the thread weaving together IN Series’ 2023-2024 season. It is a powerful word and concept, but another word much more acutely expresses how the world we live in feels today. Entropy is a scientific concept, as well as a measurable physical property, that describes the inevitable tendency of everything in the universe to break apart, to unwind and become disordered, to fall into chaos and to disintegrate. Certainly that is how we felt across the wide and weary spaces of 2020 and 2021, but there is an even greater sense of entropy today in every facet of the body politic. We are suddenly aware of how “the world has grown terribly terribly old.”
That falling which entropy describes is a natural fact, and yet the power of the word “resurrection” is that it imagines that in mid-fall, it is possible to rise back up – despite everything that seems real and set by fundamental natural law. “Resurrection” is only a religious concept in that it requires faith to believe in the idea of second chances, of light after darkness, of death and decay that can suddenly burst with life again. It is, in a word, hope itself. This season explores this hope in various different expressions of “resurrection,” bearing out the idea that the making of art is itself an audacious act of hope, of faith, of believing that from nothing something can be made. Art is the purest form of the literal “resurrection,” and this season we celebrate that in bold, brave, and INspiring ways. Join us on this journey rising back up!
I’ll see you at the top,
Timothy Nelson, Artistic Director
September 23-October 1, 2023
Dupont Underground | Gala Hispanic Theatre | Baltimore Theatre Project
Euripides | Handel | Hughes | Roberts
Written at the dawn of theater itself, Euripides’ tragicomedy masterpiece ALCESTE blends the funny and the sad with the surprising and transcendent. Presented for the first time with a stunningly beautiful score by G.F. Handel, written to accompany a now lost 18th century translation of Euripides’ play, as well as music from Handel’s opera “Admeto” (an early take on the same myth). Real life husband and wife KenYatta and Michelle Rogers take the title couple role, joined by Maribeth DIggle (Desdemona) as the irreverent hero Hercules. Euripides’ Greek chorus becomes an ensemble of some of the best Baroque voices in the area, all accompanied by the acclaimed INnovatio Baroque Orchestra. Famed poet Ted Hughes’ free and imaginative translation is the heart of this production, with new texts by DC playwright Sybil Roberts.
Directed and Conducted by Timothy Nelson
With art by Ingrid Matthews
Michelle Rogers – Alceste
Kenyatta Rogers – Admetos
Maribeth Diggle – Hercules
Featuring Dawna Rae Warren, Janna Critz, Oliver Mercer, Rob McGinness
The Promised End
November 17-December 17, 2023
Source Theatre | Baltimore Theatre Project
Verdi’s REQIEM | Shakespeare’s King Lear
Named the #1 Classical Music event of the year by the Washington Post, the extraordinary theater-music experience that defined a new era for IN Series returns to the stage as part of District-wide SHAKESPEARE EVERYWHERE Festival. This original and unlikely piece brilliantly weaves together the entirety of Giuseppe Verdi’s shattering REQUIEM, performed by eight exceptional vocal artists in a version that allows audiences to hear this music as if for the first time, and a one-woman monodrama depicting the composer Verdi, the play “King Lear,” and aged King Lear himself. The text is formed by Artistic Director Timothy Nelson from an essay by renowned Shakespeare scholar Marjorie Garber. Nanna Ingvarsson returns to reprise her shattering interpretation of the role. It is a piece that only IN Series could have made, a work which transformed the organization forever, an experience that those who witnessed will never forget. Don’t miss this rare second chance to see a modern masterpiece resurrected.
Directed by Steven Scott Mazzola
Music Direction by Emily Baltzer
Design by Jonathan Dahm-Robertson
Starring Nanna Ingvarsson
Cast includes Natalie Conte, Teresa Ferrara, Elizabeth Mondragon, Cara Schaeffer, Brian Arreola
*This year’s inaugural D.C.-wide Shakespeare Festival also includes performances and events by Washington National Opera, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, the Washington Ballet, UrbanArias, and other DC arts organizations.
Las Místicas de Mexico
March 9-24, 2024
Dupont Underground | Mexican Cultural Institute | Baltimore
2024 opens with a thrilling immersive music-drama-art experience from IN Series, one that brings together music, poetry, art, and creative expression of over four centuries of mystical Mexican female artists. The iconic poet nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, songstresses María Grever, Toña la Negra, and Chavela Vargas, and images by the great Frida Kahlo are joined with contemporary voices of Mexican women creatives continuing the legacy of making visionary art. These artists adorn an anonymous 11th century chant drama in a new English translation by Anna Deeny Morales, who leads a team of non-Mexican female artists finding inspiration in Mexican mystical art. It is a collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Institute to celebrate 100 years of bilateral relationships between our two countries.
Audiences will experience this immersive art installation with transporting projections by Abigail Hoke-Brady and a new work imagined by one of DC’s most acclaimed artists, Marta Pérez García. Tina Chancey (Desdemona), of the Hesperus Ensemble, leads the music for the mobile performance, featuring ten of IN Series most beloved vocalists, the Washington Children’s Chorus, and traditional Mexican dance.
Created by Maribeth Diggle, Tina Chancey, Anna Deeny Morales, Marta Pérez García, Abigail Hoke-Brady
The Return of Ulysses | Song of My Father
May 11-June 2, 2024
Source Theatre | Baltimore Theater Project
Monteverdi | Lau
IN Series’ lauded Monteverdi Trilogy continues with the second installation in the cycle. 2024 is the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the start of official military action by the United States in Vietnam. It was a conflict that would change the face of America forever. The young souls that fought were wounded most acutely in ways that were invisible, and their return home was only the beginning of an epic struggle to live again.
Monteverdi’s second opera sets the story of Trojan War hero Ulysses’ traumatic homecoming from the epic The Odyssey. IN Series will bring this rarely heard masterpiece to life with an expansive work that incorporates a new English text crafted from interviews taken with Vietnam veterans, and the Thai contemporary dance company 18 Monkeys, bringing their unique mix of modern and traditional South-East Asian Kohn dance to the production. Monteverdi’s score will be joined by newly commissioned arrangements of popular Vietnam era songs, set by composer Emily Lau in the style of Monteverdi madrigals and the words of Vietnamese-American poet Ocean Vuong. An all star cast is led by Robert Mellon (Othello) and Elizabeth Mondragon (Zavala-Zavala), and is accompanied by a period instrumental ensemble from around the world. Memorial Day performances offer a moving and unique way to remember and honor the lives and living that was lost in those seas and jungles sixty years ago.
Directed and conducted by Timothy Nelson
INnovatio Baroque Orchestra
Choreographer by Jitti Chompee
Design by Lawrence E. Moten III and Abigail Hoke-Brady
Robert Mellon, Ulysses
Elizabeth Mondragon, Penelope
Featuring Aryssa Leigh Burrs, Janna Critz, Oliver Mercer, Kevin Short
Washington DC | Baltimore
Talma | Wilder
A “resurrection” season ends by returning to the timeless story of Alceste. In 1962 the first opera by an American female composer was presented in Europe and was proclaimed a masterpiece. THE ALCESTIAD by composer Louise Talma, with a libretto by one of America’s most important and famed playwrights, Thornton Wilder (Our Town), sets Euripides’ story of life after death. It has never been performed in America. When Thornton Wilder died in 1975, Louise Talma, also his devoted friend, organized a memorial service at Yale University in which a portion of this landmark opera was presented with Talma at the piano. IN Series brings this neglected and important work to the attention of American audiences with a recreation of that memorial performance. DC audiences will be the first to hear this music performed live in a program that will also tell the story of Talma and Wilder’s friendship and partnership.
Led by pianist Emily Baltzer
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