Studio Theatre’s 2023-2024 season will bring new perspectives, first looks at new work, and fresh takes on great works of the past. Studio aims to maintain the momentum of the 2022-2023 season, which explored new territory and brought audiences back into the theatre fold.
“It might not quite be business as usual, but I think it’s fair to say we’re back in business,” said Studio Artistic Director David Muse. “The 2022-2023 season has seen Studio mount English (a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that stands as the second-best-selling show in Studio history), collect 12 Helen Hayes award nominations, and produce the world premiere of Good Bones, a Studio-commissioned show by Pulitzer-winning and Tony-nominated playwright James Ijames. I’d call that a pretty good year.”
The 2023-2024 season will open with Christine Quintana’s Espejos: Clean, a bilingual play presented in both English and Spanish, with Spanish and English supertitles. Playwright James Ijames will return to Studio’s stages for a second consecutive season with Fat Ham, his award-winning comedic take on Hamlet. Then as the weather turns chilly, audiences can warm up with two biting comedies, Mike Bartlett’s Love, Love, Love and Bryna Turner’s At the Wedding. Both will take on romantic relationships and explore the carnage left in the wake of explosive love affairs—Love Love Love pits a Baby Boomer couple against their Gen X kids, and At the Wedding offers a Millennial take on matrimony and heartache.
Family takes center stage in Studio’s world premiere of Problems Between Sisters by Julia May Jonas, the author of acclaimed novel Vladimir and an exciting up-and-coming talent. A genderbent response to Sam Shephard’s True West, Problems Between Sisters presents a portrait of the relationship between two heavily pregnant sisters as it careens towards an explosive confrontation. Finally, Studio will cap its season with a revival of George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum, a surreal odyssey through Black American history. Director Psalmayene 24 will present audiences with an immersive experience unlike any Studio has presented before.
ABOUT THE PLAYS
by Christine Quintana
Spanish Translation / Adaptation by Paula Zelaya Cervantes
Adriana manages the housekeeping staff at a Cancún resort, 200 miles and a world away from the home she left. Sarah, sister of the bride and the self-declared disaster of the family, is just trying to keep it together at this destination wedding. When a storm floods the roads and forces the women together, a series of misunderstandings breaks open the secrets both women have taught themselves to ignore. A bilingual play with Spanish and English supertitles, Espejos: Clean is a potent look at isolation, the power of being seen, and the ways people can grow around their own damaged places.
Adriana dirige el personal de limpieza en un complejo turístico de Cancún, a 200 millas de distancia y en otro mundo de la casa que dejó atrás. Sarah, hermana de la novia y autoproclamada desastre de la familia, solo está tratando de mantenerse en control en esta boda de destino. Cuando una tormenta inunda las carreteras y obliga a las mujeres a estar juntas, una serie de malentendidos revela los secretos que ambas mujeres se han enseñado a ignorar. Una obra bilingüe con subtítulos en español e inglés, Espejos: Clean es una mirada potente al aislamiento, al poder de ser visto y a las formas en que las personas pueden crecer alrededor de sus propias heridas. Los boletos para Espejos: Clean estarán a la venta a partir de agosto de 2023.
by James Ijames
directed by Taylor Reynolds
Hamlet, but with more barbeque and disco. Swapping a Danish castle for a North Carolina BBQ pit, Fat Ham remakes Shakespeare’s story of murder and revenge into what the New York Times calls “a hilarious yet profound tragedy smothered in comedy.” Juicy, a Black queer Southern kid, has a lot on his plate already when his father’s ghost shows up, demanding vengeance. As generations clash at the family’s backyard barbeque, Juicy must face the legacies of violence he’s been raised with and shape the man he wants to be in James Ijames’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play fresh from its Tony-nominated Broadway run.
Love, Love, Love
by Mike Bartlett
It’s London, 1967, and the sixties are in full swing when we meet Ken and Sandra, two carefree spirits in a world that belongs to the young. Love, Love, Love drops in with them over the next 44 years, from free love to middle-class comfort to well-compensated retirement—when their adult daughter accuses them of squandering the world they inherited. Mike Bartlett turns his sharp eye and biting humor on the Baby Boomers and the generation they spawned.
At the Wedding
by Bryna Turner
Carlo crashes her ex’s wedding with three simple goals: Don’t get drunk. Don’t make any kids cry. Don’t try to win back the bride, no matter how boring the groom is. (She’ll ultimately fail at all three.) A very, very funny play about loneliness, estrangement, and a slow-burn romance with being alive.
Problems Between Sisters
By Julia May Jonas
Two pregnant sisters—one visual artist, one con artist—converge on a remote family cabin in Vermont. Jess races to finish her long-awaited solo show; Rory sees a new audience for her latest scam. When Rory hatches a plan for an art project of her own, the problems between the sisters flare into a collision of family baggage, personal morality, and artistic taste. A response to True West, Sam Shephard’s surreal psychodrama about brothers with problems, Problems Between Sisters is a funny and savage take on domestication, creativity, and the elusive demands of the Primal Female. This world premiere is a part of Julia May Jonas’s five-play ALTAS cycle (“All Long True American Stories”), in which she reimagines canonical 20th-century American male-experience plays as they’d be experienced by other people, mostly women.
The Colored Museum
by George C. Wolfe
directed by Psalmayene 24
The Colored Museum is a provocative and seriously funny tour of eleven “exhibits”— toxic narratives about Black American experiences. From confrontational to aspirational, morbid to triumphant, Wolfe’s satiric sketches target America’s most pernicious stereotypes of Black culture, looking to retire outdated exhibits and make room for the future. This innovative environmental production immerses the audience in George Wolfe’s 1986 classic about the grief, madness, and hope of Black life. This production will be a one-of-kind collaboration between two members of the Studio Theatre Cabinet: director Psalmayene 24 (Pass Over, Good Bones) and designer Natsu Onoda Power (Vietgone, Astro Boy).
About Studio Theatre
Studio Theatre is a longstanding Washington cultural institution dedicated to the production of contemporary theatre. Over more than 40 years and 350 productions, the theatre has grown from a company that produced in a single rented theatre to one that owns a multi-venue complex stretching half a city block, but has stayed committed to its core distinguishing characteristics: deliberately intimate spaces; excellence in acting and design; and seasons that feature many of the most significant playwrights of our time. Studio is a values-focused organization that pursues artistry and inclusion, and brings characteristic thoughtfulness and daring to our efforts, onstage and off. The theatre serves nearly 75,000 people each year, including more than 1,000 youth and young adults through community engagement initiatives. Founded in 1978, the quality of Studio’s work has been recognized by sustained community support, as well as 78 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in professional theatre. studiotheatre.org