Coming from humble beginnings, an orange seller eventually finds her way to the stage where she immediately becomes a household name. Upon Nell Gwynn’s successes, she manages to make a fan out of King Charles II. Eventually, the royal leader of England brings Gwynn to court as a favorite mistress. From there, the story about this amazing woman takes off. Various dates and times. Tickets $42-$79.
Spurred by a scare, Octavia decides it’s time to forget about any troubles or trepidations and have a raucous night on the town with friends. Joined by companions June and Imani, the three depart into the city for an epic night. But the evening becomes more than a hardcore party session, as the trio encounter strange characters, outrageous events and endure a true test of their friendship. Poet and playwright Aziza Barnes wrote this play, which celebrates queerness and sisterhood as the friends wrestle with universal factors such as truth, love and the struggle of adulthood. Various dates and times. Tickets $20-$51.
Power as an addiction is not only a trope in real life, but a common theme for villains in a number of stories – and perhaps the most famous is the power-hungry king from Shakespeare’s Richard III. Fueled by a bottomless well of ambition, the ruthless and cunning man continues to reach for more, more and more in his quest for power. By the play’s end, no one in the audience will be rooting for his lust. This is the study of what makes a villain, and few put on better performances than Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC). Various dates and times. Tickets $44-$102.
A new play by Irma Correa, El Viejo, El Joven y El Mar tells the story of a renowned Spanish philosopher who runs into a fisherman, general and journalist. He speaks with each of them about their different beliefs regarding freedom, reason and faith; all the while, the old man is planning his escape from the Spanish island of Fuerteventura. Though the play is based on historical events, the subtext is heavily rooted in today’s society. The play is in Spanish with English subtitles. Various dates and times. Tickets $48.
The second annual Architecture & Design Film Festival returns to the National Building Museum. ADFF DC is the nation’s largest film festival devoted to architecture and design and will feature two festival lounges showing films from the 2018 AIA Film Challenge.
The festival will run from Thursday, February 21, 2019 through Sunday, February 24, 2019 and Frank Gehry’s Building Justice will be making its DC premiere. The film explores and challenges design and its connection to issues of social justice, diversity, technology, and equity, through the life and work of practitioners.
The National Building Museum will host screenings in three separate theaters, including one in the Museum’s iconic Great Hall. A detailed press release can be found here with listings of the various films being presented.
Full schedules and ticketing information is forthcoming and will be detailed at go.nbm.org/ADFF. Feature film highlights of ADFF D.C. include:
Frank Gehry: Building Justice
Director: Ultan Guilfoyle
2018 / 70 min / USA
Frank Gehry: Building Justice follows architect Frank Gehry’s investigation into prison design in the United States. Gehry, at the invitation of George Soros and his Open Society Foundation, forms two “master studios” of the top architecture students in the country, from SCI-Arc in Los Angeles and the Yale School of Architecture. In collaboration with Susan Burton of the New Way of Life Reentry Project in Compton, California, Gehry and his students explore all aspects of prison design, witnessing how design flaws negatively affect those incarcerated.
Directors: Basia and Leonard Myszynski
2018 / 59 min / USA
This is the story of Leslie Robertson, the lead structural engineer of the World Trade Center. Robertson oversaw the construction of the tallest building on the planet—and is haunted by its collapse and the events of September 11, 2001.
Driven by Robertson’s pacifism and activism, as well as a powerful collaboration with engineer SawTeen See, LEANING OUTshowcases the innovation of the Twin Towers and takes a deeper look into the buildings that symbolize so much.
Renzo Piano: The Architect of Light
Director: Carlos Saura
2018 / 65 min / Spain
Celebrated Spanish director Carlos Saura captures the genius of one of the most famous Italian architects in the world: Renzo Piano, whose designs include the Center Pompidou in Paris, Francem the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Italy and The New York Times Building in New York City, New York. Saura follows Piano during the design of the Botín Center in Santander, Spain, examining his creative process.
Director: Premjit Ramachandran
2009 / 74 min / India
In a career spanning almost 70 years, the work of architect Balkrishna Doshi, who received the Pritzker Prize in 2018, has mirrored the evolution of contemporary Indian architecture. Doshi’s first job under the French architect Le Corbusier (who designed the Indian city Chandigarh) had a profound impact on him but he has often sought to interpret Corbusier’s modernism through local conditions of site, climate, and available technology.
Barbara Stauffacher Solomon: Visions Not Previously Seen
Director: Christian Bruno, Kurt Keppeler, and Natalija Vekic
2018 / 15 min / USA
Sony Home Theater
This short documentary portrait highlights Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, a groundbreaking designer who fused Swiss modernism with an iconic and bold California pop aesthetic to create the design phenomena known as Supergraphics.
Described as a brutal and elegant exploration of the unifying virtue of art, Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity is the story of three women trapped in a museum during an unending war. The women, an art restorer, her nurse and their military captor discover their shared humanity as they work to restore a damaged Rembrandt. The play gets its title from UNESCO’s efforts to protect our intangible cultural heritage and asks what still unites us as people when things are at their darkest.
Performance times vary.
Blood at the Root is the story of what happens when a black student chooses to occupy a primarily white space in her high school, inspiring hate, violence and chaos among her classmates. The play was inspired by the Jena Six case in Louisiana, and it examines the links between bias, justice and identity, asking audiences to consider what is lost when implicit biases shape our view of- and adherence to- justice. Written by Dominique Morisseau, the play is described as moving, lyrical and bold.
Performance times vary.
What does it look like when a man with no scruples stops at nothing to gain power? If you’re unsure, Richard of Gloucester will gladly demonstrate with bottomless ambition and ruthless cunning: the crown, at all costs. As he climbs ever higher, Richard bends the world to his will until even his mother can’t bear to own him.
Shakespeare’s mesmerizing chronicle of the megalomaniac’s rampage to the throne remains an irresistible study of villainy and of our alarming addiction to its exploits. Featuring a cast of D.C. favorites and led by Matthew Rauch (Cinemax’s Banshee, Broadway’s Junk, The Merchant of Venice), director David Muse returns to STC after his hit production of King Charles III, rendered “more incisively than…in its Broadway incarnation” (The Washington Post).
Join Shakespeare Theatre Company for Young Prose Night on Wednesday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, March 1 at 8 p.m. Your $25 ticket includes the live performance of Richard The Third, and a special post-show reception including a free drink from STC’s wine sponsor or Funky Buddha and Ballast Point from Constellation Brands. Tickets: http://www.shakespearetheatre.org/tickets-and-events/special-offers/under-35/#ypn
The latest offering from award-winning playwright Aaron Posner, JQA is an imaginative and thought provoking story that imagines conversations between John Quincy Adams, who was known for his integrity, statesmanship and arrogance, and other American leaders including Frederick Douglass, Andrew Jackson and his own father John Adams. Described as provocative, haunting and hilarious, JQA received an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
Performance times vary.
Commissioned by Folger Theatre in association with Before ‘Farm to Table’: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures, Third Rail Projects’ newest immersive experience, Confection, is a rollicking rumination on opulence, inequity, and teeny-tiny desserts. Using accounts of the extravagant banquets and sumptuous feasts held by the aristocracy of the late 17th-century as a springboard, Confection is a multi-sensory dance/theater performance that contemplates cultures of consumption and poses the questions: How much does sweetness cost, and what are we willing to devour to satisfy our appetites?
Confection is performed without an intermission and is not recommended for audience members who are not comfortable standing, walking, or being alone. Because of the immersive nature of this piece, audiences may be standing for several minutes at a time over the course of the performance and may be required to navigate small spaces. Comfortable shoes are advised. Audience members might be separated from their group and should be 14 years of age or older.
Various times and dates