The Washington-area theater scene offers intriguing and ground-breaking works from some of the industry’s edgiest and most thought-provoking directors. This spring season is no different. From issues of Civil Rights to the most basic of human frailties, these directors help bring the playwright’s words to life with a viewpoint and flair all their own. They tell the story in a way that it has never been told before. Here are three impressive directors who are putting on some outstanding plays this spring.
1101 6th St. SW.
Washington, DC 20024
Next Production: “The Mountaintop”
Robert O’Hara is the 2010 Helen Hayes Award-winning director of Antebellum which premiered at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in 2009. Now O’Hara returns to the DC-area theater scene with his latest directorial offering — “The Mountaintop,” a creative reimagining of the last night of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Written by Arena Stage resident playwright Katori Hall, the play finds Dr. King resting in his room at the infamous Lorraine Motel, after an important speech, when an encounter with a housekeeper tests the boundaries of King’s humanity and causes him to face the fate of the nation. The play attempts to portray a very personal side of Dr. King and not only his Civil Rights activism. The great orator, preacher, husband and father is stripped down to the bare humanity that resides within us all.
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Elden Street Players
269 Sunset Park Drive
Herndon, VA 20170
Next Production: “The Seafarer”
Penned by playwright Conor McPherson, this Tony-nominated and Olivier Award-winning stage play was a 2006 Broadway hit. When the dark comedy’s main character Sharky comes home to Dublin for the holidays to care for his blind, aging brother, a high-stakes card game with friends ensues and ultimately forces the men to examine their lives — it may even jeopardize Sharky’s very existence. The play’s director, Angie Anderson, enjoyed her artistic directorial debut at Elden Street Players in 2012. She is also a former President of the Board of Directors of the Vienna Theatre Company (VTC). While at VTC, Anderson was responsible for the direction of such hits as “Wait Until Dark,” “Rumors” and “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday.”
700 N. Calvert St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Next Production: “Beneatha’s Place”
Directed by Derrick Sanders, whose most recent credits include August Wilson’s 20th Century Cycle (Kennedy Center) and “Joe Turner’s Come And Gone” (Centerstage), this stage play continues the conversation initiated by the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play “Clybourne Park” (also directed by Sanders) — which itself is a continuation of Lorraine Hansberry’s iconic play “A Raisin in the Sun.” This world premiere is the conclusion of what has become known as “The Raisin Cycle.” Hansberry’s play finds new life in the sagas of The Raisin Cycle and the two plays directed by Sanders are like offspring of the memorable original.