Audio Described Performances for Large Theaters in the Washington DC Metro Area

Arranged in Order Alphabetically by theater

 

Theater, Show Title, Describer and Program Notes

Start &End Date

1st and 2nd Desc. date

Time

Alden Theater – Mclean Community Players –

1-800-838-3006

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CAROUSEL

In a Maine coastal village toward the end of the 19th century, the swaggering, carefree carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, captivates and marries the naive millworker, Julie Jordan. Billy loses his job just as he learns that Julie is pregnant and, desperately intent upon providing a decent life for his family, he is coerced into being an accomplice to a robbery. Caught in the act and facing the certainty of prison, he takes his own life and is sent 'up there.' Billy is allowed to return to earth for one day fifteen years later, and he encounters the daughter he never knew. She is a lonely, friendless teenager, her father's reputation as a thief and bully having haunted her throughout her young life. How Billy instills in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to the power of love.
Program Notes: 

Describer: 

Fri 7/10/20

Sun. 7/26/20

Sun 7/19/20

2:00 pm

Arena Stage Fichandler at the Mead Center - 202-488-3300

MOTHER ROAD

As the hardworking and terminally ill William Joad sets out on an epic journey to pass down his family farm, he is humiliated to find that the only surviving descendant of his family is a Mexican-American named Martín Jodes, an ex-migrant worker. Inspired by John Steinbeck’s classic, The Grapes of Wrath, the two men take a ride through the Mother Road, traveling from California back to Oklahoma, all while forging an unlikely bond and coming to terms with their brutal past. This powerful new play, written by playwright Octavio Solis (El Paso Blue, Quixote), examines the crossroads of family, immigration and the American dream.

Program Notes:  Dennis McCoy

Describer:  Sylvia Rosenthal

Fri 2/7

Sun 3/8

Sat 2/22

2:00pm

Arena Stage Fichandler at the Mead Center - 202-488-3300

August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS

The 1940s Pittsburgh is the backdrop for August Wilson’s fifth cycle play and the second production in the August Wilson Festival. Seven lives are interconnected when old friend and blues singer Floyd Barton vows to turn his life around after a surprise windfall leaves him hopeful for a second chance. Infused with deep and soaring blues rhythms, this “rich and exceptionally vivid” (Variety) play pits the desire for a better future against the harsh realities ultimately leading to heartbreaking and inescapable circumstances

Program Notes:  Rita Tehan

Describer:  Sylvia Rosenthal

Fri 4/3

Sun 5/3

Sat 5/2

2:00pm

Arena Stage Kogod Cradle - 202-488-3300

CELIA AND FIDEL

Can one woman change the mind of a man and the fate of a nation? Fidel Castro’s most trusted confidant and political partner, Celia Sánchez, is never far from his side as he grapples with how to move his country forward. It’s 1980 and a failing economy has led 10,000 Cuban citizens to seek asylum at the Peruvian Embassy in Cuba. Castro must decide what kind of a leader he wants to be: merciful or mighty. Imbued with magical realism, Arena Stage’s seventh Power Play imagines a conversation between Cuba’s most influential female revolutionary and its most notorious political leader in a contest between morality and power.

Program Notes:  Sylvia Rosenthal

Describer:  Larry Heflin

Fri 2/28

Sun 4/12

Sat 4/11

2:00pm

Arena Stage Kreeger at the Mead Center - 202-488-3300

A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS

Arena Stage Kreeger at the Mead Center - 202-488-3300

Adapted from the New York Times bestselling novel by Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner), the lives of two Afghan women are inextricably bound together. In the war-ravaged Kabul, Miriam and Laila become unlikely allies in the face of the insurmountable odds of a brutal and oppressive way of life. Hopes of a new life lead to an unselfish and shocking decision, changing the course of their futures forever. Called “emotionally stirring” (Los Angeles Times), this gripping and heart-rending fight for survival will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Program Notes:  Rita Tehan

Describer:  Patti Wong

Fri 1/17

Sun 3/1

Sat 2/1

2:00pm

Arena Stage Kreeger at the Mead Center - 202-488-3300

TONI STONE

Arena Stage Kreeger at the Mead Center - 202-488-3300

Considered a pioneer, Toni Stone is the first woman to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, also making her the first woman to play professionally in a men’s league in the 1950s. Against all odds, Stone blazes a path in the male-dominated sports world, shattering expectations and creating her own set of rules. Based on Martha Ackmann’s book Curveball, The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, the latest work from award-winning playwright Lydia R. Diamond (Smart People, The Bluest Eye) tells the dynamic and uplifting story of Stone’s journey of perseverance and resilience just to do what she loved the most — play baseball.

Program Notes:  Sylvia Rosenthal

Describer: 

Sun 4/23

Sun 5/31

Sat 5/30

2:00pm

Ford’s Theatre:  202-347-4833

SILENT SKY

A decade before women gained the right to vote, Henrietta Leavitt and her fellow women “computers” transformed the science of astronomy. In the Harvard Observatory, Leavitt found 2,400 new variable stars and made important discoveries about their fluctuating brightness, enabling fellow scientists to map the Milky Way and beyond. This inspiring drama explores the determination, passion and sacrifice of the women who redefined our understanding of the cosmos. Director Seema Sueko (Arena Stage’s The Heiress) makes her Ford's Theatre debut with this compelling story dubbed “sheer magic” by The San Francisco Chronicle.

Program Notes:  Karen Payne

Describer:  Marianne Metz

Fri 1/24

Sun 2/23

Tues 2/4

Sat 2/15

7:30pm

2:00pm

Ford’s Theatre:  202-347-4833

Guys and Dolls

In this beloved 1950s musical comedy, dice-slinging gamblers, pious missionaries and glamorous show girls come together for a light-hearted romp through New York. It’s a high stakes game of love as brash but charming Nathan Detroit bets Sky Masterson $1,000 to woo missionary Sarah Brown. Meanwhile, cabaret singer Adelaide tries to convince Nathan, her fiancé of 14 years, to finally tie the knot.

Program Notes:  Bob Coley & Janet Carsetti

Describer:  Bob Coley & Janet Carsetti

Fri 3/13

Wed 5/20

Tues 3/31

Sat 5/9

7:30pm

2:00pm

Hexagon - Woodrow Wilson High School Theater, 3950 Chesapeake Street NW, Washington, DC 20016 (Between Nebraska Avenue and 40th Street) 202-333-7469

www.hexagon.org

Nothing at this time

 

 

 

National Theater:  1-800-514-3849

 

THE KING’S SPEECH

THE KING’S SPEECH is based on the true story of King George VI’s struggle with a speech impediment and the friendship he formed with his unconventional speech therapist, Lionel Logue. With the Nazi threat looming and civil unrest at home, royal secrets explode around the King as he’s thrust onto the world stage. David Seidler’s original play – which inspired the 2010 Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush – will make its long-awaited U.S. debut in a production The Mail proclaims “A right royal treat.”

Program Notes:  Patti Wong

Describer: 

Tues 2/11

Sun 2/16

Sun 2/16

2:00pm

National Theater:  1-800-514-3849

 

BANDSTAND

From three-time Tony® winner and Hamilton choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler, comes a poignant and inspiring new American musical that explodes with infectious music and high-octane, heart-stopping dancing.

It’s 1945. As America’s soldiers come home to ticker-tape parades and overjoyed families, Private First Class Donny Novitski, singer and songwriter, struggles to rebuild the life he left behind. When NBC announces a national competition to find the nation’s next great musical superstars, Donny sees a lifeline for himself and some fellow veterans that gives them the purpose they so desperately need. Together, they form a band unlike any the nation has ever seen. Along the way, they discover the power of music to face the impossible, find their voice, and finally feel like they have a place to call home.

BANDSTAND is “both a peppy celebration of can-do spirit and a more somber exploration of what American servicemen experienced when they marched home from World War II. It’s a great argument for why theater can sometimes tell a story more boldly and more viscerally” (The New York Times).

Program Notes: 

Describer:  Fran Bowie

Tues 3/3

Sun 3/8

Sun 3/8

2:00pm

National Theater:  1-800-514-3849

 

ROALD DAHL’S CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

April 7 - 26, 2020

Roald Dahl’s amazing tale is now D.C.’s golden ticket! It’s the perfect recipe for a delectable treat: songs from the original film, including “Pure Imagination,” “The Candy Man,” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from the songwriters of Hairspray. Willy Wonka is opening his marvelous and mysterious chocolate factory… to a lucky few. That includes Charlie Bucket, whose bland life is about to burst with color and confection beyond his wildest dreams. He and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a mesmerizing joyride through a world of pure imagination. Now’s your chance to experience the wonders of Wonka like never before – get ready for Oompa-Loompas, incredible inventions, the great glass elevator, and more, more, more at this everlasting showstopper!

Program Notes:

Describer: David Berkenbilt

Tues 4/7

Sun 4/12

Sun 4/12

2:00pm

National Theater:  1-800-514-3849

 

SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL

She was a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But what the world didn’t know was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through barriers, becoming the icon of an era and the inspiration for every music diva who followed.  With a score featuring more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff,” this electric experience is a moving tribute to the voice of a generation.

Program Notes:  John Weber

Describer:  Fran Bowie

Wed 7/22

Sun 8/2/20

Sun 8/2

2:00pm

Olney Theatre Center – Historic Stage 301 924 3400

Nothing at this time

 

 

 

Olney Theatre Center – Mainstage 301-924-3400

 

MISS YOU LIKE HELL

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning co-creator of In the Heights comes a new musical as big as America and as intimate as love between a mother and her daughter. Beatriz arrives in Philadelphia to convince her estranged 16 year-old daughter Olivia to join her on a road trip to California. Along the way, they encounter a mosaic of characters as diverse and weird as America itself, but the hard truth of Beatriz’s undocumented status and pending deportation to Mexico threatens to build a wall between them. With sharp comedy and a winning acoustic score by folk-rock star Erin McKeown, Miss You Like Hell is an American story for our time.

Program Notes:

Describer:  Karen Payne

Wed 1/29

Sun 3/1

Wed.2/12/20

 

8:00 pm

Olney Theatre Center – Mainstage 301-924-3400

 

THE HUMANS

By turns hilarious and haunting, the Tony-winning play The Humans tells the story of the Blakes, a middle-class American family celebrating a most unusual Thanksgiving. This year, they gather in New York City at youngest daughter Brigid’s Chinatown apartment - a basement duplex that would feel like a bargain if not for the lack of sunlight and the sudden, unexplained, loud noises coming from upstairs. Normally they celebrate in Scranton, but the break with tradition is just one of many disruptions with which they’re forced to contend. Stephen Karam’s brilliant play delivers both the warm comfort of family and a thoroughly modern anxiety about what’s on the other side of the wall.

Program Notes:  Bob Coley & Janet Carsetti

Describer:  Pattie Wong

Wed 4/1

Sun 5/3

Wed. 4/15

 

8:00 pm

Olney Theatre Center – Mainstage 301-924-3400

 

PIPPIN

We’ve got magic to do in the Summer of 2020! This classic musical about a young man in search of his purpose features some of music-theater’s best-loved songs and most theatrical moments. From the battlefield to the bedroom, from intrigues political to intrigues romantical, Pippin just can’t figure out how to be extraordinary. Director Eleanor Holdridge (I And You, The Crucible) gives OTC a production of the canon's most beloved coming-of-age musical.

Program Notes:  Bob Coley & Janet Carsetti

Describer:  Bob Coley & Janet Carsetti

 

Wed 6/10/20

Sun 7/19/20

Wed. 6/24

 

8:00 pm

Olney Theatre Center – Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab

301-924-3400

 

THE AMATEURS

It’s the 14th Century, the Black Death is ravaging Europe, and a traveling troupe of actors is performing the story of Noah. Everything is going about as well as can be expected until the actress playing Noah’s Wife stops to ask why her character would get on the boat with all those smelly animals. And by the way, doesn’t she deserve a name other than “Noah’s Wife”? Jordan Harrison, the theatrical mastermind behind Marjorie Prime, takes us on another mind-bending journey from the 14th Century to the present day, as he creates a meta-theatrical hall of mirrors about storytelling, illness and loss, as well as a love letter to the stories that help us persevere.

Program Notes:  John Weber

Describer:  Bob Coley & Janet Carsetti

Wed 3/4

Sun 4/5

Wed 3/18

 

7:45 pm

Round House Bethesda: 240 644 1100

 

Spring Awakening

Book & Lyrics by Steven Sater                         

Music by Duncan Sheik
Based on the play by Frank Wedekind
Directed by Alan Paul

“Exhilarating … a fresh breeze of true inspiration.” – The New York Times

For a repressed group of teenagers, the road to adulthood is fraught with suffocating confusion in Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s Tony-winning adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s prescient 19th-century drama. As the adults in their lives exert control but withhold guidance, Melchior, Wendla, Moritz, Ilse, and their friends navigate blindly through the enigma of their burgeoning sexuality. Both haunting and high-octane, the score bristles with anthems to adolescence like “Mama Who Bore Me” and “The Bitch of Living,” and is infused with a blend of folk, pop, and rock that gives this tale unexpected soul. With generational gaps growing wider than ever, the angst and defiance at the heart of this boundary-pushing musical act as a bridge between our deeply personal yet wholly universal experiences.

Program Notes: 

Describer:  Phyllis Greer

Wed 1/22

Mon 2/24

Sat 2/1

2:00pm

Round House Bethesda: 240 644 1100

 

Cost of Living

By Martyna Majok
Directed by Ryan Rilette

 “Immensely haunting … [with] tremendous emotion.” – The New York Times

After thrilling Round House audiences with the premiere of her Helen Hayes Award-winning Ironbound in 2015, Martyna Majok returns with another prize in tow—the Pulitzer! Two parallel narratives intersect as a wealthy graduate student with cerebral palsy and his newest caretaker build an uneasy trust, while a truck driver struggles to reconnect with his estranged wife, recently left paralyzed by a car crash. Though each is wounded, the four continue to fight for the tantalizing possibility of human connection, even in the face of physical, mental, and emotional defeat. Both humorous and heartbreaking, Cost of Living illustrates the redemptive possibilities of reaching out to others despite the sometimes-devastating costs. 

Program Notes:  John Weber

Describer:  Rita Tehan

Wed 4/1

Sun 4/19

Sat 4/11

2:00pm

Round House Bethesda: 240 644 1100

 

Big Love

By Charles Mee
Directed by Meredith McDonough

 “Comedic, gymnastic, musical, sensual, shocking and redemptive.” – The New York Times

Based on one of the world’s oldest known Greek dramas, our first play in the LOVE/HATE REP truly is a tale as old as time. Fifty Greek maidens flee across the sea to Italy and claim refugee status to escape fifty arranged marriages; fifty Grecian men follow in pursuit. In spectacular, theatrical fashion, it all comes to a head at a wedding ceremony that would make even the drunkest uncle run for the seven hills. Full of music and mirth, Charles Mee’s famed adaptation pits independence against expectation, and frames the seemingly never-ending battle of the sexes as both a wild romp and an all-out war. Content Advisory: This production contains nudity.

Program Notes:  John Weber

Describer:  Rita Tehan

Wed 5/20

Sun 6/21

Sat 5/30

2:00pm

Round House Bethesda: 240 644 1100

 

HateF*ck

By Rehana Lew Mirza
Directed by Nicole A. Watson

 “Smart [and] sexy … Mirza is a sharp writer and a savvy thinker.” – The New York Times

Layla and Imran are both Muslim-American… and that’s pretty much where the similarities end. The two authors—one a literature professor, the other a novelist—have wildly differing opinions on everything, from faith and politics, to relationships and cultural clichés. After some fiery verbal sparring they manage to find common ground in the bedroom; but are these lovers coupling because of their mutual loathing, or in spite of it? Rehana Lew Mirza’s highly anticipated Off-Broadway debut finishes off our LOVE/HATE REP with smoldering sexual tension as it tests the limits of just how far we’re willing to go to keep the fire burning.

Program Notes: Rita Tehan

Describer:

Wed 6/10

Fri 7/3

Sat 6/20

2:00pm

Roundhouse Silver Spring:  240 644 1100

Nothing at this time

 

 

 

Shakespeare Lansburgh Theatre:  202 547 1122

Timon of Athens

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Simon Godwin
Co-Production with Theatre for a New Audience

Artistic Director Simon Godwin makes his directorial debut at Shakespeare Theatre Company with a restaging of his recent, acclaimed production of Timon of Athens, featuring Olivier Award-winner Kathryn Hunter in an “astonishing performance” (The Guardian). Timon lives in a golden world of opulence and generosity throwing wild parties attended by politicians, artists and the celebrities of Athens. When she loses her wealth and her friends abandon her, Timon takes to the forest, exchanging her luxurious gowns for sackcloth and plotting revenge against the city she loves. Godwin’s daring take on this rarely-produced play yields “a parable for our times … and perhaps a nifty touchstone for spiritual renewal.” (Daily Telegraph)

Program Notes:  Patti Wong

Describer:  Dennis McCoy

Thur 2/20

Sun 3/22

Saturday 3/14

2:00pm

Shakespeare Lansburgh Theatre:  202 547 1122

Romantics Anonymous

Book by Emma Rice
Lyrics by Christopher Dimond
Music by Michael Kooman
Based on the film Les Émotifs Anonymes
Written by Jean-Pierre Améris and Philippe Blasband
Directed by Emma Rice

A recipe for sweet romance: Whisk together two painfully timid chocolatiers with a dollop of social anxiety and a dash of whimsy in a Parisian setting. The result is a musical comedy that is utterly delectable. Conceived by the brilliant mind of theatrical provocateurEmma Rice (Brief Encounter) and sprinkled with the passionate songs of Kooman and Dimond, this gorgeous musical hailed as “a multifaceted gem, chock-full of love, generosity and joy” (The Guardian) is an effortless confection that will melt your heart.

Program Notes: Patti Wong

Describer:  Marianne Metz

Tues 4/7

Sun 5/17

Saturday 5/2

2:00pm

Shakespeare:  Sidney Harman Hall :  202-547-1122

The Amen Corner

By James Baldwin
Directed by Whitney White

In a 1950s storefront church in Harlem, Pastor Margaret Alexander rails at her congregation and her teenaged son for their vices. With a gospel choir singing of redemption in one room and her son bonding with his ailing father over their love of jazz in the next, Margaret must face the music herself when a figure from her own troubled past returns. James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner tackles the role of the church in the African American community in this landmark work, written immediately after his breakthrough novel Go Tell It on the Mountain. Whitney White, winner of the Susan Stroman Director Award, makes her Washington, D.C. directorial debut in this powerful production rich with music, humanity and Baldwin’s lyrical prose.

Program Notes:  Karen Payne

Describer:  Rita Tehan

Tues 2/11

Sun 3/15

Saturday 3/7

2:00pm

Shakespeare:  Sidney Harman Hall :  202-547-1122

Much Ado About Nothing

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Simon Godwin

The course of true love never did run smooth. Shakespeare’s quintessential romantic comedy finds soldiers returning home and trading their military uniforms for wedding bands, their pistols for love letters. With the kingdom at peace there’s now time for the “merry war” between Beatrice and Benedick to rage once more. But to bring the witty ex-lovers together will require outrageous rumors, a disrupted wedding, a faked death, the supreme incompetence of the local law enforcement and the outright double-dealing of their dearest friends. Helmed by Simon Godwin, who “combines a contemporary eye with a fastidious ear for Shakespeare’s language” (The Guardian), Much Ado is a sparkling screwball comedy and a deep affirmation of love.

Program Notes & Describer:  Bob Coley & Janet Carsetti

Tues 5/5

Sun 6/14

Saturday 5/30

2:00pm

Studio Theatre: 202-332-3300

Pipeline

Nya is a single mom and dedicated teacher at a high-poverty city school, determined to give her teenaged son Omari opportunities that her students will never have. When an altercation with a teacher at his private school threatens Omari’s future, Nya has to fight a system that’s against him in any environment. A searing, eloquent, and deeply compassionate look at a broken education system, the moments we are pushed to our limits, and the ferocity of one parent’s love. 

Program Notes: Sylvia Rosenthal

Describer:  Rita Tehan

Wed 1/15

Sun 2/16

Sun 2/16

2:00pm

Studio Theatre: 202-332-3300

Pass Over

Kitch and Moses seem stuck on their street corner, but it don’t matter. They joke, dream, and throw down about the promised land they’re heading to just as soon as they get up off the block—what they’ll eat, who they’ll see, whether today’s the day they’ll pass over. Allegorical and immediate, humorous and chilling, Nwandu’s collision of the Exodus saga and Waiting for Godot probes the forces that have marooned these young Black men, and the power and limitations of their personal resilience. 

Program Notes:

Describer:  Rita Tehan

Wed 3/4

Sun 4/5

Sun 4/5

2:00pm

Studio Theatre: 202-332-3300

Fun Home

Alison is 9, begging her father to play with her. She is 19, overcome by the aching and joyous pain of first love. She is 43, an out lesbian hunting for the truth of her brilliant, volatile, and closeted father’s life and death. She is all three at once, trying to untangle the central mystery of her childhood: How did she survive their shared hometown, when her father could not? With a score that ranges from exuberant 70s pop to aching melodies and dissonant harmonies of characters longing to be known, Fun Home is the Tony Award-winning story of a daughter and father, of coming out and coming to terms with a life shaped by a family’s secrets. 

Program Notes: 

Describer: 

Wed 5/13

Sun 6/14

Sun 6/14

2:00pm

The Washington Revels

GW Lisner Auditorium
730 21st Street NW
Washington, DC 20052

Nothing at this time