They won't have time to dim the house lights this season at the Source Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. In addition to four plays in the mainstage line-up, Artistic Director Joe Banno is inaugurating a five-play Source Liaisons Series, which will feature co-productions with three peripatetic theatre groups. Source Theatre also rents space to the Washington Stage Guild, which offers a five-play season.
According to Delia Taylor, Director of Business and Marketing, Banno's mission is to "make the theatre an arts center," which includes a lobby gallery, featuring work related to each show. Currently displayed is the photography of Claire Newman-Williams, whose mural-sized portraits of the cast serve as set design for the main stage season opener, Closer, by Patrick Marber. A hit on Broadway and on London's West End, this wickedly alluring tale of sexual brinkmanship opened Sept. 6 and runs through Oct. 8, Wed-Sat at 8:00 PM, and Sunday at 3 PM. Call (202) 462-1073 for ticket information for all Source Theatre productions. Source Theatre is located at 1835 14th Street, N.W., three blocks from the Green Line's U Street Metro Station.
Directed by Banno, Closer features Mikela Spielman (Alice), Lucy Newman-Williams (Anna), Dwight Tolar (Dan), and Michael Tolaydo (Larry).
First up in the Source Liaisons Series is the world premiere of The Last Time I Wore a Dress, by Source playwright Emily Solomon, based on the memoir of Daphne Scholinski, written by Scholinski with Jane Meredith Adams. Directed by Delia Taylor, the show runs Sept. 16-Oct. 10, Sun-Tues at 8:00 PM and Sat at 3:00 PM.
For twenty years, Source Theatre has sponsored an annual Washington Theatre Festival of New Plays. The Last Time I Wore a Dress played to sold-out houses last summer during its brief festival run, before being selected for the Liaisons Series. Solomon was honored with the H.D. Lewis new play award for her adaptation of Scholinski's 1997 autobiographical account of a teenage tomboy diagnosed with gender identity disorder and institutionalized for three years for being an "inappropriate female." Six paintings by Scholinski, now a San Francisco-based artist, hang in the lobby gallery During each performance, she completes two canvases on stage that illustrate the script, performed by six multi-cast actors.
The main stage season also features:
Chesapeake (Nov. 29, 2000-Jan. 7, 2001), a solo actor tour-de-force by Lee Blessing, directed by Banno. Just in time to cure those post election blues, Helen Hayes Award-winner Holly Twyford makes her Source debut as a radical performance artist who undergoes a metamorphosis into the beloved pet of a right-wing U.S. Senator. Mark Linn-Baker starred in an Off-Broadway mounting of the solo last season. Chesapeake plays in repertory with The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told by Paul Rudnick, directed by Jeff Keenan. Rudnick's irreverent retelling of Genesis was an off-Broadway hit, enjoying a successful run at the New York Theatre Workshop before a transfer to the Minetta Lane Theatre.
American Buffalo by David Mamet, directed by Banno. This revival features Rick Foucheux, who last season won the Helen Hayes Award for Lead Actor, Resident Production, for the title role in Source's production of Mamet's Edmond, also directed by Banno. April 11-May 13, 2001.
The Source Liaison Series continues with Hellcab by Will Kern, co produced by Cherry Red Productions, Washington's "impresarios of the irreverent." Directed by Artistic Director Ian Allen. With just three days until Christmas, a Chicago cab driver encounters a diverse bunch of characters in this funny and freaky look at the nature of love. November 30, 2000-January 6, 2001.
Gris Gris by Daniel DuPlantis, co-produced by African Continuum Theatre Company. The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau, must defend her title from those who threaten her dynasty. Directed by Artistic Director Jennifer Nelson, Jan. 23-Feb. 18, 2001.
Hughie by Eugene O'Neill, co-produced with the Washington Stage Guild, directed by Artistic Director John MacDonald. A revival of last season's acclaimed production, starring Rick Foucheux. This two-character drama concerns a wisecracking, self-styled "Broadway swell" (a character partially based on O'Neill's brother, Jamie), more alive in his stories and memories than in the real world. March 4-28, 2001.
Hot and Bothered, co-produced with Horizons Theatre Company, theater from a woman's perspective. This world-premiere revue showcases the lives of American sex symbols of the last century, as depicted in monologues commissioned from local playwrights. June 3-July 3, 2001.
-- by Barbara Gross
Special to Playbill On-Line by permission of the author