30 Times Stephen Sondheim Shows Played the Signature Theatre
“In 1991, we presented our first Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd in an 80 seat theater with a 16 person cast and 18 person orchestra. People still talk about the production to this day,” says artistic director Eric Schaeffer.
“Signature was one of the first theatres to present Assassins after its premiere at Playwright’s Horizons,” says Schaeffer. “We set it in an art gallery and used over 300 images projected throughout the show.”
“Company was the opening show in our new space—a converted auto bumper shop. I remember Marta made her entrance down a firepole from the ceiling and that there was a lot of polyester,” says Schaeffer.
“We converted the entire theatre into a forest for Into the Woods,” says Schaeffer. “We transformed the theatre into this environmental experience that was scary and beautiful.”
“Our production of Passion was such an intimate experience for the audience,” says Schaeffer. “We created an old Italian villa and let the audience become immersed in the story with the original full orchestration. It was a haunting experience.”
“We co-produced Sunday in the Park with George with Arena Stage to bring this amazing musical to Washington for its first professional production. It was magical when the white floor split apart to reveal the La Grande Jatte,” says Schaeffer.
“A Stephen Sondheim Evening was first a one night concert at the Shubert Theatre in 1973. We presented the same show in our intimate theatre as we reinvented some Sondheim classics and introduced lesser-known songs,” says Schaeffer.
“A Little Night Music featured a new orchestration by John Owen Edwards made up of three string quartets, with the orchestra featured on the environmental set of the classic show,” says Schaeffer.
“As part of our 10th anniversary we brought back our first big Sondheim hit Sweeney Todd that featured Norm Lewis along with Signature co-founder Donna Lilliard Migliaccio,” says Schaeffer.
“Baayork Lee directed Gypsy featuring Donna Migliaccio as Mamma Rose and frequent choreographer Karma Camp as Mazeppa playing the famous trumpet,” says Schaeffer.