Signature Theatre’s 2023-2024 season in Arlington, Virginia, will feature six musicals and one play, including a world premiere and three D.C.-area premieres.
The 34th season will launch August 8 in the MAX with Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman's 2014 Tony-nominated The Bridges of Madison County. Directed by Associate Artistic Director Ethan Heard, performances will continue through September 17. Based on the novel by Robert James Walker, the musical spotlights the love story between the married Francesca, an Italian woman who has long made Iowa her home, and a charismatic photographer named Robert. The upcoming production will also have music direction by Laura Bergquist and choreography by Kelly Crandall d’Amboise.
The season in the ARK Theatre will begin with the D.C. premiere of King of the Yees, the semi-autobiographical comedy from Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band, The Great Leap). Directed by Jennifer Chang, performances are scheduled for September 12-October 22. The play is sparked by the disappearance of Lauren's father and the quest she embarks upon to find him.
Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner will reimagine the Tony-nominated musical epic Ragtime this fall when the Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Terrence McNally musical plays the MAX October 24, 2023-January 7, 2024. The musical, based on the novel by E. L. Doctorow and first seen on Broadway in 1998, will feature music direction by Jon Kalbfleisch and choreography by Ashleigh King.
Signature's 61st world premiere will be the new musical Private Jones, written and directed by Marshall Pailet (Who’s Your Baghdaddy, Triassic Park). Inspired by a true story of a deaf Welsh sniper in World War I, the production, about young Gomer Jones who hides his hearing loss and enlists in the army, will be seen February 6-March 10 in the MAX. The creative team also includes director of Artistic Sign Language Alexandria Wailes and choreographer Misha Shields.
Up next in the ARK will be the D.C. premiere of the new musical Penelope, playing March 5–April 21. With music and lyrics by Alex Bechtel and a book by Bechtel, Grace McLean, and Eva Steinmetz, the musical spotlights Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, as she takes the microphone to chronicle those 20 years waiting in Ithaca. Steinmetz also directs.
Artistic Director Gardiner will also direct the groundbreaking '60s rock musical Hair, to be presented April 16–July 7 in the MAX. Gerome Ragni, James Rado, and Galt MacDermot's classic, about a group of long-haired bohemians on the cusp of adulthood who champion freedom, pacifism, and joy, will also have music direction by Mark G. Meadows and choreography by Rickey Tripp.
Where the Mountain Meets the Sea, a poignant musical of parallel journeys from Jeff Augustin and The Bengsons, will conclude the 2023-2024 season, playing May 21-July 7 in the ARK. Timothy Douglas will direct and Rob Morrison will music direct the production, about a son who recreates the cross-country trip his Haitian immigrant parents took before he was born.
Casting and additional creative team members will be announced at a later date for the six productions.
“Signature is proud to be a leading force in the American musical theatre, whether reimagining beloved classics or bringing new works to the stage,” says Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner. “Our 34th season demonstrates the depth and diversity of Signature’s storytelling, featuring ambitious genre-spanning musicals with robust orchestras, lush designs, and large casts, yet perfectly tailored for our intimate performance space. We’re also thrilled to feature new works by several important contemporary voices, including Jeff Augustin, Alex Bechtel, The Bengsons, Grace McLean, Eva Steinmetz, Marshall Pailet, and Lauren Yee. Whether reinventing a story you love or introducing you to something new, our goal is to bring our audiences an experience that is invigorating, meaningful, and unforgettable."
Signature's Cabaret Series will include Disco Fever (July 25–August 13, 2023), a celebration of the music of Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Diana Ross and more; How Sweet It Is: The Men of Soul (November 7–19), spotlighting the smooth style of Sam Cooke, Bill Withers, Otis Redding, and Marvin Gaye; Both Sides Now: Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen (December 5–17, 2023); and That’s What Friends Are For: Nova Y. Payton sings Burt Bacharach (January 16–February 4).
For additional details, including ticket information, click here.