Welcome to Season 9, a year of expansion. Washington Ensemble Theatre is growing in all directions and we are overjoyed to share our bounty with you. We have three new members joining our team and we are collaborating more than ever before with local arts organizations and cultural centers to provide invigorating artistic opportunities. The Ensemble also continues to extend our boundaries by presenting ever more imaginative works. Last year, we presented plays that dared you to confront ghosts, psychics, phone sex workers, shut ins, men who live in trash cans, hip hop Satanists, and…Mormons who transform into birds! Here in Season 9 the ante is upped; more wildly surprising and profoundly human stories promise to inspire you while keeping you on the precipice of your seat. You will be shocked and delighted to meet a talking bear, lollypop-licking detectives, axe wielding prostitutes, a robotic cookie tycoon, a nymphomaniac children’s clown, and a truly terrifying baby.
So, come with us as we travel from gritty Moscow to suburban sterility then to the back streets of Montreal and end up with a monster under your bed. Season 9 is a journey you won’t forget!
It’s summer in Moscow 2005. American Annie has returned to Mother Russia to lose her accent and make some business contacts, but her encounters with monstrous bears, axe wielding prostitutes, and an old terrifying witch might just cost Annie her life. In true folkloric fashion, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls reminds us all that a girl’s journey through life is laden with traps, especially in post-soviet Russia.
Nick and Colby are expecting a baby, but their adorable domestic dreams evaporate when she gives birth to a smudge instead. Part hysterical look at the perils of new parenthood, part post-partum horror story, Smudge is a pitch black comedy that explores how we love and value each other—even with warts, a lack of limbs, and delusional dream waltzes.
Brandy is the city’s most sought-after birthday party clown, and she’s never let her drinking, gambling, and bed-hopping interfere with her work—until now. Her teenage boyfriend won’t stop calling, her clients are getting needy…and the monster under her bed is growing restless. Weaving fantasy, clown, and puppetry with brutal reality, Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys asks…what is the price of growing up?
Two estranged sisters reconnect at a house in Ballard to rescue their Great Aunt from a premature death at the hands of her own compulsive hoarding. As they wade through a lifetime of accumulated possessions – and personal grudges – they must decide: What has value and what are they better off just throwing away? Ballard House Duet is the inaugural production of the Custom Made Play Project, which matches local playwrights with local actors to develop and produce new plays of regional significance. This intimate, absorbing world premiere by Stranger Genius Paul Mullin was developed with and for actresses Hana Lass and Rebecca Olson.
You’re a robot!? You are, aren’t you?! Jonah Von Spreecken and Co-Artistic Director Ali el-Gasseir have teamed up again to create another live weekend morning cartoon. Bring the whole family to the back streets of Montreal and follow the two French Canadian detectives on the hunt for robots! This hilarious noir comedy will have you wondering who’s who until you just have to sit back and pound a shot of ice-cold milk.
This project was supported, in part, by an award from 4Culture and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.
An elegant Old-Hollywood-style bash to raise our glasses to Season 9, to raise our budget for future shows, and to raise some hell with the members of the Ensemble!