4615 THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES 2019/20 SEASON
VENUE-HOPPING THIRD SEASON FEATURES A DC PREMIERE AND TWO WORLD PREMIERES, INCLUDING A CITY-WIDE IMMERSIVE EVENT
Silver Spring, MD - 4615 Theatre is proud to announce a sprawling, form-breaking new season of theatre, designed to thrill and challenge artists and audiences alike. The rapidly emerging company has garnered a reputation for its innovative, visceral and often spectacular use of performance space, as well as its diverse, centuries-spanning choice of material, united by thematic connections and an exploration of storytelling structures. The company will unmoor itself from a single space, taking each production to a venue specifically chosen for the show’s world.
“Last season, we defined our voice and make our mark as a company.” said Founding Artistic Director Jordan Friend. “After finding a strong footing, the last thing we wanted to do was sit still. This year, we are pushing our vision in wild new directions, to the outer limits of what a new theatre is capable of.” On the decision to choose venues especially for individual shows, Friend said, “We are actually returning to our roots in a way. Before we were producing full time, back in our ‘incubation phase’, we always chose spaces to fit the script. Back then, that meant basements, yards and classrooms, so the thrill is in coming back to that creative spirit, now with the means to do it on an exponentially larger scale”.
Dubbed Modern Myths, 4615’s third season includes two world premieres, a DC Premiere, and a modern classic; the most new work the company has ever produced. All four plays explore the act of mythologizing; how we tell and re-tell our own stories, and choose what we remember. The season begins in the Art Deco-style theatre at the Dance Loft on 14, with the Summer Scandal Repertory; a pair of wildly different plays that explore mistruth, illusion and memory on a public and private level. The cast includes an all-star roster of local talent, including Amanda Forstrom, Matt Dewberry, Caroline Dubberly, Andrew Scott Zimmer, Jared Graham, Nick Torres, Joshua Simon, Jon Jon Johnson, Sue Struve, Erik Harrison, Rachel Manteuffel, Ezra Tozian, Danielle Gallo, Michael Crowley, Charlie Cook and Olivia Haller.
On the public end of the repertory is the DC area premiere of English playwright Lucy Prebble’s ENRON, a wild circus of a play which employs a mix of absurd fantasy and biting humanity to tell the story of America’s most notorious company. After a wildly successful, award-winning London run in 2007, the play opened on Broadway in 2008 only to close in a matter of weeks. “This is an extraordinary piece of theatre that hit American audiences just in time for the housing collapse” said Friend, who is directing the production. “A decade later, I think DC audiences will be ready to both laugh and gasp in horror at what now feels like a creation myth for modern greed. It also doesn’t hurt that the play involves actual velociraptors.”
Rounding out the summer rep on a more private scale is Harold Pinter’s legendary Betrayal, a tale of infidelity told moving from end to beginning, and the company’s classic piece for the season. Acclaimed director Stevie Zimmerman (Dinner, Venus in Fur) returns to direct her fourth show at 4615, now as the company’s newly minted Resident Director. “Betrayal is a play I’ve wanted to directed for 25 years” said the London-born Zimmerman, who expressed particular excitement to dig into a seemingly simple story with “in a very English way, a lot going on under the surface”. For a theatre devoted to exploring story structure, the play’s reverse chronology and unreliable narrative make it a perfect companion to the comparatively linear Enron.
Following the summer rep is the company’s first of two world premieres this season, with adaptor/director Gregory Keng Strasser’s The Infinite Tales,a modern fantasy compiled from numerous Irish myths, and brought to life with ensemble storytelling, puppetry, and a live original score. Strasser, who also serves as 4615’s Producing Director, is a Chinese-Irish American director and adaptor/translator, currently splitting time between DC and Bangkok, Thailand. He now brings his passion for ancient poetry and oral tradition to 4615, after recently adapting and directing the first ever performance of Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey,at Michigan’s Brighton Center for the Performing Arts. Strasser’s new work is a project years in the making; one that pulls upon ancient stories to examine modern diaspora, and the search for a place to call home.
Closing out the season is Renee Calarco’s Museum 2040, a world premiere event which pushes the limits of what constitutes a play. Set at a museum dedication ceremony two decades from now, Calarco’s piece is a feat of world-building political satire, designed for multiple venues. In addition to the primary “performance”, audiences throughout the DC area will encounter pop-up shows, exhibits at satellite venues, and an immersive multimedia world. “Producing the world premiere of Joe Calarco’s Separate Rooms was a creative peak for 4615, and we looked high and low for a new way to top ourselves” said Friend. “When I read Renee’s play, I thought ‘There is absolutely no way to pull this off, which is way we absolutely have to do it. We’re over the moon to work with another member of the absurdly talented Calarco family, on a piece that will break new ground for 4615”. Calarco, a founding member of the innovative Welders playwrights collective, said she entrusted the emerging company with the piece because “4615 really gets it. They’re bold and unafraid to go big-and this is big.”
NOTE: Members of the media who would like to attend any 4615 Theatre Company production, interview members of the company, or feature 4615 in your publication should contact Anne Donnelly at