Theatre Week Kickoff Fest

Kickoff Fest Saturday Sept 23 Arena Stage Free
Event Date
Sep 23, 2023

Explore everything #DCTheatre has to offer at the 2023 Theatre Week Kickoff Fest. Mix and mingle with leaders from your favorite theatres, explore their upcoming seasons, sample their programming, and have great conversations about theatre in the DC-area. With interactive exhibits and happenings, performances, panel discussions, and more, you can immerse yourself in what’s happening on DC-area stages this season.

See the full schedule below.


Event Information

Event Date
Sep 23, 2023




Arena Stage
40+ Theatres

Immerse yourself in #DCTheatre! Try it, experience it, talk about it. You'll meet theatre-makers and theatre-lovers, explore what DC has to offer on and off stage, and feel the vibrancy of our community.

Food & Drink

anxo logo
ANXO Cider
ANXO Cider is a DC-based craft cidery inspired by centuries of American and European cider making culture.
Carmine's Italian Restaurant
Carmine’s, in the heart of DC’s Penn Quarter Theatre District, is known for its large family style platters of traditional Southern Italian cuisine.
crazy aunt helens
Crazy Aunt Helen's
Crazy Aunt Helen’s is a neighborhood restaurant serving American comfort food.
Q by Peter Chang
Q by Peter Chang
Modern, refined Szechuan cuisine revolutionizing America's taste in Chinese for over 16 years.
Just Ice Tea
Just Ice Tea
JusTea offers the first and only farmer-direct tea from Kenya.

Kickoff Fest Schedule

Theatre Festival
Join us on three floors of Arena Stage to meet, greet and learn about the offerings of more than 40 local theatres and organizations from DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Reconnect with your favorite theatres and discover new ones — with plenty of surprises along the way.

Make and display your own oragami masterpieces with 1st Stage
Make your own zombie t-shirt with Rorschach Theatre
View a model of Ford’s Theatre and learn about its storied history
Broadway at the National Theatre shares the DC venue’s rich 188-year history in partnership with the National Theatre Foundation
Chat with set and costume designers from Mosaic Theater with design boards on display
Explore DC Stories with Theater Alliance. Learn how artists adapt stories from our own backyard and try your hand at adapting one!
Learn more about the process of creating sets and visuals with Washington Stage Guild
Faction of Fools introduces you to the masks they use to create their art
Join Arts on The Horizon for a day of puppets and masks
Theater J has superheroes and cutouts waiting for you
And more!

Step Afrika! Workshop
Step into the world of rhythm and movement with our captivating step workshop, open to participants of all ages and skill levels! Join us for an immersive experience where you'll delve into the rich history of stepping and master its basic techniques. Whether you're a seasoned dancer or new to the art, our expert instructors from Step Afrika! will guide you through the intricacies of this rhythmic dance form. Uncover the cultural significance behind each stomp and clap as you embrace the unity and energy that stepping brings.
Panel Conversation
Discussion: The Future of American Theatre
Let’s explore big ideas. What is interrupting the status quo now and what are the shapes for the future? Join panelists Isaac Butler, Author of The Method: How The 20th Century Learned to Act (2022 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction winner), Maria Manuela Goyanes, first generation Latina theatre maker and artistic director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and Psalmayene 24, playwright, director, and actor, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Mosaic Theater, moderated by Greg Reiner, Theatre and Musical Director, National Endowment for the Arts.
Meet Fang from Imagination Stage
Imagination Stage invites you to meet Fang, the larger-than-life puppet dog from their recent production of NATE THE GREAT.
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown by Adventure Theater MTC
Adventure Theatre MTC gives you a taste of their fall show, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, directed by Kurt Boehm.
INSeries Opera That Speaks, Theater That Sings
Listen to two arias from IN Series Opera’s upcoming production of their new version of Handel/Euripides/Hughes Alceste: "Your Son Had Eyes" and "Gentle Slumber Born of Night.” Dawna Rae Warren, Soprano, and Timothy Nelson on keyboard.
Devising Workshop with Educational Theatre Company
Does all theater come from a script? Not necessarily! Educational Theatre Company will guide you through the process of devising a show from idea to performance.
Avant Bard's A Simple Herstory
Avant Bard Theatre brings the story of the first woman who ran for U.S. president, Victoria Woodhull, with a mashup of theater, podcast, and original songs. Avant Bard Producing Partner Sara Barker shares an award-winning podcast, A Simple Herstory, produced by NYC actor/creator Jocelyn Kuritsky. Sarah Fridrich joins with original music.
Panel Conversation
Discussion: How Choreography is Created: from Steps to Stage
Curious to learn and see how choreography is created? Join DC choreographer Kelly Crandall d’Amboise as she talks about the process for how choreography starts from ideas and steps to be performance ready. She will talk about her process for shows she has choreographed and then demonstrate with two local dancers how her ideas come to life. This session is being presented in collaboration with the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) and will be moderated by SDCF Director Dani Barlow.
Spooky Action Theater Sonnets for an Old Century
Spooky Action Theater shares an excerpt from "Sonnets for an Old Century," by Jose Rivera
Shakespeare! Everywhere!
The Shakespeare Festival is coming to town! Join STC, Folger Theatre, INSeries, Studio Theatre, Washington Ballet, and Washington National Opera as they surround you with ebullient snippets from the Bard.
How Do Actors Get Hired? Actors Center Workshop
How do actors get hired? What is it like in the audition room? Actors Center runs a yearly open call audition for area theatres. To help actors prepare for it, they offer workshops on how to create a great audition monologue. Find out how actors hone their material for the most important 90 seconds of the year.
Young Playwrights' Theater Monologue
Where and when do we create theatre? The answer is here and now! Join Young Playwrights’ Theater for a freshly created monologue based on input from you and other attendees.
Improv Workshop with WIT
Washington Improv Theater’s introductory Improv For All workshop is high-fun, low-stress that is designed to show you how to create spontaneous, off-the-cuff theater. Enthusiastic and friendly instructors will create a playful and trusting atmosphere with you. Improv is an amazing way to connect and have a reignited sense of play. Washington needs more of that So join in on the fun!
Signature Theatre Performs!
See a special preview of Signature Theatre's upcoming productions of Ragtime and Hair performed by a cast of Signature favorites!
Panel Conversation
Discussion: Women in Charge
Meet #dctheatre's three newest artistic directors — Hana S. Sharif (Arena Stage), Hayley Finn (Theater J), and Elizabeth Dinkova (Spooky Action Theater) — as they discuss their new roles, the importance of women's leadership in theatre, balancing their artistic work with institutional responsibilities, and why they're excited to join the DC-area theatre community. The discussion will be moderated by Lauren Halvorsen (freelance dramaturg and publisher of Nothing for the Group).
Fight Choreography Demonstration
Swords, swipes, and sucker punches: Fight Choreographers Mallory Shear and Christian Sullivan show you how it’s done!
Dody DiSanto: No Loss for Words
Dody teaches actor preparation of the body, the imagination and the art of collaboration. She trained in Paris with movement theater master Jacques Lecoq. This session will offer a sample of classical pantomime that is physical, expressive, interactive and fun!
Kickoff Fest Concert
DC-area theatre stars close out the Kickoff Fest with a concert that will knock your socks off. Join Helen Hayes recipient and just-back-from-Broadway star Felicia Curry, two-time Helen Hayes Award recipient Kari Ginsburg, Managing Director of Constellation Theatre Anderson Wells, US Navy Oboist Amelia Merriman, and Gay Men’s Chorus performer Zac Barger. Accompanied by illustrious area music director Marika Countouris.

Celebrate Theatre Week With us!

Theatre Week Sponsors

Thank you to our generous Theatre Week sponsors!

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