Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Arena Stage Tickets Go on Sale Tomorrow

Over the past couple of months, excitement has been building over the reopening of Arena Stage, now known as Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Milestones have included the hiring of five playwrights; the announcement of José Andrés Catering with Ridgewells as the operators of the café; a new website; Arena staff moving to their new home; President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama named honorary chairs of the inaugural season and Opening Gala; Phylicia Rashad, Anna Deavere Smith and E. Faye Butler headlining productions this season; and the 30th Anniversary celebration two weeks ago. Now, individual tickets will go on sale tomorrow. Shows in the inaugural season include:
  • Oklahoma!
  • Every Tongue Confess
  • Let Me Down Easy
  • The Arabian Nights
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff
  • At Home at the Zoo
  • Ruined
  • A Time to Kill
The first performance of Oklahoma! will take place on October 20th, three days before the official Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony and Community Day Celebration on Saturday, October 23rd. The Community Day will last from 11:30am to 6pm and will involve the closing of 6th Street to vehicles. Activities include roving street performers, music and dance entertainment, and timed-ticketing to tour the facility and performance venues. Indoor activities will include theater workshops, craft activities for children, and Community Engagement program demonstrations. Food will be provided by the four official caterers of the facility and the event will be open to the general public.

On October 25th, a Grand Re-Opening Black-Tie Gala will feature cocktails, dinner and an exclusive one-night-only performance by Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell and emceed by ABC7/WJLA-TV lead anchor Leon Harris. Honorary Chairs President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as honorary co-chairs Mayor Fenty & Michelle Fenty will be in attendance. For any of you interested in getting information on tickets and table sponsorships for the Gala, contact April Irwin at 202-600-4022.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Demonstration Park Under Construction on the Southwest Waterfront

I'm back in DC and settled in, so now I can start blogging about all the stuff I missed for most of August. I tweeted about most of the big news while on vacation and will do blog posts about them over the next few days, but one of the stories I missed was the demonstration park the Hoffman-Marquette development team is building on the Southwest Waterfront, as reported in this month's Southwester. Construction began last week on the park, located at 7th and Water Street, which will replace the park currently on site, which consisted of a plaza, trees, and benches. Elements of the demonstration park, designed by Matthews Nielson, will include a grove, a "beach" area with compacted soil that looks and feels like sand, landscaping, attractive lighting, chaise lounges, tables, and a kiosk serving food and non-alcoholic drinks. Back in November, the idea about a temporary "beach" along the Southwest Waterfront first surfaced and now it's coming to fruition. It will only take three weeks to build the demonstration park, and should be open by September 10th, right around the same time another new park on the other side of South Capitol Street will have its grand opening. While the park is not permanent, it will give a taste of what's to come along the new Southwest Waterfront. (Above is a photo of the park taken on Wednesday.)