Washington DC Shakespeare Theater breathes new life in the Bard's work and other classics. While things have changed a lot in the centuries since Shakespeare penned his plays, the poetic language and universal themes of love, loss, and power still ring true today. With a modern and accessible theater complex in the Penn Quarter neighborhood, the Shakespeare Theater Company in DC adds to the vibrant cultural scene.
The 2007/2008 season was a momentous season in the history of the Washington DC Shakespeare Theater. The debut of the Sindey Harman Hall added another stage and 775 more seats to the company's complex. Together with the already standing Lansburgh Theatre, the new addition created the Harman Center for the Arts. The new theater fills five stories of a DC skyscraper; this building is co-owned by the theater company and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. The architecture is quite spectacular here, and includes a glass facade that towers over the sidewalk, making the marquee truly one-of-a-kind. If you're walking by, you'll be afforded views of the people in the lobby and all the hustle and bustle before a show and during intermission.
The various Shakespeare classics and others plays are performed at both theaters of the Harman Center for the Arts. Over the course of the season, the company will stage a mix of Shakespeare, works by his contemporaries, and other productions that illustrate the influence of the great playwright. All of the works underscore the mission to create imaginative productions that honor the poetic language while viewed through the lens of the 21st century. Most of the works by the Shakespeare Theater Company in DC are suitable for family vacations, especially the weekend matinees.
Whether you're planning to see a show on Saturday afternoon or a Tuesday night, you'll see a mix of top talent and up-and-comers. The technical aspects of the show are superb. Besides the production, theater goers also can enjoy a light meal in the lobby. If you'd like to avoid the line at intermission, you can order your food ahead of time and have it waiting when the time comes. You'll also have the chance to do some shopping as you're enjoying the Shakespeare Theater Company in DC, as both theaters offer a gift shop. The shops are open before the show and during intersession, and the Harman Hall store keeps regular hours during the week.
Over the years, the Shakespeare Theater in DC has sponsored one of the most popular things to do in the summer, the Free For All. This beloved tradition makes Shakespeare accessible to everyone, as long as they're willing to make their way to Sidney Harman Hall. The theater on F Street is easy to access from the Metro station at Gallery Place and Chinatown. These performances of a select Shakespeare classic take place at the end of summer, usually the middle of August until Labor Day weekend. Tickets are required and only available the day of performance at the Harman Hall box office.
The Penn Quarter Neighborhood, where the Washington DC Shakespeare Theater is located, had grown into one of the most exciting cultural centers in America since the 1990s. Within a short walk of the theaters, you'll find restaurants serving up nearly any flavor you crave as well as upscale hotels and movie theaters. The Verizon Center hosts major sporting events and concerts at night, while the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian Museum of American Art attract visitors during the day.
Image: Daquella Manera (flickr)