Theatre & Conversation

Alliance for New Music-Theatre in partnership with The Woodrow Wilson House continues its year-long inaugural series of lively cultural evenings in the Dupont-Kalorama neighborhood. Each evening will feature a short drama, a work of music-theatre in development, or readings with songs, representing themes and writings that bring us into the world of Woodrow Wilson and his times.

Join us for these Wednesday evenings at The Woodrow Wilson House where the performances will be informal, up close and personal. Afterwards, share conversation on how the works resonate with historical themes and events that occurred when Woodrow Wilson held such a prominent place on the world stage.

Our next evening of Theatre & Conversation is Wednesday April 26, 2017 at 7 pm.

In celebration of the month of poetry and to mark the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, In Flanders Fields, is an exploration of poetry and music of the time. The story is told through the experiences and correspondence of members of the historical Chapman family, whose son Victor enlisted in the French Foreign Legion in 1914.

In addition to two settings of John McRae’s poem “In Flanders Fields,” the evening includes the poetry of William Butler Yeats, Siegfried Sassoon, Edith Wharton, Alan Seeger, and Wilfred Owen, and the music of Charles Ives, George Butterworth, George M. Cohan, and Stephen Chatman, among others. The so-called “Great War” was not only the source of countless poems and songs; it also ended much too soon the lives of poets McRae, Seeger and Owen, and composer Butterworth, and far too many other artists to name here.

The Chapmans are portrayed by Laura Lewis, Meghan McCall, Ari Jacobson, and John Boulanger, with Douglas Bowles playing the historic Steinway piano belonging to Woodrow Wilson’s daughter Margaret.

Wednesday April 26, 2017 at 7 pm

Tickets available on the Woodrow Wilson House website 

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Past Performances at The Woodrow Wilson House

We kicked off the series on Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. with a special public presentation of Protest by the playwright, activist, political prisoner and ultimately president of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel. This presentation is made possible by the Embassy of the Czech Republic and follows a private performance at the embassy celebrating the 80th birthday of Vaclav Havel.

On Wednesday, January 18, 2017 we featured “An Evening of Kafka” with a performance of Franz Kafka’s riveting short story A Report to an Academy, that explores the struggle to be human in a broken, oppressive society. In this solo theater piece, Drew Valins embodies Kafka’s half-ape Rot-Peter, telling his story of how he joined the human community after being captured and caged.

On Wednesday February 15, 2017 we held a reading of R.U.R.: A Retro-Futuristic Musical, adaptation by Susan Galbraith and composer Maurice Saylor. The work-in-development dramatizes the conflict very much part of today’s conversation: whether the combination of a robotic work force and artificial intelligence will liberate mankind from economic drudgery or threaten to overcome and destroy the human race. The work both celebrates and examines critically the promise of industrialization and technology that was envisioned in the time of the very modern “Electric President” Wilson.