The Workhouse Arts Center, a project of the Workhouse Arts Foundation, Inc. is excited to announce its 2021 – 2022 Producing, and Presenting, Performing Arts Season.
The Producing season is comprised of: a full slate of live main stage, in-person, productions; a series of a Saturday matinee family productions, and several stand-up comedy performances. All of these producing performing arts productions will take place in Workhouse’s intimate, black box style, W-3 Theatre.
The Presenting season, thanks to a Shuttered Venues Operators Grant (SVOG) from the Federal Government, will be instituting, for the first time ever, a 2021-2022 season which will be comprised of several musical genres (Banjo, Blues/Jazz, Classical, Comedy, Contemporary Classic, and Folk), a music festival / Brewfest, and improvisational theatre engagements providing unique artistic experiences for Fairfax County adults, and young people, from every racial, socio-economic, or otherwise-identified communities. All of these presenting performing arts season productions will take place in a newly reconfigured McGuire Woods Gallery performance space, as well as at other performance venues around the Workhouse campus, including the Rizer Pavilion. The Workhouse Arts Foundation is committed to presenting the best talent, during this series, from the greater District/Virginia/Maryland (DMV) area, including artists from the Virginia Commission for the Arts performing arts roster. More details will be forthcoming in a separate press release.
Joseph Wallen, Workhouse’s Director of Performing Arts, said: “Our 2021 – 2022 season promises to be one which will be filled with thought provoking, and musically inspired and enjoyable, productions. We are so excited to be presenting live performances again.”
The Producing Season will be comprised of the following production: Musical Theatre International’s global production of All Together Now (November 12 – 15, 2021); The Mystery of Edwin Drood (December 10 – January 23, 2022); Five Guys Named Moe (March 5 – April 9, 2022), and Xanadu (May 7 – June 18, 2022). More information will be forthcoming on the Saturday matinee family productions and the stand-up comedy performances.
COVID PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: For the safety and comfort of our valued guests, staff, and performers, all persons attending will be required to show proof of Covid vaccination to be permitted entry to the venue. (A card, printed facsimile, or photo on mobile device will be acceptable proof). All Workhouse staff and performers are working under this same requirement. Thank you for understanding.
The Workhouse Theatre will be arranged in cabaret-style, with cafe tables featuring four chairs at each table. Smaller parties may be sharing tables with other smaller parties.
Tickets are available for purchase at $30 per person with beer, wine or soft drinks available for a la carte purchase, or $150 for a table buy-out price that includes a reserved table for four persons, a shared bottle of wine (to be selected by guest on arrival) and tasting plates for the table.
Advance purchase is highly recommended, as the cabaret-style seating reduces capacity in the venue.
Based on Charles Dickens’ final unfinished novel, this hilarious whodunit invites the audience to solve its mystery by choosing the identity of the murderer. The tale is presented as a show-within-a-show, as the Music Hall Royale – a delightfully loony Victorian theatre company – presents Dickens’ brooding mystery. Musical numbers include “Perfect Strangers,” “Don’t Quit While You’re Ahead,” “Off To The Races” and “Moonfall.” After its 1985 debut at the New York Shakespeare Festival, headed by Joseph Papp of the Public Theatre, The Mystery of Edwin Drood moved to Broadway’s Imperial Theatre, where it played for a total of 608 performances, starring Betty Buckley, Cleo Laine, and George Rose.
And now it’s coming to the Workhouse!
Joseph Wallen, Workhouse’s Director of Performing Arts elaborated on why The Mystery of Edwin Drood was selected to be a part of the Workhouse’s Theatre Season: “We chose to produce this musical, in part, for its unique storytelling manner because the audience has the opportunity to vote on certain aspects of the performance. Many museums and public places have incorporated interactive elements to enhance the guest experience and Drood is one of the first to include the audience’s voice as part of the plot. As the musical is based on an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens, Rupert Holmes (author of the musical) decided to acknowledge this by asking the audience to help solve the crime. There are a handful of moments towards the conclusion of the show, where the audience is asked to vote on the ‘real’ identities of the characters and the performers are then tasked with completing the remainder of the musical using the solution provided by the audience.”
Liz Colandene, Workhouse’s Performing Arts Coordinator, indicated: “The style of performance is done in the manner of traditional British Music Hall, relative to vaudeville. There is an emcee (The Chairman) that introduces scenes, directly interacts with the audience- completely breaking down any idea of the ‘fourth wall’. Some scenes have the performers in the audience areas, playing with the crowd during the show. This performance style complements the interactive nature of Drood and will make guests feel as if they are part of the show at times.”
March 5 – April 9, 2022
“An exuberant tribute to the music of rhythm and blues pioneer and alto saxophonist, Louis Jordan, Five Guys Named Moe is an international sensation. Initially produced in London’s West End by the legendary Cameron Mackintosh, this exhilarating, all-embracing theatrical experience moved to Broadway in 1992 and was nominated for two Tony Awards.
Five Guys Named Moe is about our hero, Nomax – he’s broke, his lovely Lorraine left him and he’s listening to the radio at 5:00 in the morning. Out of the radio, five guys named Moe appear. Set to Jordan’s iconic rhythm and blues/jazz score, the Moes encourage Nomax to turn his life around and tell Lorraine that he loves her.” -MTI Website
Book by Clarke Peters, Lyrics and Music by Louis Jordan
May 7 – June 18, 2022
“This Tony Award-nominated, hilarious, roller skating, musical adventure about following your dreams despite the limitations others set for you, rolls along to the original hit score composed by pop-rock legends, Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. Based on the Universal Pictures cult classic movie of the same title, which starred Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, Xanadu is hilarity on wheels for adults, children and anyone who has ever wanted to feel inspired.
Xanadu follows the journey of a magical and beautiful Greek muse, Kira, who descends from the heavens of Mount Olympus to Venice Beach, California in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest artistic creation of all time – the first ROLLER DISCO! (Hey, it’s 1980!) But, when Kira falls into forbidden love with the mortal Sonny, her jealous sisters take advantage of the situation, and chaos abounds.” -MTI Website.
Book by Douglas Carter Beane, Music and Lyrics by Jeff Laynne and John Farrar, based on the Universal Pictures film, Screenplay by Richard Danus and Marc Rubel.
And There’s More!
The Presenting Season, still being developed, and contracted, hopefully will include performances by many DMV based artists/groups, such as: the Alexandria Harmonizers, After Jack, Bill Heid, Brass 5, John Bullard, Lynne Mackey, Plunky and Oneness, Terra Voce, New Orchestra of Washington, Barefoot Puppet Theater, Strathmore AIRS, and many, many more. More information will be forthcoming.