Forum Theatre (DC)

Forum Theatre (DC)

Forum Theatre is a non-profit theatre company based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 2003, Forum produces three shows per season and is in residence at the H Street Playhouse. The company focuses on plays that feature innovative storytelling and theatricality. Forum productions also tend to deal with topics that lend themselves to discussions that the theatre hosts in the lobby, post-show. "The Washington Post" has hailed the company as "gutsy", "daring" and a company who produces in a "nonlinear theatrical style that is underrepresented on local stages" []


Forum was founded in 2003 by Kelly Bartnik, Michael Dove, Paul Frydrychowski, and Mark Wright who thought that theatre could be more affecting, provocative, and relevant with a multimedia approach. Instead of using a single performance method, Forum would explore diverse storytelling styles and artistic media to create unique performances. The roots of the company came from the founders’ combined backgrounds in film, dance/movement, music, visual art, and theatre. In that year, Forum Theatre (then known as Forum Theatre & Dance) began in Washington, D.C., a city chosen for its emergence as a major theatre community.

From day one, Forum sought not only to create distinctive work, but also to bring new or seldom-performed plays to Washington, using the shows as a springboard for artistic expression and discussion. The company’s first productions were a collection of Samuel Beckett short plays and a movement and video piece called "All Things Seen", based on Jean-Paul Sartre's "No Exit". Audiences and critics took immediate notice: the “extreme theatricality” of the pieces caused one critic to remark that Forum was a “refreshing addition” to the DC theatre scene. [ [ Forum ] ]

In the past three years, the acclaim increased as audiences followed the company from venue to venue. Forum performed at the Arena Stage at 14th & T Streets, Warehouse Theater, Church Street Theater, The University of Maryland, The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, and Round House Silver Spring before taking up residence at the H Street Playhouse in historic northeast DC in June 2007. Forum's varied production history includes the world premieres of Israeli playwright Ami Dayan’s "UpShot" and a new translation of "The Gas Heart" commissioned by the company, along with the DC premieres of "Hamletmachine", Václav Havel's "The Memorandum", "", Caryl Churchill’s "The Skriker", and Don DeLillo's "Valparaiso".

In October 2006, Forum founded and produced (with [ Solas Nua] ) the [ DC Samuel Beckett Centenary Festival] to celebrate the writer’s work and impact on contemporary art. The festival, which took place in several DC venues, included two weeks of theatre productions, film screenings, expert panel discussions, academic symposia, book clubs, downloadable radio play podcasts, and the international touring production of "Waiting for Godot" by Ireland’s Gate Theatre. The festival was sponsored by the Embassy of Ireland, The University of Maryland, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Today, Forum is a dedicated group of 16 performers, technicians, and theater administrators, supported by a 13-member board. For its 2007–08 season, the company will produce Jean Anouilh's "Antigone", "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" by Stephen Adly Guirgis, and Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss. In addition, the launch of [ OpenForum] this fall will further expand Forum's mission to create distinctive, inclusive theatrical experiences for its audiences.

Production history

*Beckett: The Shorter Plays ("Not I", "Footfalls", "Breath", "Come and Go", "Krapp's Last Tape", "Rockaby", and "Catastrophe")
*"All Things Seen" (based on Jean-Paul Sartre’s "No Exit")

*"UpShot" by Ami Dayan
*"The Gas Heart" by Tristan Tzara (translated by Steven Perry) and "Hamletmachine" by Heiner Müller
*"The Memorandum" by Václav Havel

* [ DC Beckett Centenary Festival]
*"The Skriker" by Caryl Churchill
*"" by Jordan Harrison
*"Valparaiso" by Don DeLillo

*"Antigone" by Jean Anouilh
*"The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" by Stephen Adly Guirgis
*"Marat/Sade" by Peter Weiss

*"Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?" by Caryl Churchill
*"The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" by Stephen Adly Guirgis
*"Marisol" by Jose Rivera
*"dark play or stories for boys" by Carlos Murillo

Company members

*Kelly Bartnik
*Fiona Blackshaw
*Austin Bragg
*Patrick Bussink
*Jenn Carlson
*Michael Dove
*Paul Frydrychowski
*Maggie Glauber
*Hannah Hessel
* [ Brent Lowder]
*Rose McConnell
*Laura Miller
*Alexander Strain
*Mark Jude Sullivan
*Jesse Terrill
*Mark Wright


ee also

*Theater in Washington D.C.
*H Street Playhouse

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