Catalyst, Ford’s Unveil New Theatrical Seasons

Posted May 18, 2005 at 4:31pm

Catalyst Theater Co. and Ford’s Theatre have announced plans for their upcoming theatrical seasons.

The Capitol Hill-based Catalyst Theater Co. is shifting its focus to more intimate plays in its fifth season, which will begin in September.

The season will kick off with an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” which follows the gradual transformation of a man into an insect. Steven Berkoff, who originally played the role of the man-turned-insect, Gregor, has adapted the play.

In January, the company will stage Lee Blessing’s “Eleemosynary.” The production examines the relationship of a grandmother, her daughter and her granddaughter.

The season will close in May with “Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me,” Frank McGuinness’ drama about three hostages in a Middle East jail cell.

Catalyst will once again stage its season in the 56-seat black box theater of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop at 545 Seventh St. SE.

In addition, Catalyst will complement its three-play season with its “New Works Project,” which will feature eight performances of new works by emerging and established playwrights. The first work, set to premiere in November, is tentatively titled “Over” and is the work of Catalyst member playwright Christopher Gallu.

For season tickets or more information about Catalyst Theater Co., go online to www.catalysttheater.com or call (800) 494-TIXS.

Downtown at the historic Ford’s Theatre, the new season will start in September with “Leading Ladies,” a regional premiere by Washington playwright Ken Ludwig.

That will be followed in November by the theater’s annual production of an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

In January, Ford’s will stage “Trying,” based on the life of Francis Biddie. Biddie was attorney general under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, chairman of the National Labor Relations Board and a U.S. judge for the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals following World War II. Joanna McClelland Glass, who worked as Biddie’s secretary, wrote the play.

The season at Ford’s will conclude with “Shenandoah,” a Civil War musical that will begin its run in March. “Shenandoah” will be directed by Jeff Calhoun, who created “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” which closed Ford’s most recent season.

Ford’s Theatre is at 511 10th St. NW. For more information, call (202) 347-4833 or visit www.fordstheatre.org.

— Amy Carlile