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5 World Premiere Women’s Voices Theater Festival Shows We Can’t Wait to See

February 13, 2018 by Anne Berkowitz
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The Women’s Voices Theater Festival highlights productions of plays written by women in and around Washington D.C. The highly anticipated 2018 event follows the incredible success of the first festival that took place in 2015. You won’t want to miss the exciting return of the WVTF, led by 30 esteemed theaters across our nation’s capital. Below are 5 shows we can’t wait to see in the final weeks of the festival. You can check out the rest of the shows participating in the WVTF, highlighted in green on the TodayTix website and app!

1. Noura

In this world-premiere production, award-winning playwright and performer Heather Raffo (9 Parts of Desire) draws on personal stories of Arab American women responding to A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen’s classic drama of one mother’s struggle to balance her duty with her identity. Noura challenges our notions of belonging, shame, and sacrifice through a portrait of Iraqi immigrants in New York. As Noura and her husband Tareq prepare to celebrate a traditional Christmas, she looks forward to welcoming Maryam, a young Iraqi refugee. But the girl’s arrival opens wounds the family has tried to leave behind, forcing them to confront where they are, where they’ve been and who they have become. Tickets to Noura start at just $24.

2. Sovereignty

Some wounds refuse to heal. Mary Kathryn Nagle’s daring new work Sovereignty travels the intersections of personal and political truths, historic and present struggles. Sarah Ridge Polson, a young Cherokee lawyer fighting to restore her Nation’s jurisdiction, must confront the ever-present ghosts of her grandfathers. With shadows stretching from 1830s Cherokee Nation (now present-day Georgia) through Andrew Jackson’s Oval Office to the Cherokee Nation in present-day Oklahoma, Sovereignty asks how high the flames of anger can rise before they ultimately consume the truth. Tickets to this premiere at Arena Stage start at $61 on TodayTix.

3. Peep Show

Peep Show is a multi-media theatrical exhibition dissecting and subverting the female gender, objectification, and women in service. The audience will be complicit in constructing fanciful, heroic, absurd, and commonsensical stories. Peep Show is Dog & Pony DC’s first new show in three years, created and performed entirely by a non-male-identifying ensemble and 100% accessible to deaf and hearing audience members. Tickets start at just $15.

4. 4,380 Nights

With a graceful poetry and a fluidity that spans time and place, DC playwright Annalisa Dias delivers a searing and timely critique of power, humanity and what it means to be American in the world premiere production of her play 4,380 Nights. For the last 12 years, or 4,380 days, Malik Djamal Ahmad Essaid has been held without charge by the United States government at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. As he languishes in his cell, his interactions with those on the outside are juxtaposed with historical events in a riveting exposé into the most dangerous prison of all—fear. 4,380 Nights is playing at the Signature Theater in Arlington. Tickets begin at $40 with TodayTix.

5. Digging Up Dessa

Digging Up Dessa centers around a 21st-century girl with no shortage of struggles, secrets, and mysteries to solve. After a field trip to a museum reveals that the pioneering 19th-century English paleontologist Mary Anning’s legacy has been buried by history because of her gender and lack of formal education, Dessa decides that she’s going to fight to earn her friend the credit she deserves. With help from her once-rival, Nilo, Dessa sets to work unearthing the secrets hidden beneath the surface of the past and present—for Mary’s history and her own future. Tickets to the family-friendly production of Digging Up Dessa at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts start at $15.

Now, it is easier than ever to see and save on the many innovative plays and events with our WVTF Festival Pass. Be sure to check out the rest of the productions participating in the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, highlighted in green on the TodayTix website and app.