Building on a commitment to stage bold productions of powerful contemporary plays, Signature Theatre takes a close-up look this fall at love during wartime. Dying City, Christopher Shinn's acclaimed two-person play, casts an intimate light on the role of friendship and family in the wake of personal loss.
One year after his identical twin brother Craig's suspicious death in Iraq, Peter shows up unannounced at his sister-in-law Kelly's apartment. Having not spoken since the funeral, Peter and Kelly face off in a passive-aggressive battle rooted in half-truths and betrayal. Their emotionally brutal exchanges paint a stirring portrait of grief among flashbacks of Craig's final night at home before deployment.
Signature's Associate Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner will direct the play, featuring actors Thomas Keegan (Peter/Craig) and Rachel Zampelli (Kelly). Signature has enlisted a talented creative team to bring this production to life, notably Daniel Conway (scenic design), Frank Labovitz (costume design), Colin K. Bills (lighting design), and Matt Rowe (sound design).
"Christopher Shinn's Dying City, beautifully and tragically confronts the violence we enact on those we love against the backdrop of war. Upon first reading I felt as if Christopher Shinn had laid before me all the problems of the world, and yet he had done so with a very intimate and personal story. I'm excited to tackle this haunting new drama by one of the most exciting voices writing for the theatre today," says Director Matt Gardiner.
An internationally celebrated playwright, Christopher Shinn won the prestigious Obie Award for Playwriting in 2005 and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2008.
"I was really interested in how people were talking about [the Iraq war] in my community, and how... it revealed things about their inner world," Shinn said in a New York Times interview in 2007. "As a playwright, I want to think about what's timeless in anything I'm investigating... What is eternal about how human beings grapple with violence?"
DYING CITY by Christopher Shinn and directed by Matthew Gardiner will run October 12, 2012 – November 25, 2012. The ARK Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday. There will be no performance on Thanksgiving Day. A special Monday night performance has been added on November 19.
Tickets are now on sale and start at $40. Single tickets are available in person at the Signature Box Office at 4200 Campbell Avenue in Shirlington, or by calling Ticketmaster at (703) 573-SEAT. Student discount tickets are $30 and must be purchased the week of the performance. Signature is also offering "$22 for Tuesdays," making available $22 tickets to the first two public Tuesday performances on October 7 and October 16.
Pride performances are scheduled for October 19 and November 2. Discussion performances are scheduled for October 24, November 7, and November 13.
Thomas Keegan (Peter/Craig) Folger Theatre: Taming of the Shrew; Othello. KENNEDY CENTER: Shear Madness. CONSTELLATION THEATRE COMPANY: Women Beware Women. AMERICAN SHAKESPEARE CENTER: A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Changeling, The Revenger's Tragedy, Henry VI Pt.1, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Richard II, King Lear, Macbeth, Cymbeline. TEXAS SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL: Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, Man of La Mancha. DELAWARE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL: A Midsummer Night's Dream. EDUCATION: The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University, MFA.
Rachel Zampelli (Kelly) SIGNATURE: Brother Russia, Chess, See What I Wanna See, Holiday Mayhem, LaChiusa's Ladies, December Divas II, Anyone Can Whistle in concert, The Happy Saving Aimee. DC AREA: Studio Theatre 2ndStage: Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, POP! (Helen Hayes Nomination - Outstanding Supporting Actress), Jerry Springer: The Opera, Reefer Madness; No Rules Theatre Company: Stop Kiss; Folger Shakespeare Theatre: The Comedy of Errors, Orestes: A Tragic Romp, A Midsummer Night's Dream; Adventure Theatre: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas; Ford's Theatre: Shenandoah. REGIONAL: Two River Theatre Company: Orestes: A Tragic Romp; New Repertory Theatre: Into the Woods, Romeo and Juliet; Greenbrier VAlley Theatre: Nevermore; BLACK SWAN Theatre - Special Appearance, Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Breast Entanglements. EDUCATION: Santa Clara University.
The remaining line-up for Signature Theatre's 2011-2012 season features a holiday production of the inspirational musical Dreamgirls, a striking new adaptation of Shakespeare's R&J, the great American musical Hello, Dolly! (a co-production with Ford's Theatre), the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Crimes of the Heart, and a new production of Stephen Sondheim's musical comedy Company.
In addition to the mainstage shows, Signature is presenting a one-week-only concert presentation of the musical Crossing as well as an eclectic year-long series of cabarets. Discount subscription packages (starting at 3 shows) are available by calling the Signature Box Office at (703) 820-9771 or visiting www.signature-theatre.org.
Recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Signature Theatre is a non-profit professional theater company in Arlington, Virginia dedicated to producing contemporary musicals and plays, reinventing classic musicals, and developing new work. Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, Signature has presented 38 world premiere productions and is renowned for combining Broadway-quality productions with intimate playing spaces.