You can’t escape international affairs when you live in Washington, DC. In February, Arena Stage will present two productions, written almost 70 years apart, that bring that point home.
WHAT: Watch on the Rhine 
WHERE: Arena’s Fichandler Stage
WHEN: Feb 3 – March 5
Lillian Hellman’s Watch on the Rhine is set in Washington, DC in 1940. The Mullers from Germany are visiting their relatives, the Farrellys, who have a house guest, an impoverished Romanian count who happens to be a German conspirator. When their friend, who is a member of the resistance, is arrested in Germany, danger erupts here at home.
Hellman wrote this play calling for a united international alliance against Hitler in opposition to the German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact of August 1939.
Four-time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Marsha Mason (Cinderella Liberty, The Goodbye Girl, Chapter Two, and Only When I Laugh) stars.
WHAT: Intelligence 
WHERE: Arena’s Kogod Cradle
WHEN: Feb. 24 – April 2
The world premiere of Jacqueline E. Lawton’s Intelligence is a political thriller inspired by true events. What are the consequences when covert operative Valerie Plame has her cover blown in a race to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? The Central Intelligence Agency, media frenzy, and her diplomat husband all add to the suspense mix.
Southwest Nights for the Remainder of the 2016-17 Season:
Watch on the Rhine: Feb. 3, 8 p.m.; Feb. 5, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m.; and Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m.
IntelligenceMarch 12, 1 p.m.
A Raisin in the SunApril 16, 7:30 p.m
Smart PeopleMay 21, 7:30 p.m.
Additional Southwest nights may be announced. People who reside or work in Southwest DC can buy discounted tickets for specially designated Southwest Nights performances of each production. Tickets are $35 for musicals and $25 for non-musicals, plus fees. Proof of Southwest DC residency or employment for each member of the party must be presented at the time of pick-up. Tickets are based on availability.
WHAT: Lillian Hellman Festival
WHEN: Jan. 25 – Feb. 5
Events include play readings (The Children’s Hour, Toys in the Attic, Another Part of the Forest), a screening of the Jane Fonda-Vanessa Redgrave film Julia, and panels examining Hellman’s creative legacy and controversial life. Events are free but require registration online at: http://arenastage.org/hellman-festival/.
By: Sheila Wickouski

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