In Bethesda, Maryland, there is a professional regional theater called Round House Theatre. The theatre, which opened its doors in 1979, has been a mainstay of the neighborhood’s arts scene for more than 40 years, putting on top-notch productions of both classic and modern plays.
The 400-seat proscenium stage on the theater’s main stage is equipped with modern lighting and sound systems. The Round House Theatre has a black box theater in addition to the main stage, which is used for smaller productions and experimental pieces.
Round House Theatre’s dedication to new work and up-and-coming artists is one of its distinctive characteristics. The theater has a strong commissioning program that helps playwrights produce new works that represent the experiences and viewpoints of the neighborhood. The theater also provides a variety of opportunities for up-and-coming artists, such as residencies, internships, and apprenticeships.
The Round House Theatre has produced a wide variety of plays over the years, from classics by Tennessee Williams and Shakespeare to modern plays by Tony Kushner and Lynn Nottage. Additionally, the theater has received praise for its dedication to diversity and inclusion, with a particular emphasis on producing works that reflect the experiences of underrepresented communities.
The Women’s Voices Theater Festival, which debuted in 2015, is one of the theater’s most well-liked annual occasions. The festival features a variety of activities and programming designed to support the advancement of women’s voices in the theatre industry, as well as new plays by female playwrights.
Round House Theatre provides a variety of educational programs for students of all ages in addition to its productions. The education department of the theater offers classes, workshops, and outreach initiatives that are intended to involve young people in the creative process and foster a passion for theater.
The Round House Theatre Teen Performance Company, which gives high school students advanced training in acting, directing, and playwriting, is one of the theater’s most effective educational initiatives. Every year, the company puts on a production that is entirely written, directed, and performed by students.
The Round House Theatre is dedicated to operating in an environmentally friendly manner. The theater became one of the first theaters in the area to produce its own solar power in 2018 after receiving funding from the Montgomery County Government to install solar panels on its roof.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges, but Round House Theatre persisted in creating top-notch plays and interacting with its neighborhood. A virtual programming series called Round House at Your House, which includes online productions, classes, and events, was introduced by the theater in 2020. Additionally, the theater introduced the Round House Theatre Audio Play Series, which creates audio versions of both contemporary and historical works.
Round House Theatre has big plans for development and growth in the future. A 400-seat main stage theater, a black box theater, classrooms, and administrative offices will all be included in the theater’s new home, which will be built in downtown Silver Spring, as of 2019. The theater will be able to increase audience size and diversify its programming thanks to the new facility.
In conclusion, the Bethesda and Washington, DC, arts scenes would not exist without the Round House Theatre. It is a distinctive and significant cultural institution because of its dedication to new work, diversity, and education. The theater will undoubtedly continue to play a significant role in influencing the neighborhood’s arts community and inspiring a new generation of artists and theatergoers as it looks to the future.