The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., has scheduled what it calls "an enriched" 2012–13 schedule for Happenings at the Harman, a free series of programs featuring cross-genre performances by local artists. Audiences may bring a bag lunch on their midday break to see performances by musicians, dancers, puppeteers, and genre-mixers lasting one hour or less Wednesdays at noon in The Forum in Sidney Harman Hall (610 F St. NW).
In addition to lunchtime programming, STC now hosts postwork Happenings Happy Hours once a month. Patrons may come directly from work, buy a beverage at The Forum bar and start their night by sampling a unique mix of performances.
STC Audience Enrichment Manager Hannah Hessel said in a press release that the Happy Hour offerings will allow audience members who can't get away from their desks at lunchtime the chance to discover local performers after work. "There are few options for postwork, predinner. or preshow programming, especially downtown," Hessel said. "This series helps to fill that void, allowing audience members to unwind from the day and transition into their evening plans with an exciting performance!"
The 2012–13 schedule includes several returning favorites and a variety of new offerings. Reservations are not required to attend.
Happenings Happy Hours (performances begin at 5:30 p.m.)
Oct. 10—Christylz Bacon:Christylez Bacon is a GRAMMY-Nominated Progressive Hip-Hop artist and multi-instrumentalist from southeast Washington, D.C. As a performer, Christylez multitasks between various instruments such as the West African djembe drum, acoustic guitar, and the human beat-box (oral percussion), all while continuing the oral tradition of storytelling through his lyrics.
Nov. 14—Quest Theatre presents Alonzo's Lullaby: Madness, passion, and sabotage are intertwined in the newest show by Baltimore-based visual alchemists Nana Projects. Inspired by the Hagenback-Wallace circus train wreck of 1918, Alonzo's Lullaby is a shadow puppet play for adults, with original score performed by singer/songwriter ellen cherry.
Dec. 12—Integriti Reeves: A new face and voice from the Washington, D.C., area, she blends her sound with such jazz greats as Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.
Jan. 16—Taffety Punk Theatre Company The Rape of Lucrece: A pure Taffety Punk show, with the loud coalescence of actors, dancers, and musicians bending Shakespeare's epic poem to their will. Lucrece's shockingly resonant story cries to be heard.
Feb. 6—The Sweater Set: Winner of the 2011 Washington Area Music Award for Best Contemporary Folk Duo/Group, this duo performs intricate soprano harmonies soaring over multi-instrumental arrangements of ukulele, guitar, flute, hand percussion, and the occasional kazoo/glockenspiel solo.
March 6—Furia Flamenca: Furia Flamenca's style is unique in that it combines flamenco's gypsy heritage with modern flamenco choreography to create a balance of motion and energy.
May 8—Press Play: Improv troop Press Play will add a touch of unpredictability to your happy hour.
June 12—Rachel Hynes, You Have Made a Story on my Skin: Choose a scar from performance artist and storyteller Rachel's body and hear the story—from the mundane to the fantastic—of how she got it.
Happenings at the Harman Lunchtime Performances (performances begin at noon, reservations not required)
Sept. 19—Emma Jaster, Suitcase Story: A mysterious suitcase transports our impish heroine through countless adventures to pluck at your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone as she finds her way on life's path. Told through clown, puppetry, acrobatics, maps and music. This show is family-friendly.
Oct. 3—Quest Theatre, I Carry the Flag: Based upon Rainer Maria Rilke's poem The Lay Of The Love And Death Of Cornet Christopher Rilke and adapted to the stage by Quest's artistic director, Tim McCarty, I Carry the Flag follows a young soldier's surrealistic and haunting journey into war.
Oct. 10—OperaBelle: The three women in this trio of professional opera singers have been performing with the Washington National Opera and The Washington Concert opera and have extensive solo concert careers. OperaBelle performs arias and ensembles from operas, as well as sacred music, popular broadway selections and art songs.
Oct. 17—Field/DC Showcase: Works-in-progress from the D.C. chapter of Fieldwork supporting the development of new artistic works.
Oct. 24—Barbara Papendorp, From Paris to Porter: Barbara Papendorp and Amy Conley bring their acclaimed ode to the music of Cole Porter. Their show will include favorite Porter tunes like "I Get A Kick Out Of You," "Friendship," and "I Love Paris."
Oct. 31—Happenstance Theatre, Cabaret Macabre: Inspired by Edward Gorey, Victorian nightmares, and more, the new manifestation of Cabaret Macabre features melodramatic music played live and Happenstance Theater's witty, visual theatrical collage.
Nov. 7—Burnett Thompson, Shakespeare Sonnet Song Cycle: Burnett Thompson, pianist, composer, and educator, will be sharing his musical setting of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Featuring Chinese singer Coco Zhao.
Nov. 14—DancEthos: By making dances that reflect the beliefs and spirit of our culture, the 14-member DancEthos works towards representing the true purpose of art in reducing the distance between two people.
Nov. 28—Washington Performing Arts Society (PAS) Luis Garay: Garay specializes in percussion, drums, marimba, and timables, with instruction in jazz, Afro-Latin rock, and African.
Dec. 5—Sisters of Ellery Hollow: Elsie and Abby have led a hard, strange childhood, secreted away in the remote town of Ellery Hollow. Orphaned at a young age, Elsie and Abby have learned to cope by translating their lives into a series of tall tales.
Dec. 12—Family Week TBA: Special programming for the whole family.
Dec. 19—Violin Dreams: This violin and guitar duo playing a pleasing mix of jazz standards and originals can swing or play with a strong Latin American feel.
Jan. 9—Beau Soir Ensemble: This flute, viola, and harp trio is dedicated to the performance of standard and contemporary repertoire spanning a variety of genres.
Jan. 16—Pointless Theatre Company: Pointless Theatre Co. is dedicated to creating bold, visceral, and affordable spectacles that gleefully smash the traditional boundaries between puppetry, theatre, dance, music, and the visual arts.
Jan. 30—My Mistress' Eyes, A Love Story: This program intertwines Shakespeare's sonnets with the music of Mozart to create a simple yet universal story of love. The music of Mozart complements the language of Shakespeare, allowing audiences to reflect on the essential humanism of both composer and poet.
Feb. 6—Quest Theatre, Mosaic: Dressed in identical black trench coats, five expressionless actors dart randomly across the stage. As they gather in a line down stage, the five characters slowly begin to unbutton their coats, but gripped with fear, they quickly re-button the coats and sigh with relief in the security of their sameness.
Feb. 13—Clown Cabaret, Delusions of Grandeur: The three producers of Clown Cabaret present a narrative about reaching for the stars and spectacular failure. A classically trained actor, a pompous clown, and a reluctant emcee try to create epic theater. The show devolves into Shakespeare, pies, and laughter. As the action progresses, so do mayhem and absurdity.
Feb. 20—Next Reflex Dance Collective: Founded by Roxann Morgan Rowley and Erika Surma, the Next Reflex Dance Collective is an award-winning, modern dance company.
Feb. 27—WPAS: L'Enfant String Trio
March 6—UrbanArias: This new opera company is dedicated to producing short, contemporary operas.
March 13—Tin Pan Lady—a Cabaret with Joanne Schmoll: This cabaret piece honor 20th century women writers of American popular songs. Some will be familiar to the audience while others will be a delightful discovery.
March 20—Idylls for a Bare Stage: Mindscape spills into theatrical space as actor and audience, in shared imagining, enter scenes more vivid than any stage set. D.C.-based actors perform the technique of the “idyll”—character-driven poetic monologue as dynamic theater—with selections from Magus Magnus’ Idylls for a Bare Stage.
March 27—DanceAntonini: Since 2002 DanceAntonini has performed its personal take on dance theater that bridges post-modern movement with improvisation. Directed by Lou Antonini, the company will present a short concert of selected works inspired from its current repertory.
April 3—Furia Flamenca: Furia Flamenca’s unique style combines flamenco’s gypsy heritage with modern flamenco choreography to create a balance of motion and energy.
April 20—Quest Visual Theatre, Drew the Dramatic Fool: Inspired by a thousands- years-old tradition of royal jesters, vaudeville eccentrics, silent film comedians, animated cartoons, theatrical clowns, and imperfect humans everywhere, Drew offers amusement relevant for today‘s audiences by giving them laughter built on a range of human emotions, from joy to fear to despair and back to joy again.
April 17—Russkie Musikanti: Since 1988 The Washington Balalaika Society has been entertaining D.C. audiences with their orchestra of Russian Folk instruments.
April 24—WPAS' Feder String Competition Winners: The winners of WPAS’s competition, D.C.-area youth in grades 6–12 play classical works.
May 1—Commedia Dell’Arte by Faction of Fools: D.C.'s own Helen Hayes Award-winning commedia dell'arte company presents its modern spin on this Renaissance art form. Young lovers feud with controlling fathers as dim-witted servants struggle to unravel confusions.
May 8—Just Tap: An electrifying, challenging, and excitingly rhythmic D.C.-based tap dance company dedicated to preserving the rich history of tap dance.
May 15—WPAS, Ling Tang, Chinese Ribbon Dance: Ling Tang had 15 years of traditional Chinese dance training at Hubei Song and Dance Ensemble Youth Academy in Wuhan, China, and came to the United States in 2002. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Freer & Sackler Galleries, and the Chinese Embassy.
May 22—Congressional Chorus: Celebrating the spirit, diversity and power of American choral music has been the mission of the Congressional Chorus since its founding in 1987.
June 5—Quest Visual Theatre, 7 (x1) Samurai: David Gaines created and performs in this acrobatic tour-de-force mixing mime, storytelling, and clown—including appearances of Kabuki-styled masks—to recreate the renowned three-hour movie in the space of 60 minutes, the actor darting from scene to scene, playing all the characters, from villagers to horsemen and samurai.
June 12—Charles Mokotoff: Holding both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in guitar performance from Syracuse University and Ithaca College, respectively, Charles Mokotoff has served on the faculties of numerous colleges and universities in the New York and New England area as a lecturer in classical guitar and lute.
June 19—WPAS Men and Women of the Gospel Choir: Since 1991, the WPAS Men and Women of the Gospel Choir has performed works by local and national composers.
September 18, 2012