The District plays host to a dynamic and burgeoning theater scene that will continue to thrive this summer. From reinterpretations of Shakespearean classics to controversial musicals, take advantage of your free time to enjoy something a little different.

Capital Fringe Festival

This open-access festival of the arts is an opportunity to experience uncensored art in a variety of forms with a focus on the performing arts. The festival takes place across the D.C. area beginning on July 12 and ending on July 29. Tickets and passes for the festival go on sale June 18. Now in its seventh year, the festival will once again offer a variety of live performances and other forms of art to the public at reduced prices. It’s a great way to see new artists before they make it big.

Where: Various locations around Washington, D.C.

When: July 12—July 29


Price: Not yet available

Metro: Various locations

The Taming of the Shrew

Many know this Shakespearean comedy from its movie adaptation, 10 Things I Hate About You, but this summer the Folger Elizabethan Theatre will produce its own version of the famed play. This show, like the movie, adapts Shakespeare’s story to a different time period — in this case, the Wild West of the late 1800s. This new take on the story is refreshing and offers yet another interpretation of Shakespeare’s controversial original.

Where: Folger Elizabethan Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE

When: May 1—June 10


Price: $30—$65

Metro: Capitol South (Orange and Blue lines)

Spring Awakening

There’s nothing better to spice up a summer in D.C. than this acclaimed coming-of-age musical set in late 19th-century Germany. The play employs a cast of talented young local actors and is filled with catchy, alternative music. Not only is this musical sexy and filled with great songs, but it also tackles a variety of contemporary, somewhat controversial topics that are especially relevant to college students — sexual discovery, abuse and homosexuality are all tackled. This is definitely not your grandmother’s musical.

Where: The Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW

When: June 2—July 8


Price: $35—$40

Metro: Dupont Circle (Red line)


There’s nothing that screams summer more than leg warmers, neon colors and rollerblading, right? Well, that’s what Signature Theatre is offering up with its stage adaption of the cult ’80s film Xanadu. This comedic musical is about a Greek muse and her adventures on Earth. She breaks one of her three restrictions after helping to inspire the creation of the first roller disco, giving rise to her own existential crisis and some very catchy New Wave songs.

Where: Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va.

When: May 8—July 1


Price: $72—$77

Metro: Pentagon (Blue and Yellow lines), then 7A, 7F, 25A or 25D bus


The Olney Theatre is offering up a piece this summer that shows a more serious side of the sleuth theatre. This drama centers on a mystery novelist and his creation of what could be a very dangerous cat-and-mouse game at his country estate. The play can fall within the genres of drama, thriller and suspense. This is a must-see production, and the trek there will be more than worth it.

Where: Olney Theatre, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd., Olney, Md.

When: June 13—July 8


Price: $26—$39

Metro: Red Line to Glenmont and then the Y5, Y7, Y8 or Y9 bus

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