SCENA Celebrates its 25th Anniversary with December 16th Gala by Monica Jilling

SCENA Celebrates its 25th Anniversary December 16th with a Gala Event featuring international artists

Washington’s premiere cultural institution for international drama is celebrating its 25th anniversary in style. SCENA is marking this milestone with a special gala event on the exact day of the silver anniversary of the company’s very first performance. Back on December 16, 1987, SCENA performed the Washington premiere of Help Wanted (Furcht und Hoffnung in der DDR) by Franz Xaver Kroetz, a controversial take on modern German society.

With that first performance, SCENA launched an extraordinary journey that took the company through multiple countries on two continents, through a dozen countries, in more than a hundred innovative and daring theatre productions. Led by the visionary talents of Artistic Director Robert McNamara— a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and the NYU Film School—SCENA has trail-blazed international theater in Washington, DC. No other company produces as wide a range of challenging and provocative plays.

The evening will unite SCENA artists, board members, patrons, members of the press, and guests for a retrospective of the company’s quarter century of artistic achievement. Special readings are planned along with a slide show of notable production photos from the past 25 years. Additionally, McNamara will reveal to the SCENA community what the future holds for his resilient company that has endured three recessions spanning five US Presidents.

Date:               Sunday, December 16, 2012, 7:00pm.
Location:       Warehouse Theatre, 645 New York Ave., in Washington, DC.
Cost:               $50 for individuals / $75 for couples.
Tickets:          Purchase tickets here.

Artistic Director Robert McNamara.

“Truly, it is humbling and thrilling, all at the same time, to have reached 25 years in business”, said Artistic Director McNamara. “We have been privileged to survive and succeed in this challenging and competitive theater market. So we are especially grateful to our donors, patrons, artists, and staff for all of their dedicated support and creative contributions.” This 25th anniversary event will be held at the new site of the Warehouse Theatre—the very organization that hosted SCENA’s inaugural play in 1987. Over the past quarter century, some of the company’s many notable accomplishments include:
-9 World Premieres
-33 Regional Premieres
-28 U.S. Premieres
-The first public reading of Samuel Beckett’s first play Eleutheria, performed under the international protection of the French Embassy on April 16, 1998
-Over 20 international playwrights were brought to DC for staged readings and workshops
-The Kennedy Center Fellowship of the Americas for Directing was awarded to Artistic Director Robert McNamara
-Garnered acclaim for its 1990 “Festival of Plays” by Samuel Beckett, mounted in collaboration with the internationally-renowned San Quentin Drama Workshop
-Multiple international tours and theatre festivals
-Staged one of the longest-running plays in DC theater history (Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, 1988-89)

SCENA Theatre brings outstanding international theatre to Washington, DC and stimulates cultural exchange between theatre artists, locally and worldwide. Since its founding in Washington in 1987, SCENA has produced hundreds of classic European plays, as well as modern new works by emerging playwrights from around the globe. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert McNamara and Managing Director Amy Schmidt, SCENA produces an annual season of plays, special events, and a reading series aimed at developing new work from up-and-coming international artists. Learn more at our website.

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