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WASHINGTON, D.C.’S First Annual Free Night of Theater

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The League of Washington Theatre's and Theatre Communications Group Present WASHINGTON, D.C.’S First Annual Free Night of Theater


23 TheateRs Offer More Than 1800 FREE tickets


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The League of Washington Theatres is pleased to announce Washington, D.C.’s first annual Free Night of Theater, to be held Thursday, October 19, 2006. Presented in conjunction with Theatre Communications Group (TCG), Free Night of Theater will offer theatregoers free tickets to more than 23 Washington-area theatres. Washington, D.C., is one of several communities across the country participating in the event, an unprecedented campaign to attract new audiences to live theatre. (Note: Because of production schedules, some theatres will offer Free Night of Theater performances after October 19.)


Theatregoers will be able to reserve tickets through the League of Washington Theatres website, www.lowt.org, beginning at noon on Sunday, October 1, 2006. Patrons can reserve up to 2 free tickets and are encouraged to visit a theatre that they have never attended. Once tickets have been reserved through the website, patrons will be able to pick up their tickets at the individual theatre’s box office on the night of the show.


As of September 5, more than 1800 tickets (valued at more than $67,000) have been pledged for Free Night of Theater. Participating theatres include: African Continuum Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Catalyst Theater Company, Charter Theatre, Folger Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Imagination Stage, Keegan Theatre, MetroStage, Olney Theatre Center, Rep Stage, Rorschach Theatre, Round House Theatre, Scena Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Teatro de la Luna, Theater J, Washington Shakespeare Company, Washington Stage Guild and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.


“We’re thrilled to offer 1800 free theatre tickets to Washington-area audiences,” said Kevin Moore, President of the League of Washington Theatres. “We hope this program will allow ‘first-timers’ to see their first live theatre performance while giving regular theatregoers a chance to attend theatres they haven’t been to before.”


"TCG's Free Night of Theater is an innovative way to explore the depth and breadth of Washington's dynamic theatre community,” said Molly Smith, TCG Board Member and Artistic Director of Arena Stage. “By swinging open our doors, this is our chance to thank both the local community and our national audience for their many years of support. Whether you're a first-time theatregoer or a dedicated patron, I hope that you find this an offer too good to refuse."


This year’s event builds on TCG’s successful debut of the program in 2005, when more than 8,000 people attended 150 performances in Austin, Philadelphia and San Francisco.


The 2006 program participants include the following communities:


Cities: Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Lexington, KY; Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Sacramento, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Washington, D.C.

States: Connecticut, Oregon, New Jersey, North Carolina, Wisconsin.


Free Night of Theater was conceived at TCG’s National Conference in 2003 as a way to remove perceived barriers that have historically prevented audiences from attending not-for-profit theatre. An estimated 80 percent of last year’s attendees were first-time theatregoers, and they were enthusiastically welcomed by their fellow audience members. Recent attendance research gathered by Shugoll Research reports that more than 33 percent of last year’s first-time theatregoers purchased tickets to another performance following their Free Night experience. In fact, 98 percent of attendees to the 2005 program reported that they would take part in Free Night of Theater 2006.


According to Brad Erickson, executive director of Theatre Bay Area and participant in last year’s pilot program, “The support was extraordinary, from our local theatre companies and the broader community. The demand from the public for this kind of live artistic experience was overwhelming … tickets went so fast, we had to go back to our companies and ask for more!”


For more information on Washington, D.C.’s Free Night of Theater, visit the League of Washington Theatre’s website at www.lowt.org.


League of Washington Theatres


The League of Washington Theatres is an association of nonprofit professional theatres in the greater-Washington area. The League was established in 1982 to create greater public awareness, appreciation and support for theatre in the Washington area. For almost 20 years, the members of the League have been at the center of an exciting, expanding, nationally acclaimed theatre community. The League encompasses a total of 48 members: 40 producing theatres and 8 affiliates. The League received The Washington Post Award for Distinguished Community Service at the 1999 Helen Hayes Awards for its Stages for All Ages program.


Theatre Communications Group


Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, offers a wide array of services in line with its mission: to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre. Artistic programs support theatres and theatre artists by awarding approximately $3 million in grants annually, and offer career development programs for artists. Management programs provide professional development opportunities for theatre leaders through workshops, conferences, forums and publications, as well as industry research on the finances and practices of the American not-for-profit theatre. Advocacy, conducted in conjunction with the dance, presenting, opera and symphony orchestra fields, includes guiding lobbying efforts and providing theatres with timely alerts about legislative developments. The country’s leading independent press specializing in dramatic literature, TCG’s publications include American Theatre magazine, the ArtSEARCH employment bulletin, plays, translations and theatre reference books. As the U.S. Center of UNESCO’s International Theatre Institute, a worldwide network, TCG supports cross-cultural exchange through travel grants and other assistance to traveling theatre professionals. Through these programs, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promote a larger public understanding of and appreciation for the theatre field. TCG serves more than 440 member theatres nationwide. More information about TCG is available at www.tcg.org. For more information about the national Free Night of Theater program, visit www.freenightoftheater.net.


Free Night of Theater - October 19, 2006


Below is a list of participating theatres in the Washington, D.C., region and the plays they are presenting.


African Continuum Theatre Company: The Gingham Dog

Arena Stage: Cabaret

Arena Stage: Nine Parts of Desire

Catalyst Theater Company: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Charter Theatre: Short Order Stories

Folger Theatre: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Ford’s Theatre: State of the Union

GALA Hispanic Theatre: Valor, Agravio y Mujer/

Stripping Don Juan

Keegan Theatre: Agnes of God

MetroStage: The Girl in the Goldfish Bowl

Olney Theatre Center: The Foreigner

Round House Theatre: Jon Spelman's Frankenstein

Scena Theatre: The Insect Play

Shakespeare Theatre Company: An Enemy of the People

Signature Theatre: My Fair Lady

Studio Theatre: Crestfall

Teatro de la Luna: Como Rellenar un Bikini Salvaje/

How to Fill a Wild Bikini


Theater J: Spring Forward/Fall Back


Performances after October 19:


Imagination Stage (Oct. 28, 12:30 p.m.):

Sleeping Beauty: The Time Traveler


Rep Stage (Nov. 4, 2:30 p.m.):



Rorschach Theatre (Nov. 2):



Washington Shakespeare Company (Nov. 3):



Washington Stage Guild (Oct. 26):

An Inspector Calls


Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Nov. 8):

Martha, Josie & the Chinese Elvis


Participating plays and theatres are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.lowt.org.

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