You are here

20+ Can't-Miss Spring Theater Performances in Washington, DC

The John F Kennedy Center lit up with rainbow lights

DC’s exciting theater and performing arts scene dazzles throughout the spring season

Every season, Washington, DC and its incredible lineup of theaters offers up can’t-miss productions, from acclaimed Broadway plays to exciting new shows from local dance companies. Read on for highlights of the spring theater season.

• • •

Samson and Delilah Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center
Washington National Opera: ‘Samson and Delilah' - Through March 21
A legendary tale of love and deceit comes to the Kennedy Center thanks to the Washington National Opera. Samson possesses superhuman strength and aims to free enslaved Hebrews from the Philistines. However, the irresistible Delilah is the Philistines’ most powerful weapon, and her seductive powers threaten to reveal the source of Samson’s power. Filled with unforgettable songs, costumes, set designs and glorious vocal performances, this production is a highlight of the season.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

Washington National Opera's Don Giovanni | Things to Do in Washington, DC in February
Washington National Opera: ‘Don Giovanni’ – Through March 22
Time’s up for Don Giovanni! Mozart’s classic tragicomedy comes to the Kennedy Center thanks to the Washington National Opera. Giovanni is a manipulative and malicious womanizer, a man whose past is filled with malevolence and sexism. However, when the women of his past unite, he’s set to meet the hellish fate he so richly deserves. This timeless (and wholly relevant to 2020) tale will captivate theatergoers just as it did when Mozart wrote it.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

'Celia and Fidel' at Arena Stage | Things to Do in Washington, DC in February
‘Celia and Fidel’ – Through April 12
Celia Sánchez was the most trusted advisor of one Fidel Castro, always by his side as he mulled how to improve his Cuban homeland. Celia and Fidel is set in 1980, as 10,000 Cuban citizens seek asylum at the Peruvian Embassy. Castro must decide, through an intense conversation with the revolutionary Celia, whether he wants to be mighty or merciful. Magical realism is woven into this captivating tale that ruminates on the battle between power and morality.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

Pass Over
'Pass Over' – Through April 12
A modern story that blends elements of Waiting for Godot and the Exodus saga, Pass Over promises to be one of the most thought-provoking productions in DC this spring. Kitch and Moses spend their days on the street corner, talking and joking through what they’ll see and who they’ll meet once their time on the block is over and they’ve reached the promised land. Vividly illuminating the forces that keep Kitch and Moses where they are, this play written by Antoinette Nwandu pulls no punches in its frank depiction of urban life.
Tickets
Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

• • •

Einstein and his wife, Mileva Maric play at ExPats theatre in DC
ExPats Theatre: ‘Einstein’s Wife’ – Through March 22
You’re familiar with Albert Einstein and his theory of relativity. But did you know that Einstein’s first wife, the physicist and mathematician Mileva Maric, was a substantial contributor to the man’s scientific success? The Atlas Performing Arts Center hosts this ExPats Theatre production that dives deep into Maric and Einstein’s tumultuous relationship that was torn apart by motherhood and a culture not ready to honor the professional accomplishments of women.
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

• • •

Jaimie Branch, the Brooklyn–based trumpeter/composer, playing the Trumpet
Direct Current – Through March 21
A festival of contemporary American art, music, film, dance and activism converges at the Kennedy Center with fascinating presentations that will be new to Washington audiences. The programming, which focuses on female creatives this year, will tap creative luminaries such as Ava DuVernay, Camila Meza and Patti Smith. Expect film screenings, new theater productions and live music.
Learn more
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
​​

• • •

Inherit the Windbag
Mosaic Theater Company Presents: ‘Inherit The Windbag’ - Through March 29
Political punditry was redefined forever (for better or worse) by a series of televised debates between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley in the summer of 1968. Flash forward to the Dismal Beyond (which also goes by the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Ca.) and Vidal and Buckley are set to reprise their arguments. Before you know it, the two are battling for history itself, with a few friends like Aaron Burr and Ayn Rand passing through.​
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

• • •

 Karen Vincent, Bueka Uwemedimo, Joe Mallon and Maria Egler by Scott Suchman.
‘Guys & Dolls’ – March 13 - May 20
Journey back to 1950s New York, where gamblers, missionaries and showgirls all mingle. Guys and Dolls is a classic musical comedy that follows a high stakes game of love. Nathan Detroit bets Sky Masterson $1,000 to woo Sarah Brown. Nathan has also been engaged to cabaret singer Adelaide for 14 years … and she’s ready to tie the knot. Enjoy legendary songs like “Luck be a Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” during this romp at Ford’s Theatre.
Tickets
Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

Genderosity play put on by the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC
‘Genderosity' – March 14-15
Celebrate the spectrum of gender identity with this new spectacle from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC. Genderosity will go all-out with costumes, dancers and uplifting songs, including “Born This Way,” “Dancing Queen,” and “My Strongest Suit”. With a glam-rock vibe and the self-expression turned all the way up, you’ll see LGBTQ+ performers strut their stuff in one of the liveliest shows of the season.
Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

• • •

Save up to 60 percent on last-minute theater tickets to the best Washington, DC shows with TodayTix

• • •

new contemporary opera, Blue, at The Kennedy Center in DC
Washington National Opera: ‘Blue’ - March 15-28
Inspired by Black literature like Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, this modern opera is a timely and turbulent look at race, violence and law enforcement in today’s America. A Harlem couple celebrates the birth of their baby boy, but the mother worries for his future and his father wrestles with being a police officer. Years later, tragedy strikes, shattering the family and their community. Blue asks audiences to encounter and consider police violence and its impact through emotional songs and a powerful story.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

<

 Future is Festival
BYT Presents: Future is Festival – March 26-29
The newest festival experience from Brightest Young Things launches in late March and includes events at Lincoln Theatre and The REACH. Future is Festival will showcase the talents of podcasters, filmmakers, comedians, musicians and innovators, including Nora from The Lily, Jonathan Coulton, Ophira Eisenberg, Rhea Butcher, Alex Elle and many more. To cap it off, there’s a Lizzo daytime dance party at Eaton Workshop that you do not want to miss.
Tickets

• • •

The Last Ship
'The Last Ship' - March 27 - April 5
Starring Sting and inspired by his 1991 album, The Soul Cages, this new musical production at National Theatre details a community brought to its demise thanks to the collapse of the shipbuilding industry. Gideon Fletcher comes back home after 17 years at sea only to find his neighborhood in tatters, with the shipyard set to close and his family in disarray. A half-built ship ominously towers over everyone as Jackie White (Sting) rallies the town to unite in the face of calamity.
Tickets
National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

 The Till Trilogy at Atlas Performing Arts Center - Emmett Till
The Till Trilogy at Atlas Performing Arts Center - April 1 - June 21
The Mosaic Theater Company will present a three-part series of plays that focus on the story of Emmett “Bo” Till and his tragic and racially motivated death at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The first, The Ballad of Emmett Till (April 1 – June 20), details the last two weeks of Till’s life. That Summer in Sumner (April 30 – June 21) is the tale of the five-day trial concerning Till’s murder, an eventual miscarriage of justice. The finale of the trilogy, Benevolence (May 22 – June 21), covers the events surrounding Till’s death and the impact that his murder had on the Civil Rights movement.​
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

• • •

August Wilson’s ‘Seven Guitars’ Man Playing Guitar
August Wilson’s ‘Seven Guitars’ – April 3 - May 3
August Wilson’s fifth cycle play and the second in Arena Stage’s August Wilson Festival will take audiences to 1940s Pittsburgh, where blues singer Floyd Barton has decided to alter his lifestyle after an unexpected windfall has him thinking about second chances. Seven lives will be affected by Floyd’s decision in a story injected with powerful blues rhythms.​
Tickets 
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

Woman screaming - There&#039;s always the Hudson play
‘There’s Always the Hudson' – April 6 - May 3
T and Lola have a mission. After meeting in a support group for sexual abuse survivors years ago, the two made a pact to take out revenge on those who have wronged them. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company presents this riveting production written by Paola Lázaro, a tale of two damaged souls ready to confront their trauma and deliver some well-deserved justice. Note that There’s Always the Hudson contains discussions and depictions of sexual abuse and assault, profanity and drug use.​
Tickets
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

Shen Yun Dancers
‘Shen Yun’ – April 7-12
China was once known as the Middle Kingdom, and Shen Yun will bring this ancient world to life through dance, an orchestra and incredible backdrops. All these elements come together to reveal 5,000 years of awe-inspiring Chinese stories and history. Discover new dimensions, powerful heritage and historical wisdom in this jaw-dropping performance.​
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

Roald Dahl&#039;s Play, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Actors on Stage
Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ – April 7-12
Consider this your golden ticket. A production based on Roald Dahl’s legendary book will touch down at the National Theatre stage for a limited engagement this April. When Willy Wonka opens his wonderful (and mysterious) new chocolate factory, five lucky golden ticket recipients, including Charlie Bucket, are invited on the adventure of a lifetime. Prepare for Oompa-Loompas, wild inventions, the glass elevator and a new score from the acclaimed songwriters of Hairspray.​
Tickets
National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

Two actors from play Romantics Anonymous Musical on bed
‘Romantics Anonymous’ – April 7 – May 17
Two shy chocolatiers find romance in this musical comedy from Shakespeare Theatre Company. Love is in the air when these two anxious sweethearts cross paths in a city ripe for a budding relationship: Paris. From there, expect to hear passionate songs in this whimsical tale based on the film Les Émotifs Anonymes and adapted by Emma Rice.​
Tickets
Michael R. Klein Theatre, 450 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

Swan Lake Man Ballet dancer in front of moon
‘Swan Lake’ – April 9-19
The Washington Ballet’s take on Swan Lake will reveal the tragic love story of Prince Siegfried and a swan princess, a dizzying tale full of magic and suspense. Audiences will be treated to beautiful costume designs, jaw-dropping sets and staging and choreography that will take your breath away. Witness the DC’s favorite company in top form in one of the most famous ballets of all-time.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

Jesus Christ Superstar play main actor being lifted up in air
‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ – April 14-26
This new North American production of one of the best musicals of all-time honors the 50th anniversary of the play’s first staging. Jesus Christ Superstar details the final weeks of the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas, filled with indelible rock songs like “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” and “Superstar”. The award-winning and legendary music and lyrics were written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, masters of their craft.​
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

Actor, Dawn Ursula, on the stage playing Toni Stone Baseball player
‘Toni Stone’ – April 23 – May 31
The latest from award-winning playwright Lydia R. Diamond is set to hit a home run at Arena Stage. Toni Stone is the first woman to play in the Negro Leagues and the first woman to play professionally in a men’s league in the 1950s. Stone dominates the competition and makes her own rules in the male-dominated sports world. This inspiring story will showcase the courage, determination and confidence of its alluring main character.​
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

Two main actors from Much Ado About Nothing sitting next to each other on stage looking at each other
‘Much Ado About Nothing’ – May 5 – June 14
The essential romantic comedy written by one William Shakespeare concerns a group of soldiers returning home after years of war, trading in their uniforms for wedding bands. Two ex-lovers, Beatrice and Benedick, are about to be reunited, but not before a faked death, terrible law enforcement practices, an interrupted wedding and plenty of double crossing. The Bard’s funniest is not to be missed this summer.​
Tickets
Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

• • •

The Taming of the Shrew women cast on the stage standing next to each other
‘The Taming of the Shrew’ – May 6-10
Justin Audibert reimagines a classic Shakespeare comedy in this exciting upcoming production at the Kennedy Center. The year is 1590 and society is ruled by women – all the power and the control of the state and all of its property belongs to them. Lady Baptista decides to sell off her two sons to the highest bidder, creating a battle of the sexes and an explosion of gender politics that you will not soon forget – or see on another stage any time soon.​
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

Cast of Porgy and Bess acting out in a church scene on stage
The Gershwins’ ‘Porgy and Bess’ – May 9-23
The timeless folk opera from George Gershwin comes to the Kennedy Center stage this May. A murder has shaken things up in Catfish Row, a fishing town in South Carolina. Bess is tempted to return to a drug-fueled past but Porgy, a crippled beggar, becomes an unlikely confidant. As a hurricane is on its way, Bess’ old flame returns to town, putting her in a precarious position. Francesca Zambello adapts this spellbinding American classic that features jazz, gospel and folk elements in its spectacular songs.​
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

Three ballerinas on stage dressed in quaker outfits playing in The Crucible
Scottish Ballet: ‘The Crucible’ – May 13-17
This brand new ballet is based on Arthur Miller’s riveting play about the Salem Witch Trials. DC audiences will be the first to see this thought-provoking and suspenseful rendition of a story that boldly details a society as it unwinds into hysteria and chaos. Equipped with a haunting score and beautiful choreography, Scottish Ballet does justice to Miller’s masterpiece.​
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

The Washington Ballerina&#039;s. One reading a book and the other looking at her.
‘Coppélia’ – May 13-17
The Washington Ballet aims to charm with this May spectacle. The music of Léo Delibes provides the backdrop for Coppélia, the story of scientist Dr. Coppelius and his mechanical doll creation. The doll quickly becomes the obsession of a young man already engaged to another woman. A series of incredible events unfolds, featuring magic, trickery and of course, awe-inspiring choreography and dances.
Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

Fun Home Play cast sitting on the stage looking at the camera
‘Fun Home’ – May 13 – June 21
Based on Alison Bechdel’s universally acclaimed graphic novel, this production at Studio Theatre promises to be one of the most emotionally powerful plays of the season. The autobiographical tale follows Alison at ages 9, 19 and 43, as she reckons with her sexuality and her closeted father’s life and tragic death. Alison wants to know how she survived her hometown and how her father didn’t – and how coming out could help her come to terms with her family’s secrets. Featuring ‘70s pop as well as songs of longing and pain, Fun Home will pack a punch for audiences this spring.​
Tickets
Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

• • •

Performing arts and theater in Washington, DC - Experience wonder inside DC&#039;s acclaimed playhouses