Weekly Arts Round Up, April 15, 2021


Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass parley in a Ford’s Theatre radio play and GALA Hispanic Theatre will reopen next week with a show about radio plays in 1950s Lima. This Saturday, Dumbarton Concerts will stream a Notes From Home performance by the Thalea String Quartet. For details, click on the headings below.

Ford’s Theatre: Radio Play

In “Necessary Sacrifices,” Frederick Douglass (Craig Wallace) challenges Abraham Lincoln (Paul Morella) to use his power as president to bring truth to America’s founding ideal that “all men are created equal.” Recommended for listeners age 12 and older, this radio adaptation of Richard Hellesen’s play, commissioned by Ford’s Theatre and directed by Psalmayene 24, is available free online through May 30. In addition, WPFW 89.3FM will air the play on April 15 at 8 p.m. and on April 21 at 3 p.m. Note: Dialogue includes Frederick Douglass’s use of the N-word to draw attention to the racism, hypocrisy and danger that Black people experienced.

Athenaeum Gallery: New Exhibition

The gallery at the Athenaeum, 201 Prince St. in Alexandria, Virginia, is presenting “Trees/Humans: Life in the Balance,” an exhibition of art by Patricia Underwood, through May 16. To create these works, the Washington-based artist silkscreened photo images of ancient trees onto wood veneers, then added layers of drawing, painting and printing. Hours are Thursday to Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., with face coverings required. Socially distanced “meet and greets” will take place on May 1 and 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. On May 2, Underwood will give a Zoom talk and demonstration. Admission is free.

DC History Center: Reopening

The DC History Center, located on the second floor of the Carnegie Library building, 801 K St. NW, will reopen on April 16 with admission by free timed-entry pass, reserved online in advance. Hours are Friday from 2 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. On view: “The Big Picture,” a photographic chronicle of 20th-century Washington. Due to space considerations, entry to the Hall of History panoramic timeline will be limited to a maximum of two visitors at a time. The store and research library remain closed. Masks are required and social distancing will be in effect.

Black Georgetown History Project: Virtual Program

On April 16 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., D.C.-based oral historian Anna Kaplan and Georgetowner Vernon Ricks will share best practices for collecting oral histories while exploring Ricks’s memories of the neighborhood. This virtual program, part of the Black Georgetown Community History Project, is organized by Dumbarton House, Georgetown Heritage, Mt. Zion – Female Union Band Society Historic Memorial Park, Inc., and Tudor Place. Admission is free.

National Gallery of Art: Virtual Colloquium

To celebrate the centennial of Howard University’s department of art, the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts is co-sponsoring “Defining Diaspora: 21st-Century Developments in Art of the African Diaspora,” the university’s 31st annual James A. Porter Colloquium, to be held online on April 16 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. At 6:10 p.m., artist Renée Stout will give the Floyd W. Coleman Sr. Distinguished Lecture, “Thank You for Talking to Me Africa: Trusting the Voice Within.” Registration is free.

Washington Performing Arts: Streamed Performance

Washington Performing Arts will premiere “Damien Sneed and Friends,” a Home Delivery Plus performance recorded at D.C.’s historic Lincoln Theatre, on April 16 at 8 p.m. Focusing on the gospel side of his sound, Sneed — joined onstage by Tasha Page-Lockhart, past winner of BET’s Sunday Best gospel-singing competition — will lead an ensemble of instrumentalists and singers. The event will be available for streaming through April 22. Tickets are $20.

Dumbarton Concerts: Streamed Concert

At Dumbarton Concerts’ next Notes From Home concert, on April 17 at 7 p.m., the Thalea String Quartet will perform Haydn’s String Quartet No. 4 and Florence Price’s “Five [Negro] Folksongs in Counterpoint.” A meet-the-artists session will follow at 8 p.m. Tickets are $26.

Museum of Women in the Arts: Online Conversation

On April 18 from 5 to 6 p.m., artist Sonya Clark will converse online with Kathryn Wat, deputy director and chief curator of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Clark’s work, in which she transforms hair, combs and found objects into revelations on injustice and tributes to her ancestors, are featured in the new exhibition “Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend.” This free Fresh Talk event will be live-streamed on the museum’s website and Facebook page. Admission is free (a $10 donation is suggested).

Politics and Prose: Online Conversation

Bookstore Politics and Prose will stream an online conversation between USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, author of “Madame Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” and longtime WAMU and NPR radio host Diane Rehm on April 19 at 6 p.m. Admission is free. Click HERE to purchase the book.

GALA Hispanic Theatre: In-Person Play

“Tía Julia y el escribidor (Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter),” adapted by Caridad Svich from the 1977 novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, will be presented in Spanish with English surtitles at GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW, starting on April 22. A modern classic of Latin American drama, the play, directed by José Zayas, is set in Peru’s radio theater world of the 1950s. Performances will take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 p.m. through May 9. Seating is socially distanced and masks are required. Tickets are $25 to $45 ($20 on Community Night, April 22).

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