“Quite simply one of the most important and worthwhile projects that any local theater has adopted, in the cause of making this a more hospitable city for playwriting talent.” - Peter Marks, The Washington Post

Locally Grown: Community Supported Art

The Locally Grown initiative is inspired in part by the locavore and community supported agriculture movements which focus on cultivating and utilizing local resources for local consumption. Theater J's initiative translates these principles to DC's burgeoning theatre scene, fostering the talent of DC playwrights through full productions, mini-commissions, round-table discussions and readings.

The “Locally Grown” initiative began in summer 2010 when Theater J commissioned five DC-based playwrights to develop plays that would be presented as readings during the run of THE RELIGION THING, a world premiere play by DC-based writer Renee Calarco.

In Spring 2013 we produced our second Locally Grown festival featuring two full-length plays on our main stage by DC-based writers (ANDY AND THE SHADOWS by Ari Roth and THE HAMPTON YEARS by Jacqueline E. Lawton) and a series of five staged readings in our theater and library.

The 3rd annual Locally Grown Festival was presented June-July 2014, including the world premiere main stage production THE PROSTATE DIALOGUES written and performed by Jon Spelman and four staged readings including new works by John Strand, Jennie Berman Eng, Caleen Sinette Jennings and Joshua Ford.

The 4th annual Locally Grown Festival (March 18 - April 27, 2015) featured the world premiere main stage production G-D'S HONEST TRUTH by Renee Calarco and four staged readings.

5th Annual Locally Grown Festival 2016 - UPCOMING READINGS

Reading: From Kings by Tearrance A. Chisholm
Monday, May 9 at 7:30 PM

Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater, FREE

An examination of class and status within the black community in Chicago in the early 1960s.

Reading: Flight by Jennie Berman Eng
Monday, May 16 at 7:30 PM
Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater, FREE

Set during the Holocaust, about two women who develop an intense friendship while serving as forced laborers at Genshagen, a concentration camp/factory owned and operated by Daimler Benz.

Reading: Daniel Deronda by Norman Allen
Monday, May 23 at 7:30 PM
Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater, FREE

An adaptation of the George Elliot novel which follows the eponymous character's journey to discovering his own Jewish heritage, and also makes wry and astute observations about the role of women at the time.

Playwright's Town Hall Meeting: Where Are We Now? at Theater J, June 2013

Locally Grown Reading: A Grand Design by DW Gregory, June 2013. L-R: Pomme Koch and Anne Bowles.

Locally Grown Reading Skin and the November Sky by Stephen Spotswood. L-R: John Lesault and Gwen Grastorf, January 2012

The Hampton Years by Jacqueline E. Lawton, June 2013. L-R: Crashonda Edwards and Julian Elijah Martinez. Photo by C. Stanley Photography

Andy and the Shadows by Ari Roth, April, 2013. L-R: Jennifer Mendenhall and Alexander Strain. Photo by C. Stanley Photography

The Religion Thing by Renee Calarco, January 2012. L-R: Liz Mamana and Chris Stezin. Photo by C. Stanley Photography
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