“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 will be presented June-July 2014, including the world premiere main stage production THE PROSTATE DIALOGUES written and performed by Jon Spelman. See below for upcoming events.

We're also excited to announce that for our 2015 festival, we'll be working with local playwrights Christine Evans, Kristen LePine, David Robinson and Jon Klein.
Locally Grown Festival 2014 - UPCOMING EVENTS

Reading: Orchestration by John Strand
Monday, June 9 at 7:30 PM
Directed by Gregg Henry
Tickets: $10 per person

Spanning the years from the early 1980s to 2002 and based on factual events leading up to the Iraq War, Orchestration looks at the human effects of lying, dissembling, marketing and maneuvering—and making bad choices—in politics and in love.

More Info & Tickets

Reading: Spectacular Women (in Their Natural Habitat) by Jennie Berman Eng
Tuesday, June 17 at 7:30 PM
Directed by Johanna Gruenhut

Tickets: $10 per person

Loosely inspired by Fiddler on the Roof, this play considers the question, "Is marriage good for women?" When 20 year old college student  Tzeitel surprises her overachieving, feminist mother and four sisters with the news she's engaged, everything they've ever believed about their choices comes into question.

More Info & Tickets

Reading: Cream Soda and Crème de Menthe by Caleen Sinnette Jennings
Monday, June 23 at 7:30 PM
Directed by Eleanor Holdridge

Tickets: $10 per person

A semi-autobiographical, coming of age play about Jacqueline Marie Butler, a 12-year old black girl growing up in 1960s Queens, New York. Jacqueline discovers a new city and a whole new world when her parents transfer her to a predominantly Jewish progressive school in Greenwich Village. 

More Info & Tickets

Reading: To Kill A King by Joshua Ford
Monday, June 30 at 7:30 PM
Directed by Craig Wallace

Tickets: $10 per person

To Kill A King tells the story of the Memphis Sanitation Workers' strike of 1968 – an unplanned work stoppage that began by accident, was prolonged by intransigence, and ended in tragedy. At the center of the conflict stand the individuals whose actions helped determine the fates of 1200 strikers and one reverend from Atlanta.

More Info & Tickets

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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