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Tysons’ 1st Stage Scraps Planned 2020-2021 Season

The show will not go on for the theatrical performances that 1st Stage Theatre had planned for the remainder of its 2020-2021 season — at least not in the form they were originally conceived.

The Tysons-based theater company announced this afternoon (Thursday) that it will not move forward with productions of “The Waverly Gallery,” “The Nance,” and “Mlima’s Tale” as planned “due to the ongoing health crisis.”

“While we were holding out a sliver of hope that the new vaccines might give us a chance to move forward as planned, it is clear that there simply won’t be a safe option,” 1st Stage said in an emailed newsletter.

In lieu of the anticipated in-person performance, the company will instead present a virtual, live reading of “The Waverly Gallery” performed by the original 1st Stage cast. A finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, “The Waverly Gallery” is a memory play written by playwright and film director Kenneth Lonergan that follows the concluding years of a grandmother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

1st Stage will hold the live reading via Zoom on Mar. 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $5 and can be purchased through the organization’s website.

The theater company does not indicate whether there are any plans to do similar live readings of “The Nance” by Douglas Carter Beane or “Mlima’s Tale” by Lynn Nottage, but it says it is working on getting the necessary permissions to move its fourth annual Logan Festival of Solo Performance up to this spring with outdoor performances.

The scrapped productions had originally been scheduled for 2020 as part of 1st Stage’s 13th season, but the theater decided in July to delay the season to this year so that it could focus on virtual offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That pivot will continue with a newly announced slate of online classes, including an introductory “Drama Games” course and two improvisation courses, one aimed at adults and the other at middle and high school students. Registration for the classes is now open with a deadline of Mar. 11.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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