(Updated at 5 p.m.) Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts will reopen its indoor theater at The Barns this fall for the first live performances there since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020.
Kicking off on Oct. 1 with folk/country singer-songwriter Sean McConnell, the 2021-2022 season will mark the 40th anniversary of the 382-seat venue’s opening in 1981. It comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the park’s distinctive open-air amphitheater, the Filene Center.
Announced today (Tuesday) by the Wolf Trap Foundation, which manages and operates the venue, the initial lineup features a variety of genres, from pop-soul group The 5th Dimension and jazz legend Branford Marsalis to Broadway actress and singer Laura Benanti and comedy improv group The Second City.
“We are greatly looking forward to welcoming audiences and performers back to The Barns at Wolf Trap in a safe and responsible manner,” Wolf Trap Foundation President and CEO Arvind Manocha said in a press release. “Almost 18 months since the last performance, we will celebrate The Barns 40th anniversary with a wide range of performances to welcome fans back to this intimate and acoustically excellent setting.”
However, with COVID-19 still a concern, Wolf Trap performances have not entirely returned to normal.
While the Filene Center returned to full-capacity shows this month, Wolf Trap advises patrons in its 2021 policies to bring a face mask to wear in restrooms and other enclosed spaces, since the White House reimposed a mask requirement for all workers and visitors in federal buildings in late July.
Because The Barns are enclosed, face masks will be required for everyone regardless of vaccination status during all performances, except when in the act of eating or drinking. Masks will be given to individuals who don’t bring one or have one that doesn’t meet the park’s rule that it fully cover the nose, mouth, and chin.
To enter the venue, attendees must also present verification that they are either fully vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID-19 within the past 48 hours. Proof of vaccination can include the card itself, a photo, or a print-out from a medical provider or a state registry.
The Virginia Department of Health has a portal where residents can find a record of their vaccination in the Virginia Immunization Information System.
Tickets for the 2021-2022 season will go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday (Aug. 20) and can be purchased online.
From the press release, the full list of announced performers at The Barns is below:
Among the initial slate of shows in the 2021-2022 season, nine artists make their Barns at Wolf Trap debuts — including singer songwriters Jim Messina and Karla Bonoff on separate nights; rock band Okkervil River (solo) and Damien Jurado, international cabaret phenomenon Meow Meow; pop music and R&B group The 5th Dimension; Latin Grammy Award winner Nella; the virtuoso considered to be the father of world music Kayhan Kalhor; interactive vocal group Choir! Choir! Choir!; and folk and country singer-songwriter Sean McConnell.
Returning favorites include rock singer-songwriter Storm Large; Broadway songstress Linda Eder; English singer and the voice behind the 1984 hit “Missing You,” John Waite; Ohio-based indie/folk group Over The Rhine; the incomparable singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff; Masters of Hawaiian Music; Tony award-winner John Lloyd Young; Richmond-based rockers the Pat McGee Band; two nights with pianist Jim Brickman; respected and renowned jazz great Brandford Marsalis; and more.
Chamber Music at The Barns 2021-2022 performance season opens with Artistic Advisor Wu Han at the piano joined by David Finckel (cello), Arnaud Sussman (violin), and Paul Neubauer (viola); Christmas with Cantus rings in the holiday season; the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center concerts explore the works of Chopin, Spanish Inspirations and The Jazz Effect; The Miro Quartet performs works by Ravel and more; and multi Grammy Award-winning Sharon Ibsin astounds with her classical guitar. Wolf Trap is presenting local arts groups, Opera Lafeyette and Urban Arias in unique operatic programs.
The Barns also hosts performances that expand beyond music and into comedy, with stand-up shows like the ever-popular Evening of Comedy and improv comedy troupe The Second City.
A full calendar of performances can be found on the Wolf Trap website. Additional performances will be announced throughout the fall starting on Sept. 7.
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