A few months ago, I was talking with a long-time Quotidian subscriber (in a situation far removed from any theater) about our then-upcoming production, A Lesson from Aloes. She told me that she had already made her reservation, and that she was looking forward to seeing “intimate theater” again.
Intimate theater. I had never thought about it much, but the Quotidian theater experience does indeed deserve to be called intimate. Our 99-seat performing space at the Writer’s Center brings you close to the play, no matter where your seat is. When I am in the audience, I usually sit no closer than the sixth row – a habit that comes from my days as a director, when I had to be sure that all my actors could make themselves heard. Even up there in the high places, I never feel that I am removed from the play – and, yes, I can hear every word.
But why is this kind of theater particularly desirable? Partly because it’s harder to find. Look almost everywhere, and you see theaters – along with everything else – getting bigger, more grandiose, with legions of lights, huge projections, and turntables that snap characters and sets into place from opposite ends of the stage. All of it clever, but does the wizardry make for a good play? Not necessarily.
In fact, in a lot of ways, low-tech, close-up shows like ours are more demanding, on both sides of the curtain. On the Quotidian stage, the audience can see just about everything, including the tiny details: the framed pictures of prize fighters on the walls of Harry Hope’s bar in The Iceman Cometh; the titles of Tesman’s beloved books on the shelves in Hedda Gabler; the football club banners on the walls of the chipper in This Lime Tree Bower. Heaven help you if you don’t get the details right; somebody will let you know. We make a point of getting them right.
More importantly, an intimate setting helps the audience focus on what we all come to theater for: the characters, the lines, the story. In this respect, I will put Quotidian up against any other theater going. Think of David Dubov, as Piet Bezuidenhout in the opening scene of A Lesson from Aloes, holding an aloe plant in his hand, thumbing through his field- book, and contemplating the astounding possibility that he may have discovered a hitherto unknown species. In a scene like this, the smallest things are important: the turn of the head, a fugitive smile, the light irony in the voice as Piet tries out a Latin name for a hypothetical new species. You can savor every detail, because you are there; you could be a guest in the room. That’s intimate theater.
It’s the kind of theater that we have always tried to offer, and hope to be able to for a long time to come. No surprise, the economics of theater haven’t changed a bit: the ticket sales and subscriptions cover only a fraction of the operating expenses. And we try to keep the expenses about as low as possible. We continue to have zero – zero – full-time paid staff, so that the dollars go overwhelmingly into the productions themselves. Including every donation dollar. We only come to you once a year with our summer fundraising campaign, so please consider making a donation to Quotidian today – and be assured that you will see the results on stage, very close to wherever you happen to be sitting.
Your tax-deductible gift helps QTC give back to the DC-area community, by…
Offering free theater tickets to Veterans and their families via VetTix.
Providing discounted tickets to students, seniors, and others on fixed incomes.
Collaborating with Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, which has added QTC to its intern program.
Hiring established, outside-QTC directors Laura Giannarelli and Stevie Zimmerman.
Providing opportunities to rising local talents–director Michael Avolio and actors Sara Dabney Tisdale, Jenny Donovan, Jonathan Feuer, James Flanagan, Carolyn Kashner, David Mavricos, Chelsea Mayo, Zach Roberts, and Chris Stinson.
Enlightening patrons with free post-show discussions and dramaturg sessions for subscribers.
DC Theater Scene’s Roy Mauer in his review of The Veil honored QTC with these words about its role in the local theater community, “…distinctionis due the modest playhouse on Walsh Street for arranging the U.S. premiere of The Veil right in our own Bethesda. Quotidian has now presented seven of Conor McPherson’s works, including three area premieres, a tremendous creditto the local theater scene.”
For those of you who feel the same, please help us bring affordable, downtown-quality theater to our neighborhood. We are profoundly grateful to ALL of our loyal patrons and donors. We wouldn’t be here without you!
Your tax-deductible investment in the arts also supports your community! Every Gift Makes a Difference!
Major Stakeholder, gift of $5,000 plus
Angel, gift of $2,000-$4,999
Producer, gift of $1,000-$1,999
Director, gift of $500-$999
Star, gift of $250-$499
Lead Actor, gift of $150-$249
Featured Player, gift of $100-$149
Supporting Actor, gift of $25-$99
If you are interested in helping produce a show with your gift, for which you’ll be duly recognized in the program, lobby, and QTC’s social media, please contact email@example.com.
QTC is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization. To donate a one-time OR recurring gift on line via PayPal, click on the “Donate” button above, and enter the amount you would like to invest. Checks made out to “Quotidian Theatre Company” may be mailed to QTC’s mailing address: 5705 Brewer House Circle, #202, Rockville, North Bethesda 20852.
Quotidian Theatre Company continues its dynamic 2016 season with the the lovely and haunting The Lady With the Little Dog, adapted from the beloved short story and directed by Stephanie Mumford.
Two strangers in 1901 Yalta – one seeking to escape his boring Moscow routine, the other in quest of a meaningful life beyond Saratov – discover what they have been searching for in each other. But, can they hold on to it? Anton Chekhov’s classic short story – his quotidian take on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina – receives an imaginative staging with live classical Russian music.
Coming off the Helen Hayes-recommended production of her adaptation of Chekhov’s A Little Trick, Mumford uses Russian classical music and artworks by Aivazovsky to create the setting for this classic love story.
“I wanted to take a story I felt deeply about, and bring it to life,” says Mumford. “There are so many elements of beauty and passion that leap off the page for the reader, the best way, I felt, was to adapt it into a theatrical experience, complete with music and art – elements that Chekhov references throughout. It will be a unique piece, and something in keeping with Quotidian’s intimate stagings of truth and beauty in the everyday.”
The Lady With the Little Dog opens on July 8, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and runs through August 7.
Dates & Times – Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm with an added 2pm Saturday matinee on 6 August
Venue – 4508 Walsh Street in Bethesda, MD 20815 (at the Writer’s Center, where QTC is the resident theater company)
Prices – $30 Regular, $25 Seniors, and $15 Students/Writer Center Members
Fri, July 8, 8pm
Sat, July 9, 8pm
Sun, July 10, 2pm
Fri, July 15, 8pm
Sat, July 16, 8pm
Sun, July 17, 2pm
Fri, July 22, 8pm
Sat, July 23, 8pm
Sun, July 24, 2pm
Fri, July 29, 8pm
Sat, July 30, 8pm
Sun, July 31, 2pm
Fri, August 5, 8pm
Sat, August 6, 2pm
Sat, August 6, 8pm
Sun, August 7, 2pm
Tickets for the general public are available at Brown Paper Tickets (http://qtclady.bpt.me/) or by calling the Quotidian Theatre Company box office at 301-816-1023.
Conor McPherson’s THE NIGHT ALIVE
21 October – 20 November 2016
“Something bright and beautiful pulses in the shadows of The Night Alive,” wrote New York Times reviewer Ben Brantley about McPherson’s most recent play, winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Brantley praised McPherson’s “singular gift for making the ordinary glow with an extra dimension, like a gentle phosphorescence waiting to be coaxed into radiance.” The often dark, at times violent, drama about the relationship among five highly imperfect people is also infused with black comedy as these sad souls fumble in the darkness toward the light. Directed by Jack Sbarbori and featuring David Dubov, David Mavricos, Chelsea Mayo, Joe Palka, and Matthew Vaky.
John Patrick Shanley’s DOUBT: A PARABLE
7 April – 7 May 2017
This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning drama, set in 1964, pits Catholic school principal Sister Aloysius against the new, charismatic priest, Father Flynn, when his relationship with the school’s first African American student is perceived to be suspicious. Armed with only her moral certitude, Sister Aloysius sets off on a personal crusade to unearth the truth. Featuring Chelsea Mayo and Stephanie Mumford.
THE HABITATION OF DRAGONS 14 July — 13 August 2017
Quotidian life assumes Biblical proportions in this devastating family drama by Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winning playwright/sceenwriter Horton Foote. In 1935 Harrison, Texas, Leonard Tolliver’s successful life is dismantled to the point where he realizes the axioms by which he lives are false. Directed by Jack Sbarbori and featuring QTC favorites and talented newcomers.
“A Lesson from Aloes, first performed in 1978, is… a fine example of Fugard’s depth of writing, well-defined characters, and conflicts that can be peeled away like an onion. Quotidian Theatre Company’s [production] is highlighted by intimacy, a deep understanding of the text, and an outstanding performance.” Read the full review.
-Jeffrey Walker – DC Theatre Scene
“Thought-provoking and dramatic, A Lesson From Aloes will remain on your mind for days. Athol Fugard creates a story full of tension and heartbreak that opens a window into how we live and interact with the world around us.”Read the full review.
-Lauren Katz – DC Metro Theatre Arts
“Under Laura Giannarelli’s attentive direction, the actors are persuasive with… the personal schisms.” Read the full review.