Free Reading to Celebrate Works of Chekhov, Friel | Quotidian Theatre Company

Washington, DC – Quotidian Theatre Company will continue its ongoing celebration of the works of playwrights Anton Chekhov and Brian Friel with a free reading of Friel’s The Yalta Game, based on Chekhov’s short story The Lady with the Lap Dog. The reading will be presented at Flashpoint’s Mead Theatre Lab in Northwest DC on Monday, July 23 at 7:30pm.

The Yalta Game, with Steve Beall & Laura Russell

As an added bonus, attendees of the one-night-only staged reading will receive a “buy one, get one free” coupon for the company’s upcoming production, a pairing of Friel’s Chekhov-inspired Afterplay and the world premiere of Quotidian’s original translation and adaptation of the Chekhov short story A Little Trick. In Afterplay, the famed Irish Tony-winner imagines a meeting between two of Chekhov’s characters from the plays Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya. A Little Trick is a short play dealing with memory and lost love. The two pieces will be performed in tandem, bridged by an intermission.

Chekhov’s work has been a common thread for Quotidian Theatre Company since its inception, and this past spring, Quotidian’s production of Friel’s family drama Dancing at Lughnasa was one of the highest-attended shows in the theatre’s history. This autumn, Quotidian will launch their 15th Anniversary Season.

“Our audience response has been a critical factor in our success,” says Quotidian’s Artistic Director Jack Sbarbori, who co-founded the Bethesda-based company in 1998.

“Audiences find something truthful and intimate at Quotidian that they can’t  get anywhere else,” adds Michael Avolio, The Yalta Game’s director, whose involvement with Quotidian began in 2006. “The goal with this reading is both to thank our current audience, who’ve been partners with Quotidian all this time, and to reach out to those who haven’t yet seen our work.”

The company will present the reading at the centrally-located Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint in Washington, DC. “It’s only half a block from the Gallery Place Metro Station,” says Avolio. “With the growth of the DC theatre scene and organizations like the Capital Fringe Festival, it’s exciting that there are so many opportunities for people to be exposed to theatre. This is a chance for DC theatre-goers who’ve been unable to see our work in the past to become acquainted with Quotidian,” Avolio says.

Performing in the reading of The Yalta Game are area actors Steve Beall and Laura Russell. Beall has worked at numerous theatres in the DC region, including Forum Theatre, Taffety Punk Theatre Company, Constellation Theatre Company, and Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, and is currently acting in a Fringe Festival show. He has also performed in four Quotidian productions, and will return for the theatre’s first musical, James Joyce’s The Dead, the first show of the company’s 15th Anniversary Season. Due to what Avolio calls her “remarkable versatility and emotional understatement,” Russell has quickly become a Quotidian favorite, having been featured in six of Quotidian’s plays since 2008. She joined their board late last year.

Monday, July 23: Quotidian Theatre Company presents a free reading of The Yalta Game by Brian Friel. Two strangers meet on holiday and begin an unlikely affair in this intimate, rarely-performed one-act play inspired by Anton Chekhov’s short story The Lady with the Lapdog.
Featuring Quotidian favorites Steve Beall and Laura Russell. Directed by Michael Avolio.
All those who attend the reading will receive a “buy one, get one free” coupon for tickets to Quotidian’s production of Afterplay and A Little Trick.
Please note, the reading will not be held at Quotidian’s usual venue in Bethesda, but at Flashpoint’s Mead Theatre Lab: 916 G St NW, Washington, DC 20001.
Seating is limited and first-come, first-served. Doors open at 7pm; the event begins at 7:30pm. This is a free event.

About Quotidian Theatre Company:
Our mission at Quotidian Theatre Company is to find truth and beauty in the everyday, presenting plays in an understated, impressionistic style. This is a theatre that doesn’t rely on special effects; just piercingly truthful acting and no-frills storytelling about the poetry of everyday life. By providing realistic situations and dialogue, Quotidian lets audiences witness events as if over a backyard fence or through an open window, thus illuminating the depth and dignity of ordinary human experience.

For further information, contact Artistic Director Jack Sbarbori by phone at 301-816-1023 or via email at Additionally, Quotidian can be found online at,,, and

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