Arlington, VA

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

They make it look so easy…! Part of the magic of live theater and dance, or a polished concert or visual art exhibition is the appearance of effortlessness that is experienced by the audience.

But anyone who has spent more than a moment behind the scenes knows that perception of ease is the result of a life-time of practice, hours of rehearsal and the marshalling of myriad resources to bring the project to fruition. Central to how Arlington County addresses its investment in our arts infrastructure is The Arlington Arts Grants Program.

From theatre and dance, to exhibits and workshops, to arts experiences for youth, these resources awarded through the grants program help support a broad array of offerings that make Arlington a great place to live and work.

Administered by the Arlington Commission for the Arts in conjunction with the County’s arts support agency, Arlington Arts, applications the FY21 Grants Cycle have recently closed for the next round of grants.

However, this is opening week for two offerings by notable Arlington-based theater companies whose work is made possible in-part by the County’s support:

Suddenly Last Summer
Avant Bard Theatre
Opening: Thursday, February 27
Gunston Theatre Two (Arlington Ridge)

Set in the hothouse of New Orlean’s Garden District, Suddenly Last Summer has all the hallmarks of a Tennessee Williams masterpiece: exotic locales, tortured psyches, glorious, lyrical language and Williams’ gift for creating vivid, unforgettable characters. An elderly socialite mourns the death of her poet son, who died under mysterious circumstances while vacationing at an island resort.

Eager to protect her son’s image, she hires a doctor to silence the only witness to the tragic event — but the shattering truth fights its way to the surface, as it always does in Williams’ world. Directed by Artistic Director Emeritus Christopher Henley, Suddenly Last Summer will be produced along with Ada and the Engine as a part of Avant Bard’s 30th Anniversary Spring Repertory

Phantom of the Opera
Synetic Theater
February 27-29
Synetic Theatre (Crystal City)

Paata Tsikurishvili applies Synetic’s signature gothic storytelling to one of the most famous supernatural novels of all time with a physical adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera. Deep underneath the Paris Opera House, a deformed and bitter musician develops an obsession with a new singer named Christine. Known only as the Phantom, he terrorizes the opera house and manipulates Christine, tutoring her and demanding she be cast in more prominent roles.

Stunningly virtuosic and eerie, Synetic’s adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera will examine the tragedy, heroism, horror and beauty in this classic French tale.

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