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Local performing arts orgs are back in-person just in time for the holidays

Encore Stage’s Enchanted Bookshop Christmas (Photo courtesy of Encore Stage/ Cindy Kane Photography)

As the region creeps back closer to normal, and with the holiday season now upon us, in-person performing arts are making a comeback.

Local theaters are once again welcoming back audiences for an assortment of concerts and productions.

If you’re interested in seeing a show and gaining some cultural enrichment while sitting among fellow humans, below are a few Arlington options to consider over the next few months.

The cast of Signature Theater’s Rent (Photo courtesy of Signature Theater/Christopher Mueller)

Signature Theater’s Rent 

When: November 2 to January 2, 2022

Where: 4200 Campbell Avenue in Shirlington

Safety Precautions: Proof of vaccinations or a negative test are required to attend a live, indoor performance at Signature Theater. Masks are also required at all times.

Details: In-person theater is back at Signature Theater with an all-new production of the iconic musical Rent.

“RENT is a musical about love, loss and community,” wrote director Matthew Gardiner in the press release. “After this past year where we’ve all felt isolated and disconnected, reopening Signature’s doors with this story about beautiful warriors and agents for change who found each other amidst unimaginable loss feels incredibly resonant.”

With a new artistic director at the helm, the Washington Post called Signature Theater’s production of Rent “gloriously harmonious.”

Encore Stage’s Enchanted Bookshop Christmas

When: November 19-21 & December 3-5

Where: Gunston ​​Arts Center, Theater 1 at 2700 S. Lang Street

Safety Precautions: Masks are required for everyone in the audience, including staff and students, except for children under the age of two. Concessions will only be available by pre-order and patrons must eat and drink outdoors.

Details: A sequel (with a holiday spin) to “Enchanted Bookshop,” which was performed at Encore Stage in 2019. Encore did two drive-by productions prior to moving back inside earlier this fall.

It’s four days before Christmas and a very special present has gone missing. Help come-to-life book characters solve the mystery and save the day. Enchanted Bookshop Christmas for all ages that’s 90 minutes including intermission.

Synetic Theater’s Cinderella (Photo courtesy of Synetic Theater/Johnny Shryock Photography)

Synetic Theater’s Cinderella 

When: November 27 to December 26

Where: 1800 S. Bell Street in Crystal City

Safety Precautions: All audience members over the age of 12 are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test along with an ID. Children under 12 are not required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative. Masks are required at all times and concessions will not be sold during the performance.

Details: This is a modern re-telling of the classic magical tale of “a striking clock, a glass slipper, and a brave young woman who dares to pursue her wildest dreams.”

Synetic Theater kept active throughout the pandemic by streaming performances and doing outdoor theater earlier this fall.

Known for wordless physical theater, this performance is family-friendly as well as appealing to non-English speakers due to the fact that there’s little dialogue.

Avant Bard Theatre’s How I Learned What I Learned

When: December 1 to 19

Where: Gunston ​​Arts Center, Theater 2 at 2700 S. Lang Street

Safety Precautions: Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test are mandatory for entry. Face coverings must be worn at all times while in the building.

Details: This autobiographical one-man show from one of America’s most acclaimed playwrights, August Wilson, stars William Newman, who some might know as the Chief Judge of Arlington’s Circuit Court. This isn’t Newman’s first starring role on the stage, either.

The performance deals with mature themes and is not suitable for all ages.

BallotNova’s The Nutcracker (Photo courtesy of BalletNova)

BallotNova’s The Nutcracker 

When: December 2 to December 5

Where: Kenmore Middle School at 200 S. Carlin Springs Road

Safety Precautions: Attendees 12 years old and over are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within the past three days. All attendees are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. Fully vaccinated dancers over the age of 12 will not be wearing masks while performing.

Details: This BalletNova’s first live, in-person performance in nearly two years. This rendition has all-new choreography, sets, and costumes “that are sure to make this year’s production our most magical yet,” artistic director Matthew Powell writes ARLnow.

“There are also a few fun surprises in store, but we can’t give away all of our secrets,” he notes.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or on the website. The production is suitable for all ages.

National Chamber Ensemble’s Holiday Cheer (Photo via National Chamber Ensemble)

National Chamber Ensemble’s Holiday Cheer 

When: December 18

Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington at 4444 Arlington Blvd

Safety Precautions: All patrons must be fully vaccinated, wear a mask at all times, and capacity will be less than 50% to allow patrons to spread out.

Details: A holiday concert featuring “star soprano” Sharon Christmann joining the ensemble and performing the favorites.

A streaming option will be available for those who don’t feel comfortable attending in person. This performance is family-friendly.

The Arlington Players’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Photo courtesy of The Arlington Players)

The Arlington Players’ A Midsummer’s Night Dream

When: January 15 to 30, 2022

Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre at 125 S. Old Glebe Road

Safety Precautions: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test within the last 72 hours. Audience members must wear masks at all times as required by Arlington County.

Details: For the long-running community theater company, this William Shakespeare comedy is its first show back at Thomas Jefferson Community Theater. This past fall, the Arlington Players had an in-person, outdoor performance at Lubber Run Amphitheater.

A Midnight Summer’s Dream is family-friendly and open to all ages.

Know of any other upcoming performing arts shows in the area worth considering? Let us know in the comments.

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