from the Footlights

January-February 2005               “Life shouldn’t be all work and no plays.”                         

Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9


Footlights will meet on Wednesday, January 26, 6:30 p.m. at Alfio’s for dinner and discussion of British playwright Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9. This brilliant play, by one of contemporary theater’s leading experimenters, takes a lacerating, but funny look at the cruelty and absurdity of convention. Footlights member Shankar Vedantam will moderate our discussion of Cloud 9 with very special guests Halo Wines, director of Catalyst Theater’s upcoming production of Cloud 9, and Maya Roth, drama professor at Georgetown University. Twenty years ago Halo Wines appeared in Cloud 9's area premiere as a company member at Arena Stage.


Reservations are required. Call or e-mail Mark Gruenberg anytime for reservations, 202-898-4825 or [email protected]. If you must cancel be sure to notify Mark so that someone else can attend.


Our dinner-discussion is at Alfio’s in the Willoughby Apartments, 4515 Willard Ave, Chevy Chase, MD (301-657-9133), two blocks from the Friendship Heights Metro. Street parking is limited; Alfio’s offers complimentary valet parking. Arrive at 6:30 for dinner; our meeting begins at 7:30 and goes no later than 9:30. You may arrive at 7:30 for the meeting only; extra chairs will be available.


We have arranged a fixed price meal at Alfio’s. For only $12 (tax and service charge included) you will have salad, entree, ice cream and coffee or tea. Cash is preferred, but you may use checks or credit cards. An additional $5 donation to Footlights is encouraged.


Be sure to read Cloud 9 before our discussion so you can understand the nuances of the play. Copies are available at both Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave.,NW (202-364-1919) and Backstage Books, 545 8th St.,SE (202-544-5744), near the Eastern Market Metro stop. Ask for the special Footlights discount at Politics & Prose.


Cloud 9 Performance: We will see Cloud 9 on Saturday, January 29 at 2 p.m. Performances take place at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th Street, SE (2 blocks from the Eastern Market Metro station). Tickets are $16 and include a post-show discussion. Send your check to Footlights, c/o Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct, Rockville, MD 20852. Call or e-mail Robin ASAP to let her know your check is on the way—240-669-6300 or [email protected]. Seating is limited; don’t delay.


Note special offer: Footlights offers persons 30 or under half-price tickets to our plays if you attend the prior dinner-discussion meeting.


In February:


On Tuesday, February 15, 6:30 p.m. at Alfio’s, our dinner-discussion will feature Footlights member Debbie Minter Jackson leading a panel of members from the Black Women’s Playwrights’ Group. Come meet Karen L.B. Evans, Founder and President of BWPG, and other playwrights, learn about their writing process, and hear about how a simple writing exercise turned into a successful summer hit DNA: Drama, Nuance, Attitude produced at the Mead Theater Lab. Karen is the recipient of an individual fellowship in playwriting from the NEA. She has written for the PBS series WonderWorks and was a featured panelist in a workshop on women playwrights organized by Ernie Joselowitz last month. Make reservations with Mark after the January 26 discussion.


On Saturday, February 26, 2 p.m., we see Saint Joan at Olney Theatre, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road in Olney, MD. Post-show discussion is included. Tickets are $27. Send your check to Robin no later than January 31.


Washington National Opera Special Event


A block of tickets for the 7 p.m., Monday, April 11 WNO performance of Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans starring the legendary Mirella Freni has been reserved for Footlights members. To reserve a ticket send a SASE and a check for $68 payable to Betty Byrne, 1822 Ingleside Terrace NW, Washington DC 20010 by January 31. Contact Betty for further details at 202-483-4048 or [email protected].


Two other events in association with the opera are the free Millennium Stage presentation on Thursday, March 24 at 6 p.m. (open to anyone) and a talk by Saul Lilienstein prior to the Friday evening performance on April 8. This talk is open to anyone holding a ticket for any performance and begins at 6:15 p.m. A pass to this event will be sent along with your opera ticket.


Footlights Greatest Hits


We try to see the plays we discuss—sooner or later. Two plays from past Footlights discussions, both in 1997, will be performed locally. Perhaps a Footlights member would like to organize a group to see one or both of these plays?


Everyman Theatre in Baltimore will be doing Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour. Previews begin January 11. Performances run through February 20.


The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers, adapted from her novel, will play at Ford’s Theatre February 4-27.


About Footlights


To get Footlights updates on-line, send any message — even blank—to [email protected]. Subscribers can post to our on-line list by sending brief messages to [email protected]. Visit our website at for updates. Address inquiries to Mark Gruenberg at 202-898-4825 or [email protected].


Please support Footlights, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Send your tax-deductible contributions to Footlights, c/o Robin Larkin, 5403 Nibud Ct., Rockville, MD 20852.




Wednesday, January 26, 6:30 p.m., dinner-discussion at Alfio’s: Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill


Saturday, January 29, 2 p.m., see Cloud 9 at Catalyst Theater


Tuesday, February 15, 6:30 p.m., dinner-discussion at Alfio’s: Black Women Playwright’s Group—Panel Discussion


Saturday, February 26, 2 p.m., see Saint Joan at Olney Theatre Center


Wednesday, March 30, 6:30 p.m., dinner-discussion at Alfio’s: The Goat or Who is Sylvia? by Edward Albee


Monday, April 11, 7 p.m., see Maid of Orleans at Washington National Opera