Forum Theatre (Washington, D.C.)

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Forum Theatre
ForumTheatre logo.gif
Company logo
TypeTheatre group
Artistic director(s)
Michael Dove

Forum Theatre is a non-profit theatre company based in Washington, D.C.[1] Founded in 2003, it produces three shows per season and is in residence at the H Street Playhouse. The company focuses on plays that feature storytelling and theatricality. The company also aims to host productions dealing with topics that lend themselves to post-show discussions, which the theatre hosts in the lobby.


Forum Theatre was founded in 2003 by Kelly Bartnik, Michael Dove, Paul Frydrychowski, and Mark Wright. Instead of using a single performance method, Forum would explore storytelling styles and artistic media. The founders had backgrounds in film, dance/movement, music, visual art, and theatre.

The company also aimed to bring new or seldom-performed plays to Washington, using the shows to promote artistic expression and discussion. The company’s first productions were a collection of Samuel Beckett short plays and a movement and video piece called All Things Seen, based on Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit.[2]

The company performed at the Arena Stage in Washington, Warehouse Theater, Church Street Theater, The University of Maryland, The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, and Round House Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland before taking up residence at the H Street Playhouse in northeast DC in June 2007. Its production history includes the world premieres of Israeli playwright Ami Dayan’s UpShot and a new translation of The Gas Heart commissioned by the company, along with the DC premieres of Hamletmachine, Václav Havel's The Memorandum, Kid-Simple: A Radio Play in the Flesh, Caryl Churchill’s The Skriker, and Don DeLillo's Valparaiso.

In October 2006, Forum founded and produced (with the Irish-American arts organization Solas Nua) theDC Samuel Beckett Centenary Festival,[3] to celebrate the writer’s work and impact on contemporary art. The festival, which took place in several DC venues, included two weeks of theatre productions, film screenings, panel discussions, academic symposia, book clubs, downloadable radio play podcasts, and the international touring production of Waiting for Godot by Ireland’s Gate Theatre. The festival was sponsored by the Embassy of Ireland, The University of Maryland, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Today, the group has 16 performers, technicians, and theater administrators, supported by a 13-member board. For its 2007–08 season, the company produced Jean Anouilh's Antigone, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis, and Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss. The group later launched a blog called "OpenForum".

Production timeline[edit]






Company members[edit]

  • Kelly Bartnik
  • Fiona Blackshaw
  • Austin Bragg
  • Patrick Bussink
  • Jenn Carlson
  • Michael Dove
  • Paul Frydrychowski
  • Maggie Glauber
  • Hannah Hessel
  • Brent Lowder
  • Rose McConnell
  • Laura Miller
  • Alexander Strain
  • Mark Jude Sullivan
  • Jesse Terrill
  • Mark Wright


The Forum Theatre has received ten nominations for the Helen Hayes Award.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Forum Gets a Line On Nonlinear Works". Washington Post. 21 January 2006.
  2. ^ Archived from the original on February 26, 2008. Retrieved March 14, 2008. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Archived from the original on August 12, 2007. Retrieved March 14, 2008. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Helen Hayes Awards Search Recipients - Forum Theatre". Archived from the original on January 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-16.

External links[edit]