Round House Theatre could resume in-person plays by the spring

Round House Theatre could resume in-person plays by the spring

Company will have virtual performances through January, it says

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Photo by Leigh McDonald

Bethesda’s Round House Theatre will kick off its 2020-2021 season next month with a series of online performances, and the company hopes to return to in-person performances by the spring.

The company will feature three virtual productions between October and January. There will be three live, in-person shows in the spring of 2021, but no definite dates have been set, according to a press release.

Jasmine Jiang, Round House’s public relations and partnerships manager, told Bethesda Beat on Monday that the timing of the in-person shows will depend on how quickly Maryland continues in its reopening plan.

“We’re keeping [the timing] vague right now because we’re constantly monitoring the guidelines and all the updates,” she said. “By the end of this year, we will have a clearer picture on what the second half of the season will be.”

Jiang added that Round House is also conducting a survey among its patrons to determine how quickly they might feel comfortable returning to the theater.

Round House, which is entering its 43rd season, typically performs about six mainstage shows a year. The theater completed renovations in 2019.

The season will start Oct. 5 with a production of Leila Buck’s “American Dreams,” and the show will run through Oct. 11, according to the press release. The virtual show is live and is a “government-run game show” where audience members compete for U.S. citizenship, according to the description.

From Nov. 14 through Dec. 12, Round House will present a four-part series called “The Work of Adrienne Kennedy: Inspiration and Influence.” The four productions are entitled “He Brought Her Back in a Box,” “Sleep Deprivation Chamber,” “Ohio State Murders,” and “Etta and Ella on the Upper West Side.” The productions explore themes of race, police brutality and family.

In January, Round House will stream the world premier of Lauren Gunderson’s “The Catastrophist,” which is based on the life of her husband, virologist Nathan Wolfe. The production is an “interactive deep dive into the profundities of scientific exploration and the harrowing realities of facing your own mortality.”

 “This fall and winter are all about exploring new ways to tell stories and interact with audiences. Rather than a diminished version of what we would produce in person, everything we’re programming is the best of what digital can do, in both form and content,” Artistic Director Ryan Rilette said in the press release.

Dan Schere can be reached at

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