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Tysons’ 1st Stage begins new season this month with solo plays festival

Outside 1st Stage in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The Logan Festival of Solo Performance is returning home this year.

After venturing outdoors to The Boro in 2021, 1st Stage will return to its theater at 1524 Spring Hill Road in Tysons for the sixth iteration of its annual festival celebrating one-person plays.

Running from July 28 to Aug. 7, the festival is expected to draw performers from across the U.S. who will stage a trio of plays, each centered on a single actor, and participate in workshops, discussions, and other events, according to a press release.

The lineup includes the world premiere of “Wanda’s Way,” a profile of a Black female police officer based on real interviews. Directed by Angelisa Gillyard, the play was written by Caleen Sinnette Jennings as  part of 1st Stage’s inaugural Commissions of Solo Work initiative, which helps individual artists develop new solo shows.

According to 1st Stage, “Wanda’s Way” will be the first work coming out of that project to make its debut. It’s being funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Here is the full schedule for this year’s Logan Festival:

Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me but Banjos Saved My Life

Showtimes: July 29 at 8 p.m., July 30 and 31 at 2 p.m., and Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

In this award-winning one-man show, playwright Keith Alessi tells the story of his boyhood, meteoric rise in the boardroom, and the startling news that changed his life forever. He candidly reveals how he used that obstacle to find a new passion in music and a cathartic outlet in storytelling.

Spanking Machine

Showtimes: Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 5 and 6 at 8 p.m., and Aug. 7 at 2 p.m.

Marga Gomez performs her by turns funny, intense, and heart-rending memoir of growing up brown and queer in Washington Heights. Devil Dogs, sadistic nuns on poppers, childhood pranks, assault, and suppressed memory play their parts in Marga’s shift across gender, latitudes, and generations.

Wanda’s Way

Showtimes: July 28 at 7:30 p.m., July 30 at 8 p.m., July 31 at 7 p.m., Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m., and Aug. 6 at 2 p.m.

Based on real interviews, Wanda’s Way explores the journey of a Black female police officer as she explains how and why she got into law enforcement. This intricately woven tale is one of corrupted dreams, seemingly impenetrable systems, and the extreme consequences of both acting and failing to act.

General admission tickets for the festival cost $20 per show with a $10 discount for students. Festival passes that cover all three shows are available for $50. All tickets can be purchased online or by calling 1st Stage’s box office at 703-854-1856.

Under its COVID-19 health policies, 1st Stage still requires face masks for all patrons, volunteers, and staff. Patrons must also present proof of full vaccination and a photo identification, or email proof of a negative PCR test result from the past two days within an hour of the show.

Launching with the Logan Festival, 1st Stage’s 2022-2023 season will feature multiple regional premieres, including a run of Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage’s “Mlima’s Tale” from Sept. 15 to Oct. 2. The full schedule can be found on the theater company’s website.

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