Front and Center

Looks like the big women’s march on Washington will be going ahead after all on January 21—after a lot of sturm und drang about locations and permits—but the Hill won’t be the only place where women are taking the spotlight this month.

At the Arena Stage, the timely drama Roe opened on January 12 and will run through February 19. As you might guess from the title, playwright Lisa Loomer takes on the very personal story that led to the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, and the fallout that eventually drove “Jane Roe” (the pseudonym taken by then bartender Norma McCorvey) and her attorney, Sarah Weddington, apart. Weddington remains pro-choice, whereas McCorvey became a born-again Christian in the mid-1990s—she was baptized by the leader of Operation Rescue.

DC theater womenPhoto Courtesy of Jenny Graham, Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Meanwhile, over at Ford’s Theatre (something a lot of out-of-towners don’t know: this space in Penn’s Quarter is still a working theater as well as being the site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination), Edward Albee’s booze-soaked play about marital dysfunction Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? begins a month’s run on January 24. For your intermission trivia game: Why didn’t Virginia Woolf win the 1963 Pulitzer for drama? Although the play was, in fact, the top pick of the drama committee, Columbia University’s trustees, who oversee the awards program, nixed the committee’s decision. (Apparently, the profanity and adult themes on display were too controversial for them.) In the end, the Pulitzer award for drama wasn’t given out at all that year.

DC theater womenPhoto Courtesy of Christopher Mueller

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