Avant Bard is thrilled to announce its next season! After more than 18 months away from the mainstage, Avant Bard welcomes you back to Gunston Arts Center and Theatre on the Run for a triumphant return to theatre. 

Avant Bard would like to thank the generosity of Arlington County and the many donors who continue to help make our artmaking possible. 

If you’d like to support our work and keep vibrant theatre in Arlington, you can make a contribution to Avant Bard here.

HOW I LEARNED WHAT I LEARNED by August Wilson, Directed by DeMone Seraphin

From the late August Wilson, one of America’s greatest playwrights and creator of award-winning titles like Fences and Jitney, comes this autobiographical tour de force. In his one-man show, Wilson takes us on a journey through his days as a young poet: his first few jobs, a stint in jail, the support of his lifelong friends, and his encounters with racism, music, and love as a struggling writer in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Originally performed by Wilson himself, How I Learned What I Learned is a heartfelt theatrical memoir—charting one man’s journey of self-discovery through adversity, and what it means to be a black artist in America.

Content Warning: this play contains some references to racism and racial slurs. 

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ADA AND THE ENGINE by Lauren Gunderson,
Directed by Megan Behm

Performing at Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two

Ada Lovelace, the only legitimate child of the amorous poet Lord Byron, had a love of her own: mathematics. Well, that...plus a certain polymath-inventor, Charles Babbage, famous as “the father of the computer.” It’s true that Babbage invented the hardware--the Analytic Engine--but the language, the song, the soul of the thing, the programming: that was all Ada. From prolific playwright Lauren Gunderson (author of the inspirational Emilie, which Avant Bard produced to great acclaim in 2017), Ada and the Engine is a whimsical scientific history that once again proves the future is, and has always been, female. 

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SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER by Tennessee Williams, Directed by Christopher Henley

Performing at Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two

Set in the hothouse of New Orlean’s Garden District, Suddenly Last Summer has all the hallmarks of a Tennessee Williams masterpiece: exotic locales, tortured psyches, glorious, lyrical language, and Williams' gift for creating vivid, unforgettable characters. An elderly socialite mourns the death of her poet son, who died under mysterious circumstances while vacationing at an island resort. Eager to protect her son’s image, she hires a doctor to silence the only witness to the tragic event--but the shattering truth fights its way to the surface, as it always does in Williams’ world. In the great Avant Bard tradition of providing audiences an opportunity to see something they may have read but have never seen--or have seen the movie version but have never seen it on-stage--audiences can learn first-hand what happened last summer, and experience the unique and exhilarating beauty of this quintessential Williams classic. Directed by Artistic Director Emeritus Christopher Henley.

Please be advised that these performances contains smoke effects, drug use, and other adult themes. If you have questions or concerns, please call the box office or consult with house management at will call.

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