Picnic Theatre Company brings summer garden theater to Woodlawn and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House estate on July 8 with ARSENIC AND OLD LACE.
Following a sold-out premiere at the Phillips Collection in May, and a very successful June run at Dumbarton House, the young, the talented, and the boisterous Picnic Theatre Company launches our brand new Woodlawn Wednesdays series with a summer garden party performance of Joseph Kesselring’s American farcical, dark comedy classic, Arsenic and Old Lace.
Bring your blankets and enjoy a picnic on our grounds, before the seated show in our fountain garden. Want to make it easy? Be sure to pre-order a murderously delicious dinner bag for 2 from Old Town’s Society Fair, by Chef Cathal Armstrong and his wife Meshelle, available for pick-up on site. Or, bring your own. If you dare, try the Elderberry Cocktail, or Death by Chocolate Brownie, available for separate purchase. (Outside alcohol is prohibited.)
The one-hour one-act performance of the 1940s smash Broadway comedy hit was originally brought to the silver screen by Frank Capra, starring Cary Grant. Our real Woodlawn Mansion and fountain garden will set the stage for the ‘Brewster Mansion’, where villains, lunatics, and sweet little old ladies form the ultimate dysfunctional family. Proceeds benefit the preservation of Woodlawn and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House, and the Courage for Kids GIVE BACK-pack initiative.
Picnic Theatre Company has been recognized by the Washington Post as one of the “culture-party hybrids taking Washington by storm” and “the next big thing” in local theater, and as a Washington City Paper Arts and Entertainment Editor’s Pick for a “quick hit of classic theater.” Professionals by day and thespians by night, Picnic Theatre Company’s all-volunteer troupe donates proceeds of performances to historical preservation, and arts and education charities. Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Karim C. Chrobog, the cast for Arsenic and Old Lace includes USTR’s Christina Sevilla, Wiley Rein’s Nova Daly, Chemonics’ Jane Latham Hodges, Senate Budget Committee’s Matt Stoller, PBS’ Daniela Kelley, EPA’s Charles Kovatch, Washington Post’s Tony Olivo, State Department’s Bob Gerber, Creative Science Labs’ Chris Fowler, and communications consultant Kevin Rooney.
Since 2010, Picnic Theatre Company’s sold-out performances include Moliere’s Hypochondriac, Moliere’s The Misanthrope, Moliere’s Tartuffe, Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Rivals, Langdon Mitchell’s The New York Idea, An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe, An Evening With Anton Chekhov, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles, and H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Picnic Theatre Company has performed at a variety of historic Washington venues including Dumbarton House, The Phillips Collection, The Washington Club, The University Club, and The Hill Center at Capitol Hill.
The first site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Woodlawn estate was originally part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Our theatrical history is rich. One of our earliest owners, Paul Kester, a successful New York playwright, purchased Woodlawn in 1901, and lived here with his family and 60 cats!