The Conference of the Birds

Oct. 23—Nov. 25 $30–$68
Folger Elizabethan Theatre
201 E. Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC
Map
(202) 544-7077
The Conference of the Birds is a Sufi mystic’s meditation on the search for the divine, but if that sounds passive, the show is anything but. Built in part around tall tales of cruel kings and lovestruck princesses, it’s narrated by a wise hoopoe (played with notes of wonder and sadness by Patty Gallagher), who gathers a multitude of birds—from the timid sparrow to the proud falcon to the vainglorious peacock—and marshals them for an urgent journey. Led by director Aaron Posner and choreographer Erika Chong Shuch—working, presumably, in tight coordination with musician Tom Teasley, whose insinuating polyrhythms inform everything about the evening—the ensemble creates ravishing stage pictures: a sensuous duet for that passion-addled princess and the slave she’s mad for, wildly colorful swirls of avian chaos as the flock battles a windstorm, a sweeping gesture by an astrologer that dashes an entire cosmos to dust in an instant. (TG)

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Theater
Jan. 26—March 6
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$35–$75
Books
Tuesday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Ng, the author of Everything I Never Told You, and John Wray, author of Lowboy discuss the ways families and danger intersect in their work at this reading presented by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$15
Books
Thursday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m.
The contemporary poets share their work, which celebrates the natural world, at this reading presented in conjunction with the Phillips Collection's "Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks" exhibition.
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$15
Books
Monday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.
The author, a winner of the Man Booker Prize, discusses his new book, Shylock is My Name, a unique retelling of The Merchant of Venice.
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$10–$15
Books
Monday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m.
At this reading centered around the intersection of fiction, nonfiction, and life, novelist Jackson and essayist Jamison read from their intensely personal events.
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$15
Books
Monday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Like the playwright whose name appears on the building, these three contemporary poets have mastered the sonnet and discuss what they like about the form at this reading.
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$15
Theater
April 21—May 8
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$35–$75
Books
Monday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Readers and writers, including Madison Smartt Bell, Stephen Goodwin, and Lauren Groff, pay tribute to the late novelist, who served as chairman of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation for 30 years.
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$15
Books
Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m.
Authors and readers come together at this annual celebration that the honors the best works of fiction published by an American citizen in a calendar year.
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$100

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