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
Oct. 28—Dec. 7
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$40–$75
Books
Monday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize winners Geoffrey Brock and Heather McHugh read at this celebration.
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$15
Books
Monday, November 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Okey Ndibe, Chinelo Okparanta, Taiye Selasi, all writers of West African heritage, discuss their work and how their culture influences it at this reading sponsored by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$15
Books
Friday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Jones, Moore, and Wolff, all previous winners of the PEN/Malamud award for Excellence in the Art of the Short Story, discuss the legacy of Bernard Malamud, the prolific author from which the award takes its name.
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$25
Books
Monday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Physician and poet Campo reads his poems at this annual celebration of Emily Dickinson's birthday.
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$15
Theater
Jan. 27—March 8
Folger Elizabethan Theatre -
201 E. Capitol St. SE
$40–$75

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