Performance Theaters and Film Festivals

Sometimes watching the same television shows every night can get repetitive, I mean, how many times can a cat-fight between a couple of  botox pumped “desperate housewives” really be amusing before your brain melts? Change up your entertainment with some live theater performances or independent film festivals in the area.

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Woodey Allen as Charlie Chaplin- Flickr Creative Commons

DC: 

Atlas Performing Arts Center– Originally built in 1938, this center aims to bring people of all walks of life together to celebrate artistic expressions. Performances range from musicals and dance, to spoken word and independent film screenings.

Credit: ATLAS gallery

Blues Alley- If you are in the mood for a more intimate setting and you also happen to be a blues and jazz fanatic, then give Blues Alley a visit. The best part is that you can make this a night out with dinner and a show. They serve a variety of soul and American Cafe foods to choose from. Artists are hosted every night and you can enjoy their performances for around $25 depending on the night.

Melba Moore

Credit: Blues Alley Gallery

DC Black Theatre Festival– This is a 10 day festival celebrating extraordinary stories told by people of African descent. The theater will also offer a wide variety of visual presentations, celebrity workshops, monologue competition, and one-act battle is also back by popular demand. After all the performances, the artists will sit and join the audience members in a lively discussion of the intersection of African American culture and the arts.

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Flickr Creative Commons

  • Takes place from June 20th-30th, located at 1333 H St, NE. 

DC Documentary Film Festival– This five day international documentary film festival will be hosted by the AFI Silver Theater and aims to bring together the leaders of the industry for a celebration of the craft. In addition to directors and leaders in the world of documentary production, you can also expect political leaders to speak about inspiring change through the arts.

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DC Queer Theatre Festival– The festival is dedicated to celebrating the underrepresented voices and diversity of the DC area. New plays with themes relevant to the DC area and local artists will be featured. A combination of activism and charity the festival will raise money for LGBT community awareness.

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Flickr Creative Commons

  • Takes place from May 30th-June 1st at the Mead Theatre Lab 916 G St, NW. 

Capital Fringe Festival– This is an eighteen day creative festival featuring all performance styles.  Additionally, live music, food, drinks, and delicious BBQ can be enjoyed at this event.

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  • Takes place from July 10th-27th, located at 607 New York Ave, NW.

DC Independent Film Festival (DCIFF)– This organization and festival was created in 1999 to nurture independent film. They hope that by exhibiting wold premiere screenings and hosting seminars throughout the festival, that it will give independent filmmakers a stronger presence.

 

Maryland

Toby’s The Dinner Theatre-  Providing Broadway and original musical performances for 32 years isn’t easy, but Toby’s is still going strong. The seating is arranged around the center stage so audience members get an interactive experience. Of course as the name suggests this is a dinner theatre so you can expect to select from a full buffet complete with a dessert and sundae bar for your sweet tooth.

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Flickr Creative Commons

Blair Mansion Restaurant– This historic restaurant transforms into an interactive comic mystery dinner theater. Guests go all out with character portrayals and costumes. If you get hungry from all the acting, you can enjoy their all-you-can-eat-buffet to refuel. Food options include vegetarian options alongside meat dishes and the theater portion normally lasts about 90 minutes.

Credit: Blair Mansion Gallery

  • Takes place on Friday, Saturday, and select Sunday evenings. Located at 7711 Eastern Ave, Silver Spring.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament– According to their site, they are the number one dinner attraction in North America. Their productions really take you back into the world of knights, princesses, and jousting for honor. Everything from the actual building that is shaped like a castle, to their menu is truly inspired by the dark ages (we mean that as a compliment).

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Flickr Creative Commons

  • You can their productions every day, located at 7000 Arundel Mills Cir, Hanover. 

Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre- First opened in 1995, Off Broad Way Dinner Theatre is one of the areas premier entertainment venues combining fine dining with live stage shows. They produce five Mainstage productions each season ranging from the classics to more modern favorites.

Wedding Singer

Credit: Off Broadway Gallery

  • Current Production: Les Miserables showing from June 20th- August 23rd. Located at 5 Willowdale Drive, Frederick. 

Pave Performing Arts and Events Center- Founded to create a hub for talented entertainers and visual artists, this center provides lessons and workshops for anyone interested. However you can also enjoy a live performance on select days.

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Flickr Creative Commons

Baltimore Sound Stage– Marketed as one of the most eclectic venues in Maryland, This stage hosts touring artists from around the nation. Genres include heavy metal, neo-soul, dubstep, spoken work, and other quirky types of performances. Patrons are also offered a full course menu to select from if they chose to dine.

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Flickr Creative Commons

Maryland Community Theatre Festival- You can support Maryland’s local thespian community and theater by attending this festival of live performances. Various one-act plays and traditional productions such as Shakespeare will be performed by young actors.

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Flickr Creative Commons

  • Takes place from January 17th-19th. Located at 16300 Old Emmitsburg Rd, Emmitsburg. 

The Hippodrome Theater– This theater attracts over 200,000 patrons annually and is open for public performances 340 days a year. You can expect in-depth cultural programming through film screenings, live plays, and exhibitions.

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Flickr Creative Commons

Maryland Film Festival– An annual even that presents quality films from all over the world. Each year the festival screens approximately 50 feature films and 75 short films of all varieties including narrative, documentary, animation, experimental, and hybrid to large audiences.

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Chesapeake Film Festival– A combination of locally produced films, spirited director-audience dialogue, and award ceremony will take place at this festival. The event planners promise a little bit of something for everyone at this year’s celebration.

Credit: Chesapeake Film Festival

  • Takes place from September 19th-21st. Located at 32 S. Washington St, Suite 1A, Easton. 

Virginia

Murder Mysteries will Travel– This professional acting company is dedicated to bringing your next office party or private event a healthy dose of interactive murder mystery fun. After all if you can’t make it out to a theater, the next best thing is clearly to have them come to you.

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Flickr Creative Commons

  • Takes place on your schedule and it could be located at your next event!

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema- Sometimes it is just nice to go out to the movies with a couple friends, a date, or your family. For those nights you can count on this cinema for the full old school experience. They occasionally feature oldies but also showcase all of the newest blockbuster hits.

Alamo Drafthouse

Credit: TBD Arts Gallery

Lake Anne Summer Film Festival– The plaza will be transformed into a free outdoor movie theater, located among a wide selection of boutiques and fine restaurants for exploration.

Credit: Lake Anne Summer Film Festival

Virginia Film Festival– The University of Virginia is hosting the annual State film festival and discussion. This event is open to both students and guests and refreshments will be served.

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Flickr Creative Commons

  • Takes place from November 6th-9th at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. 

48-Hour Film Project– This event comes to Richmond every July and with it, bring filmmakers from all over Richmond to compete for first place. The goal is to make the best short film in only hours.

Credit: 48 hour film project

  • Takes place from July 18th-20th and July 26th-27th. Event kicks off at 1621 West Broad St, Richmond. 

French Film Festival– This festival continues its tradition of showcasing the newest French films. The films screened will all be directed by award winning filmmakers and there will be a interpreted question and answer session with these individuals as well as with the stars. Don’t worry if you don’t speak french you can still enjoy the movies because they all include English subtitles.

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Flickr Creative Commons

Richmond International Film Festival– Filmmakers from around the world will compete for top honors with the audience and Grand Jury. The various genres that will be presented include short films and feature length creations.  This festival is four days long and will be concluded with a red carpet award ceremony.

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Flickr Creative Commons

Virginia Independent Horror Film Festival– If you get a thrill out of horror movies then this festival is made for you! It will feature three full length films, a horror showcase of independent short films, and a midnight screening of a popular horror film. Although this is one of the newer film festivals in Virginia, it will definitely leave you frightened.  

Credit: VA Independent Horror Film Festival

  • Takes place from September 26th-27th, location is TBD. 

…..Andddd, that’s a wrap. Use Apartment Showcase  to direct your next apartment search.

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