Forum Theatre produces adventurous, relevant, and challenging plays from a diversity of voices that inspire discussion and build community -- and that are accessible, affordable, and entertaining.
Since Forum Theatre’s inception, we have aimed to be both the home for stories that provoke discussion and the place to host that discussion. We want our plays to be a conversation with the audience. We tell stories about who we are as a local, national, and global community.
So what is a Forum show? That’s never been the easiest thing to describe, but a few things tend to always be true: A Forum show asks big questions. A Forum show is intricate and challenging, but has a big heart at its center. And a Forum show gives you something to think about and a lot to talk about.
Forum Theatre is a proud Associate Member of The National New Play Network
Forum Theatre receives support from the following generous organizations:
The Share Fund
"... the biggest of the small theaters in both audience and critical acclaim." -- Washington Post, January 2012
"It’s gratifying to see organizations as multidimensional as the Kennedy Center and as focused as Forum making time and using space to take care of Washington’s own composers and dramatists. This is what a community actively engaged in developing the skills of its artists does." -- Washington Post, January 2013
"...a shining example of what's right with DC theatre today."--Broadway World, June 2013
Founded in 2003 as a socially-minded ensemble, Forum Theatre produces ambitious, challenging plays that engage with and are accessible to our community. The company name harkens back to the Roman Forum at which artists, politicians, philosophers, and citizens could gather and exchange ideas. Forum is known for strong ensemble casts, interactive design concepts, and community focus; our actors and artists all hail from the Washington region and we are committed to diverse, affordable programming. Each season, we explore and expand upon the artist and audience connection -- both by producing a mainstage season that taps into the social, political, and ethical questions of contemporary life and by inviting audiences directly into the creative process.
Launched in DC by three graduates of James Madison University (including current Artistic Director Michael Dove), Forum began producing in venues around the region in 2004. Following Forum's first Helen Hayes-nominated production, "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot," Round House Theatre's Artistic Director hand-picked Forum to become the first resident theatre (and primary producer) in their 135-seat Silver Spring venue. Our inaugural Silver Spring production, the seven-hour "Angels in America repertory," garnered nine Helen Hayes nominations (winning two) and was named to the Washington Post and City Paper's 2009 Best of Theater Lists. Our next season featured the area premiere of Wajdi Mouawad's epic "Scorched," Naomi Wallace's "One Flea Spare" paired with a multidisciplinary Festival inspired by her work, and Charles Mee's "bobrauschenbergamerica" -- a nominee for Favorite Actor and finalist for Favorite Ensemble from the DC Theatre Audience Choice Awards. That spring, given our partnership's success, Round House Theatre extended Forum's residency through 2014. Later that year, when the building came under new management, Forum Theatre became the resident company at the re-named Silver Spring Black Box Theatre.
Our 2014-2015 season features a world premiere (The T Party), two regional premieres (How We Got On and The Shipment), and Sarah Ruhl's epic Passion Play. This season will also feature several Forum (Re)Acts, and marks the third year of the Forum Ensemble.
ABOVE: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (2008), Angels in America: Perestroika (2009);
Holly Down in Heaven (2012), Scorched (2010); photography by Melissa Blackall
American Theatre Wing: National Theatre Company grant
DC Metro Theater Arts "Best of 2014": Play: How We Got On, Actor: Manu Kumasi, How We Got On; Thony Mena, How We Got On, Actress: Kashayna Johnson, How We Got On; Alina Collins Maldonado, How We Got On; Director: Paige Hernandez, How We Got On
2013-2014 Season Productions:
Helen Hayes Nominations: Outstanding Lead Actress in a play (Caroline Stefanie Clay, Gidion's Knot); The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical (Pluto by Steve Yockey)
DC Metro Theater Arts "Best of 2014": Play: Gidion's Knot, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Actor in a Play: Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; Scott McCormick, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; Actress: Katy Carkuff,Gidion's Knot; Caroline Stefanie Clay, Gidion's Knot; Featured Actor: Frank Britton, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; Jim Jorgensen, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; Featured Actress: Nora Achrati, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; Ensemble:The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; Director: Cristina Alicea, Gidion's Knot; John Vreeke, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.
2012-2013 Season Productions:
Helen Hayes Nominations: The Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play (Julian Elijah Martinez, 9 Circles)
DC Metro Theater Arts "Best of 2013": Actor: Julian Elijah Martinez, 9 Circles; Actress: Caroline Stefanie Clay, Clementine In The Lower 9; Director: Derek Goldman, Clementine In The Lower 9; Ensemble: Clementine In The Lower 9
2011-2012 Season Productions:
Helen Hayes Awards - Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production: Matthew Nielson, The Illusion WINNER
Washingtonian - Our Top 12 Plays from 2012: The Illusion
Maryland Theatre Guide Readers Choice Awards - Best Director: Mitchell Hébert, The Illusion NOMINEE; Best Supporting Actress in a Play: Brynn Tucker, The Illusion WINNER
DC Theatre Scene - Favorite contemporary plays from 2011/2012: The Language Archive
DC Theatre Scene Audience Choice - Best Resident Play: Mad Forest and The Language Archive; Best Actress in a Play: Nanna Ingvarsson, The Illusion NOMINEES
2010-2011 Season Productions:
DC Theatre Scene Audience Choice - Favorite Ensemble: bobrauschenbergamerica FINALIST
DC Theatre Scene Audience Choice - Favorite Actor in a Play: Joe Brack, bobrauschenbergamerica NOMINEE
Canadian Washington Theatre Partnership Fellowship: Artistic Director Michael Dove
2009-2010 Season Productions:
DC Theatre Scene Best Play: Angels in America: Millennium Approaches WINNER
DC Theatre Scene Audience Choice: Favorite Play: Angels in America, Millennium Approaches WINNER
Helen Hayes Awards: Outstanding Lighting Design: Colin K. Bills, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches WINNER
Helen Hayes Awards: Outstanding Lead Actor: Karl Miller, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches WINNER
Helen Hayes Awards: Outstanding Resident Play (AiA: MA); Director: Jeremy Skidmore, AiA:MA Lead Actor: Karl Miller, AiA:Perestroika; Supporting Actress: Jennifer Mendenhall, AiA: Perestroika, Outstanding Ensemble: AiA: MA and AiA: Perestroika NOMINEES
Washington Post "Best of Theatre 2009: #4 Angels in America: Millennium Approaches
Washington City Paper: “2009 Highlights of Theater”: Angels in America: Millennium Approaches
2008-2009 Season Productions:
DC Theatre Scene Audience Choice: Favorite Play: dark play or stories for boys NOMINEE
2007-2008 Season Productions:
Helen Hayes Awards: Canadian Embassy Award for Outstanding Ensemble: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot NOMINEE
DC Theatre Scene Audience Choice: Favorite Play: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot WINNER