Avant Bard Theatre, for example, uses Theater Two as its primary performance venue to produce some of the most innovative plays in the Washington, DC, area. Founded in 1990 as the Washington Shakespeare Company, this performing arts organization presents both time-tested and contemporary classics that are bold and provocative. Think edgy productions of Shakespeare, from Julius Caesar
to a Kubrick-inspired Richard II, as well as works by other literary giants, such as Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee, and by exciting new playwrights, too.
How to Visit: Gunston is located in the Gunston Middle School and Community Center in Crystal City, and has free parking.
Theatre on the Run
Like Gunston, Theatre on the Run serves as a very adaptable facility for several local performing arts groups (when they’re not at the Gunston Art Center or elsewhere), including Avant Bard Theatre, Arlington Players, Dominion Stage, Encore Stage & Studio and Jane Franklin Dance. This intimate 75-seat black box theater has stadium-like seating with plush green seats on three levels. With its minimalist décor and all-black floor and curtains, it provides a clean slate for visiting troupes to install their own stage sets and lighting.
How to Visit: The theater is located inside the Arlington Cultural Affairs building in Shirlington and has a free outdoor parking lot.
Museums and Galleries
Painters, sculptors and other visual artists find free expression showing their work at the following private galleries and museums in Arlington.
Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington
The Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington is a nonprofit visual arts center showcasing new work by regional artists in the mid-Atlantic states. At 17,000 square feet, it’s one of the largest non-federal venues for contemporary art in the Washington metropolitan area.
Housed in a historic school building dating to 1910, it includes nine exhibition galleries, working studios for 12 artists and three classrooms. The two-story symmetrical building has been designated an Arlington County Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It boasts magnificent original Tiffany stained-glass windows that have been carefully restored and are part of Arlington’s Public Art program.
How to Visit: The museum is located in Clarendon near the Virginia Square Metro station.