Fall Arts Guide 2016: Must-see Performances

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
"Thank You for Coming: Play"

1. "Fences"?, Short North Stage Garden Theater, ?Sept. 8–25?

As part of a yearlong collaborative festival celebrating the works of great American playwright August Wilson, the Short North Stage will feature a production of his seminal work "Fences." The Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play tells the story of a former Negro League baseball player barred from the Majors and coping with the loss of his dreams.

2. "Thank You for Coming: Play"?, Wexner Center, Sept. 22–25?

Choreographer Faye Driscoll invites audiences to become a part of this multidisciplinary work, the second in her series of three. The world premiere at the Wex, which commissioned the production in part through its Artist Residency Award program, will explore the gap between what we say and what we do.

3. "Macbeth", ?Lincoln Theatre, Sept. 29–Oct. 1?

Ohio State's Department of Theatre will present a 60-minute version of one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies to commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death. OSU's production of the cursed work-many actors superstitiously refer to it only as "the Scottish play"-has been adapted to appeal to younger audiences.

4. "Until He Wasn't"?, MadLab Theatre and Gallery, Oct. 6–22?

The experimental, accessible theater ensemble MadLab nears the end of its 2016 season with an original drama by Patrick McLaughlin. "Until He Wasn't" is a dark, suspenseful work that deals with infatuation, power and betrayal, and the women in love with a man who seems perfect.

5. "An Enemy of the People"?, Chappelear Drama Center, ?Ohio Wesleyan, Oct. 8?

Ohio Wesleyan professor Elane Denny-Todd will direct a performance of the play by famed Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen. The politically charged work is especially timely for its plot that revolves around greed in a tourist town dealing with a toxic water supply.

6. Abbey Theatre's ?"The Plough and the Stars", ?Southern Theatre, Oct. 26–30?

The audience rioted when this show was originally performed in Ireland in 1926; now it's considered a masterpiece that challenges how spectators think. The play, which is set in the turbulent years of Irish liberation around 1916, delves into war, love and sacrifice and highlights the power of words.

7. "Gross Indecency: ?The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde", ?Studio Two, Riffe Center, Nov. 2–20?

Oscar Wilde is known for "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "The Importance of Being Earnest," but this play, performed by the CATCO theatre company, dramatizes his fall from British high society after he was charged with "gross indecency with male persons."

8. Estampas Portenas: "Deseos"?Palace Theatre, Nov. 3?

All the way from Buenos Aires, Estampas Portenas tango company brings Argentine culture to the Palace Theatre. The company's new production "Deseos" covers dances from tango to malambo and includes a variety of musical styles and dramatic scenes to tell stories through the nation's traditions of artistic expression.

9. "Fractus V"?, Capitol Theatre, Nov. 15

?In this five-person dance performance co-commissioned by the Wexner Center, Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui delves into the disconnect between the individual and society, between propaganda and information. Cherkaoui will dance at the performance, accompanied by live multicultural musicians.