Artistic director(s) Eric Schaeffer
|Type Theatre group|
|Purpose contemporary musicals&plays, classic musicals, new works,|
Location Arlington County, Virginia
Signature Theatre is a Greater Washington D.C. Area regional theater company based in Arlington, Virginia.
Founded in 1990. The Theatre is known for its productions of musicals and new plays. Under the leadership of Co-Founder and Artistic Director Eric D. Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, the company has staged 38 world premiere productions.
Cameron Mackintosh, Terrence McNally, John Kander, and Fred Ebb are among those that have presented works here. Since 1991, Signature has had a long relationship with Stephen Sondheim, producing 22 of his musicals, revues and concerts—more than any other professional theater in the country.
In 1990 Signature Theatre began production in the Arlington County Gunston Arts Center. This original home was in the library of a former middle school which had been converted to a black box theater. They rapidly outgrew this facility and in 1993 acquired a defunct Auto Bumper Plating shop, AKA "The Garage", which they converted into a 136-seat black box
. In 2007, however, in partnership with Arlington County Virginia, Signature moved into a new $16 million theater complex built in The Village at Shirlington. The first floor of the building houses the Shirlington Branch of the Arlington County Public Library. The upper three floors house the theater. The complex has an industrial decor, with exposed particle board, pipes and metal sheeting. It includes two state-of-the-art black box theaters. The larger, christened "Max" in honor of Maxine Isaacs, seats 275 and can expand to accommodate 350 patrons. The smaller "Ark", named in honor of Arlene and Robert Kogod, can hold 99. The theaters are built as "square box within a square box, floating on hockey pucks. At $30 a puck. It is built like a soundstage" In addition to the two performance spaces, the complex contains a lobby, meeting rooms, three rehearsal spaces, four individual dressing rooms, three shared dressing rooms, three showers, a cast greenroom, a separate orchestra greenroom, three kitchen areas, scene, prop, and costume shops. The large lobby was named by donors Gilbert and Jaylee Mead in honor Gilbert's late son Rob Mead.
Recent productions include Sunset Boulevard, Hairspray, Xanadu, Over and Over, Urinetown, Side Show, Grand Hotel, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Rink, The Witches of Eastwick, The Visit, starring Chita Rivera, and Dreamgirls
In the 2007-08 season, Signature presented a Kander and Ebb Celebration. It began in March 2008 with Kiss of the Spider Woman starring Natascia Diaz, Will Chase, and Hunter Foster, then The Happy Time, and finally The Visit which starred Chita Rivera and George Hearn.
Signature's 2008-2009 season featured a Broadway-bound season opener - the musical Ace, The Little Dog Laughed, The Lieutenant Of Inishmore, a world premiere musical with music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa, Giant, See What I Wanna See, and Les Misérables.
Significant Past Productions
305 Helen Hayes Nominations with 75 Awards (as of 2012) including the following
Other Items Of Note
The Signature Theatre offers a number of programs to both writers and performing artists, and to the community.
Signature Theatre is a member of League of Resident Theatres (LORT) using the League administered collective bargaining agreements with Actors' Equity Association (AEA), the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), and United Scenic Artists (USA).
Signature Theatre is a member of the League of Washington Theaters (LOWT).