Cassandra Miller

Cassandra Miller writes about theater for Baltimore Fishbowl. Regionally, she has written about the arts for Baltimore magazine, Bmore Art, City Paper, DC Metro Theater Arts, The Bad Oracle, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, and The Washington Post, where she was the Entertainment Editor of Express. She can be reached at [email protected]

24 theater shows to see in Baltimore in November

From left to right, Jason B. McIntosh, Dawn Ursula and Jamil A. C. Mangan in “Radio Golf” at Everyman Theatre. Credit: Teresa Castracane Photography.

November theater offers something for every taste, and we’re thankful for the bounty of stories on Baltimore stages right now. A theme of shows up this month are epic journeys, whether it’s Don Quixote’s quest for love in classic musical “Man of La Mancha” or pilot Amelia’s pursuit of afterlife peace in world premiere play “Here We Area.” Creativity is another big theme this month, with a queer cabaret interpreting the written word through song and dance (“Cliterature”), a Shakespeare Rap Battle by Fools and Madmen and Baltimore Rock Opera Society doing something kooky with space, wrestling and beer.

Familiar stories find their way to song-and-dance numbers in several musicals, and still other theater companies are presenting thought-provoking dramas and light-hearted comedies. Artists are offering a buffet of delectable choices for live entertainment. Read on to fill your plate with performances. 

15 theater shows to see in Baltimore in October

Derrick Davis and Eva Tavares in “Phantom of the Opera.” Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Baltimore theater offerings this month includes a handful of horror stories, world premieres and popular musicals, such as a rare extended run of “Phantom of the Opera” at the Hippodrome. The weekend of Oct. 11-13 is the last and only chance to see four intriguing productions, including Deer in the Spotlight’s annual production of “Evil Dead: The Musical.” Eleven more shows open this month in the city, including originals, classic plays and more.

To be included in monthly Baltimore theater features, email writer Cassandra Miller at [email protected] with show information.

Baltimost: Stephanie Ybarra

Photo courtesy of Baltimore Center Stage

Stephanie Ybarra

Stephanie Ybarra hasn't just picked up the reins at the state theater of Maryland. Like a modern-day arts admin horse-whisperer, she's retraining staff, audiences and greater Baltimore about what it means to be a producer of civically resonant stories and a true conversation starter. 

Last month, when 197 Republican lawmakers--including President Trump--were in town for the 2019 House Republican Member Conference, Ybarra sent a formal email inviting them to Baltimore Center Stage's season-opening show, "Miss You Like Hell," a musical about an undocumented Mexican mother and her U.S.-born daughter. The theater even sent a truck with the invitation on its side to drive around Harbor East, where the conference was being held. When not a single lawmaker responded, the theater gave away the seats, all of which had a reserved sign with each lawmaker's name, to the community.

In her first curated season, Ybarra has booked a slate of contemporary shows that speak to her socio-political interests rather than pandering to a safe formula of classics with name recognition and maybe a contemporary play here or there. She is part of a new wave of younger, engaged theater leaders, and happens to be the first female Latinx artistic director of a major regional theater.

She's created new staff positions like "director of artistic partnerships and innovation" and "director of learning and social accountability," along with a company-wide anti-racism initiative. She has jumped head first into being a part of the Baltimore community in her first full year in the city after being at the Public Theater in New York for years.

"I'm all in on Baltimore… The last year has been full of personal and professional highlights for me, not the least of which have been exploring Baltimore's unique personality," she says via text (because she's ultra-accessible, too). "I'm most excited by the opportunities to collaborate across disciplines. There are already so many possibilities ahead, and I'm just getting started."

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17 theater shows to see in Baltimore in September

“12 Angry Jurors” runs at Vagabond Players from Sept. 6-29. Photo by Bruce F. Press Photography, via Vagabond Players/Facebook.

September means new beginnings for the theater world, with many companies launching new seasons. This month offers a fresh start for several local groups, including Baltimore’s two professional theaters, Everyman and Baltimore Center Stage, who open their 2019/20 seasons with “Proof” and “Miss You Like Hell,” respectively.

Find 15 additional options for seeing live theater, including a couple of staged readings by local playwrights.

To be included in monthly Baltimore theater features, email writer Cassandra Miller at [email protected] with show information.

22 theater shows to see in Baltimore in August

Image via Fluid Movement’s Instagram.

While August is traditionally slow, Baltimore companies this year have as many options as busier months on the theater calendar. If you’re not satiated by political Twitter following the Democratic primary debates, head to the theater for a dystopian interpretation of the future of America in Rapid Lemon Productions’ “Crusade,” or to a fictional Baltimore bar during the 2016 presidential elections in “Properties! A Political Play.”

To be included in monthly Baltimore theater features, email writer Cassandra Miller at [email protected] with show information.

23 theater shows to see in Baltimore in July

Carol Burnett headlines the Lyric Opera House on July 23. Image via Ticketmaster.

July features a variety pack of theatrical performances in Baltimore: magic shows, a water ballet, lots of musicals, Shakespeare and Carol Burnett. While summer is usually a slow time for theater companies that take a break in July and August, Baltimore is still pulsing with one-off and experimental performances.

To be included in monthly Baltimore theater features, email writer Cassandra Miller at [email protected] with show information.

28 theater shows to see in Baltimore in June

“The Play That Goes Wrong,” running June 4-9 at the Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center. Photo via Broadway Across America/Facebook.

Normally, the summer is the slow time for theater, but not so in Baltimore. This month in the city that reads–and loves theater–there are oodles of productions up, including a (mostly sold-out) run of “Hamilton” at the Hippodrome.

Don’t worry if you choose not to shell out rent money on black market or resale tickets for the Lin-Manuel Miranda Broadway hit, as there are 27 other options to see live stories this month, including a hip-hop Shakespeare show, outdoor productions of more Shakespeare and “Hair,” and a bevy of indoor plays and musicals.

‘How to Catch Creation’ is a charming exploration of art and love

Shayna Small, left, and Stephanie Weeks in “How to Catch Creation.” Photo by Paola Nogueras.

Playwright Christina Anderson’s lyrical and ambitious “How to Catch Creation” at Baltimore Center Stage is a charming exploration of art and love told through a stellar cast, lively direction and sensory-pleasing design elements.

The creation of children, relationships, art and literature are the primary issues spinning between six successful, well-rounded characters whose coincidental intersections across two generations make the play feel akin to NBC’s “This Is Us.”

‘Pink Milk’ offers a full sensory experience and fitting end to Single Carrot’s Remington home

Mohammad R. Suaidi, left, as Alan Turing in “Pink Milk.” Image via Single Carrot Theatre.

With “Pink Milk,” Single Carrot Theatre takes full advantage of its final show in the company’s 6,000 square-foot space. Technicolor lighting (by Cheryl J. Williams) splashes across a white set (designed by Allison Campbell) with peekaboo openings creatively used by actors.

The script’s writer, Chicago-based playwright and composer Ariel Zetina, even contributed a new electronica, synth-heavy score that bumps almost nonstop through the production. It’s a Times Square-level sensory experience.

36 theater shows to see in Baltimore in May

Dawn Ursula, who plays Jacqueline Marie Butler in “Queens Girl in the World” and “Queens Girl in Africa.” Courtesy: Everyman Theatre.

Baltimore is a theater town, which is never more evident than in the Lusty Month of May, when many companies are presenting their season finales or sole productions. This month, audiences in Baltimore and its closes suburbs have a chance to see 36 different productions (56 if you break out the 22 short plays in two different local playwright festivals). Expanding the theater radius just 10 or 15 miles includes dozens more productions, underscoring the truth in Baltimore/D.C. being named the fastest growing theater region in the country, according to a study by Actors’ Equity. Read on for information on how to take advantage of our city’s theatrical storytelling bounty this month.