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Signature Celebrates

Signature Theatre’s annual open house.

Signature Theatre’s annual open house. Photo Contributed

The Annual Open House

Free All-Day Event Features Live Performances, Master Classes,

Family Events, ‘Signature Idol’ Competition, & the

Signature on the Plaza Grand Finale Concert

Tony Award® Nominee Emily Skinner, Heidi Blickenstaff, Rob Britton Lyons, Chuck Mead & Natascia Diaz among the artists performing

— Virginia’s Signature Theatre opens its doors for their annual Open House on Saturday, Aug. 4. Free and open to the public, this special summer event runs from noon-10 p.m., with free live performances on five stages throughout the Signature complex starting every fifteen minutes. The open house will have live performances, demonstrations, kids’ activities, master classes, a dance-n-karaoke party, the return of the very popular Signature Idol Competition, a “Concert on the Plaza” grand finale performance and more.

Sneak-peek performances from Signature’s upcoming 2012/13 season of reinvention will be featured in the MAX Theatre. The Signature Idol event, now in its third year, boasts a celebrity panel of judges which includes Broadway’s Heidi Blickenstaff, Grammy Award® nominee Chuck Mead (of the band BR549), national radio host Robert Aubry Davis and Signature’s Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer. The winning contestant will perform at the Signature on the Plaza concert in the evening. The open house is held throughout the Signature complex and outdoors on the Shirlington Plaza.

The open house also gives patrons their first opportunity to take advantage of half-price tickets for select performances on mainstage shows throughout the new season. Subscription discounts (starting with three or more shows) will also be offered at the box office throughout the day. This special 50 percent off ticket price is only available on the day of the open house event.

Featured artists who will be performing and taking part throughout the day’s festivities include Tony Award® nominee Emily Skinner, Helen Hayes Award winner Heidi Blickenstaff, Million Dollar Quartet star Rob Britton Lyons, Chuck Mead and his Grassy Knoll Boys, Helen Hayes Award winner Natascia Diaz and more.

Signature’s Open House event is sponsored by: Dottie Bennett, Maggie Boland, Bonnie Feld, Daniel Felton, Deborah Gandy, Frank Guzetta, Maxine Isaacs, Celie Niehaus, Eric Schaeffer, and Sarah Valente.

Schedule of Events

11:45 a.m. – On the Plaza Stage

Music on the Plaza featuring Washington's hottest bands. Enjoy free cotton candy, sno-cones, popcorn and more while listening to the sizzlin’ sounds of summer.

Noon – In the MAX

Highlights from the new season featuring renowned songs from the Broadway musical favorites The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Dreamgirls, Hello, Dolly., and Company – plus highlights from the acclaimed dramas R&J, Dying City, and Crimes of the Heart. The Season Highlights Concert will feature many of this season’s Signature stars.

12:15 p.m. – In the ARK

The perfect cabaret for everyone in the family. From Disney show tunes to the latest kid-friendly hits on the radio, this cabaret is guaranteed to get your young ones hooked on show business.

12:30 p.m. – In the Lobby

Listen to a cabaret performance by D.C. actors singing from their very own audition books – from the recent Tony Award®-winning musicals to the classics like Rodgers & Hammerstein. Your chance to get a terrific snapshot of the great American musical.

12:45 p.m. – In the Shen, 4th Floor

Signature’s Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer (Broadway’s Follies and Hairspray at Signature) leads a master class for pre-selected students on the art of acting out a song. Watch and learn. An interactive question-and-answer period will follow.

1 p.m. – On the Plaza Stage

Music on the Plaza featuring Washington's hottest bands. Enjoy some free cotton candy, sno-cones, popcorn, and more while listening to the sizzlin’ sounds of summer.

1:15 p.m. – In the MAX

Tony Award® nominee and recent star of Broadway’s Billy Elliot, Emily Skinner returns to Signature Theatre with a special solo concert. Skinner will take the audience on a musical journey through the best of the Great White Way.

1:30 p.m. – In the ARK

Students from Signature’s intensive summer musical theatre institute perform their favorite songs. Be the first to see the stars of tomorrow.

1:45 p.m. – In the Lobby

Listen to a cabaret performance by D.C. actors singing from their own audition books – from the recent Tony Award®-winning musicals to the classics like Rodgers & Hammerstein. Your chance to get a wonderful snapshot of the great American musical.

2 p.m. - In the Shen, 4th Floor

Signature favorite Tracy Lynn Olivera (Les Miserables, Merrily We Roll Along) leads a master class for pre-selected students on acting a song. Watch and learn from one of D.C.’s most popular actresses. A question-and-answer period will follow.

2:15 p.m. - On the Plaza Stage

Music on the Plaza featuring Washington's hottest bands. Enjoy some free cotton candy, sno-cones, popcorn, and more while listening to the sizzlin’ sounds of summer.

2:30 p.m. – In the MAX

The man in charge of bringing the music of Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet to life and co-founder of the famed 90s alternative country quintet BR549, Chuck Mead, brings his band to Signature Theatre for a special concert.

2:45 p.m. – In the ARK

The perfect cabaret for everyone in the family. From Disney show tunes to the latest kid-friendly hits on the radio, this cabaret is guaranteed to get your young ones hooked on show business.

3 p.m. – In the Lobby

Listen to a cabaret performance by D.C. actors singing from their audition books – from the recent Tony Award®-winning musicals to the classics like Rodgers & Hammerstein. Your chance to get a terrific snapshot of the great American musical.

3:15 p.m. - In the Shen, 4th Floor

Signature’s Artistic Associate and choreographer of next season’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Karma Camp leads a master class in dance. Come learn some of the choreography for next season’s production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Bring your cowboy boots and get ready to start two-steppin’ and boot-scootin’. A question-and-answer period follows.

3:30 p.m. - On the Plaza Stage

Rock ‘n’ Roll will fill the streets of Shirlington when Rob Britton Lyons, star of Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet, brings his extraordinary sound to the Plaza stage.

3:45 p.m. – In the MAX

The tension builds as six finalists get narrowed down to the one winner who will perform in the Broadway on the Plaza Concert. Our celebrity panel of judges includes Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer, Broadway’s Heidi Blickenstaff, Music Director (Million Dollar Quartet) Chuck Mead, and WETA’s Robert Aubry Davis. Now in its third year -- who will be this year’s Signature Idol?

4 p.m. – In the ARK

Helen Hayes Award-winner and star of Signature’s Kiss of the Spider Woman and Brother Russia returns, sure to blow the roof off the ARK Theatre with her incredible voice and dynamic presence.

4:15 p.m. – In the Lobby

Listen to a cabaret performance by D.C. actors singing from their audition books – from the hit musical Wicked to Rodgers & Hammerstein. This is your chance to get a snapshot of the great American musical.

4:45 p.m. - On the Plaza Stage

The man in charge of bringing the music of Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet to life and co-founder of the famed 90s alternative country quintet BR549, Chuck Mead, brings his band to Signature Theatre for a special summer concert.

5 p.m. – In the MAX

Highlights from the new season featuring renowned songs from the Broadway musical favorites The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Dreamgirls, Hello, Dolly., and Company – plus highlights from the acclaimed dramas R&J, Dying City, and Crimes of the Heart. The Season Highlights Concert will feature many of this season’s Signature stars.

5:15 p.m. – In the ARK

Heidi Blickenstaff, star of Signature Theatre and the Kennedy Center’s First You Dream, performs a set of her favorite songs selected especially for Signature. Only two chances to see this unbelievable performer at Signature Theatre today -- will you be part of the special audience that gets to hear her in our 120-seat ARK Theatre? Get in line now.

5:30 p.m. – In the Lobby

Listen to a cabaret performance by D.C. actors singing from their very own audition books – from the recent Tony Award®-winning musicals to the classics like Rodgers & Hammerstein. Your chance to get a snapshot of the great American musical.

5:45 p.m. – In the Shen, 4th Floor

Need a little break from all the performances? Do you feel the need to just get out all of your excitement by breaking out into song-and-dance? We understand. Signature’s Club Blue DJ, Victor Adams, helps turn the Shen Rehearsal Room into the ultimate dance party with some special chances to show off your singing skills on the karaoke machine. (5:45-8 p.m.)

6 p.m. - On the Plaza Stage

The Bitter Dose Combo is the District’s premiere gypsy swing ensemble featuring accordion, clarinet, bass, and several guitars. Their vibrant, yearning impressions of jazz manouche and 40s-era swing will quench your summer thirst for rhythm.

6:15 p.m. – In the MAX

Tony Award® nominee and recent star of Broadway’s Billy Elliot, Emily Skinner returns to Signature Theatre with a solo concert. Skinner will take the audience on a musical journey through the best of the Great White Way.

6:30 p.m. – In the ARK

Rock ‘n’ Roll will fill our ARK Theatre when Rob Britton Lyons, star of Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet, takes the stage in this special, intimate setting.

6:45 p.m. – In the Lobby

Listen to a cabaret performance by D.C. actors singing from their audition books – from the recent Tony Award-winning musicals to the classics like Rodgers & Hammerstein. Your chance to get a great snapshot of the great American musical.

7:15 p.m. – On the Plaza Stage

The Bitter Dose Combo is the District’s premiere gypsy swing ensemble featuring accordion, clarinet, bass, and several guitars. Their vibrant, yearning impressions of jazz manouche and 40s-era swing will quench your summer thirst for rhythm.

7:30 p.m. – In the MAX

Star of Signature Theatre and the Kennedy Center’s First You Dream, Heidi Blickenstaff performs a set of her favorite songs selected especially for Signature’s audience in our MAX Theatre.

8:30 p.m. - On the Plaza Stage

A special finale concert that features Broadway and DC actors celebrating the astounding music of Broadway and Signature Theatre.