Best of the Rest
Best Live Theater
Signature Theatre staged its very first musical in 1991 in the Gunston Middle School auditorium. A standout hit, the edgy production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd earned four Helen Hayes Awards and quickly cast co-founder and artistic director Eric Schaeffer into the spotlight. Twenty-five years later, Signature has more than 75 such awards to its credit—plus a Tony Award for regional theater—and new digs as the cultural anchor of the Village at Shirlington. But it’s still a local theater at heart, Schaeffer says, given that performances continue to feature local actors, designers, technicians and stage managers. The term “local” has taken on even greater meaning as the arts powerhouse (which attracts more than 110,000 theatergoers annually) has deepened its connections to the community, offering free programming ranging from Monday night “Meet the Artists” events at the Shirlington Public Library, to brown-bag workshops that give area high school students a behind-the-scenes look at theater production.
–Lisa Rabasca Roepe
4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, 703-820-9771, www.sigtheatre.org
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