Happenstance Theater is a professional company committed to devising and producing original, performer-created, visual, poetic Theater. Washington City Paper says, “Happenstance Theater’s ensemble comedy is a gut-busting kind of funny”. The Washington Post has described their work as “visually striking and whimsical without being precious.”
Since 2006, Happenstance Theater has devised over 20 new works including Prufbox, which premiered at the first Capital Fringe Festival and was then remounted at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA as part of their Joseph Cornell Exhibits; Low Tide Hotel was voted Best Comedy of the 2007 Capital Fringe and was selected as a City Paper “Best Bet”; MANIFESTO! premiered at the 2008 Capital Fringe, and then traveled to the NY Clown Theatre Festival in Brooklyn; Cabaret CooCoo was voted Best Comedy of the 2009 Capital Fringe; LOOK OUT BELOW! an original clown theatre piece commissioned by and performed at Round House Theatre’s main stage in Bethesda in December 2009, was called “appealingly enigmatic” and “hugely watchable” by The Washington Post; the offbeat Vaudeville duo of Diz and Izzy Aster: Vaudeville’s Late Bloomers has appeared at the NY Clown Theatre Festival and at the Dandies & Quaintrelles Seersucker Social; Cabaret Macabre was nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards in 2013; and IMPOSSIBLE! A Happenstance Circus was nominated for 8 Helen Hayes Awards in 2015.
The Round House Theatre Teen Performance Program is a pre-professional program for the next generation of theater artists. Round House gathers the region’s most creative young theater artists and provides mentorship to them as they work on a play at our theater. Students selected shadow productions on the RHT stage, attend events and master classes with RHT company members, and work closely with professional artists and practitioners at every step of the process.
The program culminates in The Sarah Metzger Memorial Play which is directed, designed, stage managed, and performed by high school students. The Sarah Play was established by the Metzger family and friends to celebrate the memory of Sarah Metzger, an inspiring and active member of the theatre community, who was killed in an automobile accident during her freshman year of college.