After being closed for more than two years, The Traveling Players Ensemble, a nonprofit, educational, theatre company, is back to performing in its Tysons Corner Center studio. The company had its grand opening in January 2020 but was not able to use the space due to the ongoing pandemic. However, that did not stop them from finding creative ways to keep performances alive for their students. Staff implemented virtual programming and used outdoor spaces for their shows, when COVID restrictions allowed.
“Covid has been very difficult for everyone, but especially the kids. Many children have lost those spaces where kids can just be kids, and we wanted to make sure we found a way for them to have that space, even if it couldn’t be in-person,” said Communications & Outreach Director, Morgan Shotwell. “Part of our mission is bringing theatres to the great outdoors, so we made sure when it was safe, to still continue that as well.”
Now that students are back in-person, the ensemble is ready to again showcase their own Dionysian Festival, featuring 3 Greek plays: Ariadne’s Thread, The Odyssey, and Hecuba. The festival is a great opportunity for students of all ages to perform in front of an audience and work together to create a full-scale production.
“We believe that every performer is vital to the process. We operate an ensemble ethos, which means everyone should work in collaboration for the good of the group,” said Shotwell.
While the festival serves as entertainment for the public, it also provides diverse points of education within areas of women’s empowerment; particularly in Hecuba, where the audience will see themes of women’s power and agency that are still relevant today. As March is Women’s History Month, it is an opportune time to acknowledge women’s presence and contributions throughout time, including in Greek mythology.
Founder and artistic director, Jeanne Harrison, has dedicated her life to helping and educating children in the world of theatre. Traveling Players aims to offer a safe space for students with varying levels of experience by helping them discover their acting talents and explore artistic creations in theatre. The Traveling Players Ensemble final weekend of the Dionysian Festival this Sunday, March 20. For more information about the ensemble and tickets for the festival and future performances, please visit: https://travelingplayers.org/performances/