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The annual Capital Fringe Festival is one of the best times to be in DC. Visitors will have the opportunity to see a range of innovative performances from an array of genres without having to pay top dollar. This year’s festival will be held from July 6 to 30, giving theatregoers plenty of opportunity to catch a show.

Here are our top five picks for shows to catch this year.

Lakeboat

Written by famous playwright David Mamet, this comedy explores a young man’s coming of age. The play draws on Mamet’s own experiences to tell the story of a college student working on a freighter. This is definitely a must for serious fans of drama.
Dates: July 11, 16, 19, 21, 23

Gallaudet University: Elstad Auditorium
800 Florida Ave NE Washington, DC 20002

The Laramie Project

This well-known theater piece, which was written in the aftermath of the murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in 1998, will be performed by the Wandering Theatre Company at the Fringe Festival. The play showcases the effects of Shepherd’s death and highlights the indignities faced by LGBTQ individuals.

Dates: July 8, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21

Atlas Performing Arts Center: Lang
1333 H Street, NE Washington, DC 20002

The Words She Gave Me

For a thoughtful, fascinating take on the link between female relationships and black womanhood, make sure to catch The Words She Gave Me. The short, one-hour performance is a powerful, resonant piece about the black female experience that demonstrates the impact of relationships on identity.

Dates: July 7, 11, 13, 15, 16, 22

Atlas Performing Arts Center: Lab II
1333 H Street, NE Washington, DC 20002

The Dream Dancer

Theater fans looking for an intellectually provocative piece will love The Dream Dancer, which blends together dance and drama in a fascinating performance. The show revolves around members of a time-traveling sideshow, including a mentalist, hysterics, and a magician.

Dates: July 7, 9, 12, 13, 20, 22

Gallaudet University: Elstad Auditorium
800 Florida Ave NE Washington, DC 20002

Aflight

Using dance and movement, this expertly choreographed show takes on the theme of human relocation. This show will make you rethink the nature of displacement and will take a closer look at how the environment, climate, and flight all affect and impact one another. You’ll definitely want to see this show if you’re interested in the interplay between human interactions and the earth around us.

Dates: July 11, 14, 20

Gallaudet University: Elstad Auditorium
800 Florida Ave NE Washington, DC 20002