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About Potomac Stages


Potomac Stages provides a unique view into the greater Washington DC area's incredibly vibrant theater community where, it has been said, there are more professional theater performances than any other city in the nation except New York, and an astonishingly active collection of community theaters.

Potomac Stagesgoal is to give you both a wide sampling of the productions in Washington, Maryland and Virginia through reviews that help you find the shows that you will enjoy the most, and and a single source of information on each of the theaters in the region.

The FREE email Update gives you a taste of the reviews of shows that are currently playing hyperlinked to the full review.

Potomac Stages' Website provides reviews of many of the current offerings as well as information about every theater and venue in town, with a link to that theater's website. What is more, each of those pages includes a quick guide, grading (on a report card scale) the seat comfort, the sight lines and sound quality, parking, metro access and accommodations for the handicapped (w for wheelchair accessible, v for vision assistance and h for hearing assistance) and even a link to MapQuest already programmed to provide a map showing the theater’s location. The grading scale for parking generally uses "A" to indicate free, onsite or adjacent off-street parking, "B" to indicate onsite or adjacent off street parking that must be paid for and "C" for locations where on-street parking is the only available option. When there is a recording of the score of a musical, a published script of a play, or a published version of a book on which a show is based which we feel would help theater lovers get the most out of a local production, we include a link to an order page in association with Amazon.com already filled out specifying the item. That link is shown in green above the photograph illustrating the review.

We love theater, and hope that by providing as much information as possible about the approximately 200 children's, community, dinner and professional theaters and theater groups in our area, it will be inevitable that you will become theater lovers too.

A word about our reviewing standards

We believe that our function is to provide you, the interested theatergoer, with the information you need to decide whether a particular show is one on which you want to spend your time and your money. Therefore, our reviews are neither literary criticism nor analysis of how the show might be done differently. Nor, for that matter, do we think our readers care much about whether we liked the show. We try to place our emphasis on describing the play and the production so that you will know what is being offered for your attention. The standard we apply is not “is this the best possible approach to the subject?” and we certainly don’t adopt the posture that “if it’s not the best it can be, then it is bad.” Rather, we ask “is this a satisfying production?” In the process we try to assess how well the production accomplishes what it set out to do. If we err, it is on the side of being positive. This is in part because we are aware of how very hard the creators of the shows have worked, and also because we are in awe of their willingness to put their work out for public consideration and – well, because we love live theater.

All of our reviews follow the same format:

  • The first paragraph presents an overall assessment of the production.
  • The second paragraph, highlighted in boldface type and headed “Storyline” is always a synopsis of what the play or presentation is about.
  • There are then three paragraphs in which we elaborate on the assessment, focusing in on the contributions of the author, the cast and the design team.
  • The final paragraph lists the author, composer, lyricist, director, choreographer, music director, designers and cast members (as appropriate).

A note about “Running time": We give the time from the announced curtain time to the end of the performance, rather than counting from when the lights actually went down. This gives our readers a better idea of when they will be leaving the theater after any given performance.

Potomac Stages Pick

From time to time we cover a show that is so good we are confident that a majority of our readers would thank us for recommending they take the time and trouble (not to mention the expense) to catch it. We designate each show in this category as a “Potomac Stages Pick.”

Who We Are
Most Potomac Stages reviews are written by Brad Hathaway. After many years and over a thousand articles published in local papers, national magazines and world wide web sites, he recognized the need for a single, comprehensive source of information on professional and community theater in what he believes to be the most exciting theater community in the nation. And so, in 2001 he launched Potomac Stages.

Among the publications that have featured his material are Show Music Magazine, Musical Stages Magazine, Entertainment Design, Live Design, The Sondheim Review, The Alexandria Gazette Packet, the Arlington Connection, The Hill Rag, DC North, East of the River, The Voice of the Hill, The Mount Vernon Gazette, multiple Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia, DCity Magazine’s activity guide, and WashingtonPost.com. He also was the Broadway Correspondent for Musical Stages Online. Prior to establishing Potomac Stages he served as the Washington Correspondent for Buy-Broadway.Com, Theatre.Com and BroadwayOnline.Com.

Brad is a member of the American Theater Critics Association and serves on that association's executive committee. From 2002 to 2005 he served as a judge for the Helen Hayes Awards which recognizes outstanding contributions in professional theater in the region. In 2004, Brad received a League of Washington Theatres' Offstage Honors Award for contributions to the Washington DC theater community.

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In October, 2007, Potomac Stages welcomed additional reviewer David Siegel. From 1999-2007 David served as the Marketing Director for Arlington's American Century Theater (TACT). He developed and implemented the full gamut of media campaigns and outreach activities for 40 main stage productions, staged readings and short-run special performances. He also worked with the media on the development of feature stories regarding plays, playwrights and actors and made regular television and radio appearances in the DC capital area. He was the “voice” behind TACT's Podcasts and regularly moderated post-show discussions.  He supervised the TACT's web site staff as well as the TACT production photographer. His work also included interface with Potomac Region theater groups and membership on the Arlington Citizens for the Arts, among other theater related activities. He continues as a Board member of the American Century Theater. David’s Potomac Region theater work also included a five year period as a member of the Board of Directors the American Showcase Theatre Company (now MetroStage) starting in the mid 1980’s. This included a stint as the American Showcase Theatre Company’s Board President as well as other Executive Board positions. The American Showcase Theatre Company was the first equity theater company in Northern Virginia.

He has a Master's Degree in Public Affairs from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor's Degree from Rutgers University. He is married and has a daughter. 

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Teddie Hathaway is Potomac Stage's page designer, webmaster, business manager, advertising sales agent, editor and publisher. A graduate of Strayer University's MBA program, she has a record of project management and administrative positions for the Congress, local government, and the private sector.
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