Holly Bass Presents: Pretending to be a Rock,
June 20, 2019

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Holly Bass & Maps Glover Present: Pretending to be a Rock

June 20, 2019 at 6pm


Sherman Fleming and Holly Bass return to DCAC for The Black Overlay, an exhibition and a series of performances. In 1997, Bass witnessed Fleming’s iconic performance art work Pretending to be a Rock in DCAC’s black box theater. Bass will re-perform two of Fleming’s early performances, inverting the gender dynamic and exploring how the visual presence of a female body impacts the perception of masculine actions. The exhibition also includes Fleming’s ongoing series, Infiinite Desire, a selected group of collage-based figurative abstractions.

TOTAL LOSS: A Comedy Show About Death,
June 19, 2019

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Will Martin Presents TOTAL LOSS: A Comedy Show About Death

June 19, 2019 at at 7:00PM

$10 pre-sale and $15 at the door ($8/$10 for DCAC members)

Total Loss is a comedy show about death that The Boston Globe calls “a must-see.” Will Martin’s car died, his friend died, his new car died, then his brother died. The story became Total Loss: a tale of road trips, diner coffee, and a dive bar in Montana. Half comedy show, half tribute, Total Loss is about the thing we never joke about and one thing we all have in common. It’s Mike Birbiglia by way of Sarah Silverman. After a sold out run in New England he’s taking it on the road again.

Tickets are available here.

Open To All,
June 28 – July 21, 2019

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Open To All: Showcasing 30 Years from the DCAC Archives

Curated by Ray Barker, Lauren Abman, and Michele Casto

June 28 – July 21, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, June 28, 7-9 pm
Curator Talk & Closing Reception: Sunday, July 21, 5pm


Since it’s founding in 1989, DCAC has been the cultural hub of activism, resistence, and inclusion. Through a unique collaboration with the Special Collections department of the Washington, DC Public Library, this exhibition highlights this history using materials pulled from the dark recesses of the DCAC archives and places them into broader themes.

Laugh Index Theatre: Sh!t Show!
June 15, 2019

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Laugh Index Theatre: Sh!t Show

June 15, 2019

$12 General/$10 DCAC Members

Sh!t Show is LIT’s annual late-night experimental comedy showcase; stay up late and check out the finest assortment of half-baked ideas you’ll ever encounter!

Tickets are available here.

Chinese Menu: Oops,
June 7, 2019

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Chinese Menu Oops

June 7, 2019 at 10pm

$10 General/$8 DCAC Members

So… We had a special guest reach out to us about coming down so we booked our space. Sadly they had another opportunity come up and they could not make it. That leaves us on the hook for the theater rental and allows the DC community another chance to see the most fun improv show in town.

Here is who you get this time: Katie Webster, Kate Symes, Dave Johnson, Molly Murchie, Eva Lewis, Topher Bellavia, Greer Smith, Pete Bergen, Ken Hays, Katie Rogers, Cara Hayes, Caroline Petit & more to come!
(cast subject to change)

Tickets are available here.

Nano Gallery: Richard Siegman
June 7 – Agust 18, 2019

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Richard Siegman

June 7 – August 18, 2019

Join us on Wednesday, July 10 between 6:30-8:30pm for a happy hour reception with complimentary refreshments

Richard Siegman presents miniature versions of his latest series of abstract paintings, further developing his technique and experimenting with color using a spatula technique. This exhibition highlights his progression from the black and white work that was the catalyst for his current technique.

Image: Richard Siegman. Orange. Red. Blue. 2019. Acrylic and polyurethane on ultra board. 6”x6”

The Black Overlay,
June 1-22, 2019

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The Black Overlay, an exhibition and performance series by Sherman Fleming and Holly Bass

Exhibition dates: June 1- June 22, 2019

Opening Reception: Saturday June 1, 4 – 7 pm


Thurs. June 20 @ 6:30 pm: Performance of Pretending to Be Rock

(approx. 2-3 hours) in the theater

Sat. June 1 @ 5:00 pm: Performance of Something Akin to Living

(approx. 30 mins) in the theater

Sat. June 22 4:30pm-6pm: Closing reception. Artist talk with Holly Bass and Sherman Fleming, moderated by Terence Washington from 3pm-4:30pm.

On view in the gallery: Infinite Desire is an ongoing series of collage-based figurative abstractions Fleming started in 2012. Informed by Japan’s Edo period, particularly its vision of “the floating world,” the Infinite Desire series integrates figurative, graphic and textural fragments that express an urgent and potent symmetry.

The Black Overlay is the outgrowth of a collaboration between Holly Bass and Sherman Fleming which began in 2015. This first iteration at DCAC, in conjunction with the art space’s 30th anniversary, consists of an exhibition of new visual art work by Sherman Fleming curated by Terence Washington, as well as re-stagings of two of Fleming’s early performances about black masculinity in which Holly Bass will occupy Fleming’s role. Performance artists Wilmer Wilson and Maps Glover will participate in the re-stagings.

The title comes from conversations between Fleming, Bass and Washington in which all three shared experiences in which the public assumed that their respective creative or scholarly work was about blackness, regardless of whether the artist or curator said or implied such and even when they said it was not about blackness but about some other concept or idea. That is to say, no matter what each of them creates, there seems to always be an overlay of blackness imposed by the public imagination. Often times the artists *are* dealing specifically with race and blackness, but not every time.

Many of Fleming’s early performances explored notions of black masculinity. For his duets, Fleming collaborated with both black and white female performers, but found that when white women performed with him, the work was viewed by critics and the public as an exploration of interracial sexual dynamics or about whiteness. This dynamic did not occur when the collaborator was a white male or a black female.

As Bass and Fleming began researching together with the intention of creating new work, they decided to restage two of Fleming’s early works about black masculinity and invert the gender roles so that Bass would take Fleming’s position in the piece and the roles originally played by women would be performed by black male performance artists.


Sherman Fleming has been actively involved in performance art since the 1970s. His work often explores the body’s expressive power and the limits of endurance, confronting issues of black masculinity and the psychosexual tensions surrounding the black male body. Fleming received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and his MFA from Hartford Art School. His performance work has been featured at a number of institutions, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, and Franklin Furnace in New York.

Holly Bass is a multidisciplinary performance and visual artist, writer and director. Recurring themes in her work include the black female body, labor, gentrification and community engagement. She studied modern dance (under Viola Farber) and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College before earning her Master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. From 2014-2019, she directed a year-round creative writing and performance program for adjudicated youth in DC’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. She is a 2019 Red Bull Detroit Artist-in-residence, a recipient of the 2019 Dance USA Artist Fellowship and a 2019 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.

Terence Washington has written on lynching photography and on the use of sensationalism for reinforcing white supremacy, and he believes that the only just aim for reparations is happy black people. He was an Air Force linguist before discovering liberal arts and art history at St. John’s College, and he earned a Master’s in art history from Williams College. He now writes about art in his capacity as a museum educator at the National Gallery of Art and in freelance projects for museums and artists.

Image: Sherman Fleming, Infinite Desire #17, Watercolor on 140 lb. Arches hot press. 30″ x 22″


Holly Bass Presents: Performance of Something Akin to Living,
June 1, 2019

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Performance of Something Akin to Living

Featuring Holly Bass & Wilmer Wilson IV

Friday, June 1, 5-5:30pm


Performance synopsis: Something Akin To Living (1979). A collaborator (Wilmer Wilson) measures, saws and fits 40 pieces of wood slats between the performer (Holly Bass) and two support columns so that the performer has to use her body to literally hold everything together.

Rainbow Theatre Project: Stonewall 50,
May 31 – June 2, 2019

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Rainbow Theatre Project Presents: Stonewall 50

May 31 – June 2, 2019 at 7:30pm

Door: $35 General / $28 DCAC Members

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQ) community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. They are widely considered to be the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States.

Join us for Stonewall 50: Rainbow Theatre Project’s eclectic celebration of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. An evening of theatre, poetry and song! Directed by Stephanie Kelly.

Ticket are available here.

In Your Ear,
May 19, 2019

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In Your Ear

May 19, 2019 at 3:00PM

$5 at the Door/Free to DCAC Members
Hang out at Songbyrd afterwards!

Lucy Biederman is the author of The Walmart Book of the Dead, which won the 2017 Vine Leaves Press Vignette Award and was a Finalist for the Foreword Book of the Year in the Fantasy category. She has written four chapbooks of poetry, and her short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in The Collagist, AGNI, Ploughshares, and Pleiades. Her scholarship, which has been published in The Henry James Review, Women’s Studies, The Emily Dickinson Journal, and Studies in the Literary Imagination, focuses on how contemporary American women writers interpret their literary forebears. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio.

Dr. Irène P. Mathieu is a pediatrician and writer. She is the author of Grand Marronage (Switchback Books, 2019), orogeny (Trembling Pillow Press, 2017), and the galaxy of origins (dancing girl press, 2014). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Narrative, Boston Review, Southern Humanities Review, Los Angeles Review, Callaloo, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. Irène is on the editorial boards of Muzzle Magazine and the Journal of General Internal Medicine’s humanities section. A member of Jack Jones Literary Arts’ speakers bureau, she has received Fulbright and Callaloo fellowships. Her Twitter handle is @gumbo_amando

Rod Smith is the author of Touché (Wave Books, 2015), What’s the Deal? (Song Cave, 2010), Deed (University of Iowa Press, 2007), Protective Immediacy (Roof Books, 1999), In Memory of My Theories (O Books, 1996), and several other books and chapbooks. He edits the journal Aerial, publishes Edge Books, and manages Bridge Street Books in Washington, DC. He has taught writing at the Corcoran School of Art & Design, George Mason University, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and currently teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art. His work appears in The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem (2019), Flarf: An Anthology of Flarf (2017), American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry (2009), and several other journals and anthologies.Smith edited The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley (University of California Press, 2014) with Peter Baker and Kaplan Harris.

Indran Amirthanayagam (www.indranmx.com) writes poetry in English, Spanish, French, Haitian Creole and Portuguese. He has published fourteen books thus far, including the recently released Coconuts On Mars (www.paperwall.in), his latest in Spanish Ventana Azul, in French Il n’est de solitude que l’ile lointaine, The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems and Uncivil War.  Mr.Amirthanayagam’s first book The Elephants of Reckoning won the 1994 Paterson Poetry Prize. He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the US/Mexico Fund for Culture and the Macdowell Colony. His poem Juarez won the Juegos Florales of Guaymas, Mexico In 2005.

Chinese Menu: Comedy Birthday Show,
May 10, 2019

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Chinese Menu Comedy Birthday Show!

May 10, 2019 at 10PM

The best improvisers from DC and beyond play on the Menu. This time they are coming together to have fun and celebrate the birthday of Menu founder Pete Bergen. Pete wants to have fun and having a killer show with great people is as good a way to celebrate as any. Joining Peteon stage will be some of the best, including Greer Smith, Kate Symes, Joe Randazzo, Eva Lewis, Heather Moyer, Kathryn Carlsen, Caroline Petit, Mikael Johnson and more!

Tickets are available here


Nano Gallery: Soft Sinew, Ariel Posh,
May 3 – 26, 2019

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Soft Sinew

Ariel Posh

May 3 – 26, 2019

Opening Reception:  Friday, May 3, 6-8pm
Join us on Friday, May 3 between 6-7pm for a happy hour discussion with the artist and complimentary refreshments

Soft Sinew presents a small body of thread works, painterly and icon-like, by Pennsylvania-based artist Ariel Posh. These artworks balance playfulness and horror, tradition and innovation. Forms and figures rendered in fiber evoke the body as a tenuous assemblage of flesh, liable to unravel, yet brilliantly resilient.

Image: Ariel Posh, Avery, 2019, Thread and glue on wood panel, 5”x7”

Washington Improv Theater: May Road Show,
May 2 – 26, 2019

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Washington Improv Theater: May Road Show

May 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25 & 26, 2019

Online Pre-Sale: $15
Door: $18 General / $12 DCAC Members (email wit@witdc.org for code)

Spring is coming. And it will be epic at Washington Improv Theater.

Dive into adventure with WIT’s Debut of Day of Thones, a riff on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Conceived by Mary Lauran Hall and Michael Hendrix, Day of Thrones makes the bravado of the fantasy phenomenon TV show a little more relatable.

Every Sunday during the run, you can follow your heart with WIT’s romantic comedy Improv Actually. From meet-cutes to “happily ever after,” you’ll see the whole romance play out before you.

Tickets are available here.

Laugh Index Theatre,
May 1 – 22, 2019

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Three’s Company: May 1 & 8, 2019 at 8:00PM

IMPROV WARS: May 11, 2019 at 3:00PM

House Comics Show: May 15, 2019 at 10:00PM

Sketch Night:  May 22, 2019 at 8:00PM

Online Pre-Sale: $10 General / $8 DCAC Members
Door: $15 General / $12 DCAC Members

Laugh Index Theatre is your one-stop shop for your comedy needs offering a variety of comedy shows and classes in stand-up, improv, sketch, & storytelling.


Tickets are available here

April 28, 2019

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Hosted by Ryan McClure.
Booth Operator: Elizabeth Fulton

April 28, 2019 at 7:30pm

LGBTQ AF is having a bi-monthly live comedy show featuring the best LGBTQ-identifying stand-up, storytelling, improv, and sketch performers in the DMV area. Rising LGBTQ talent will also be spotlighted. This is the only regularly occurring comedy show in the DMV area with an all LGBTQ line-up.

The awesome April line-up features Geoff Corey – Storytelling, Jonathan Horsford – Stand-up, Ugh – Improv, Miranda Pennington – Stand-up, Joyce Rebar – Stand-up, The Plumbers – Improv and more!

Tickets are available here.

Curatorial Initiative: Intermediate: Fluxus Interpretations,
May 3 – 26, 2019

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Intermediate: Fluxus Interpretations
May 3 – 26, 2019

DCAC’s 2019 Curatorial Initiative
Curator: Dawne Langford
Apprentice Curator: Monique Muse Dodd

Opening Reception: Friday, May 3, 7-9pm
Performance Event: Friday, May 10, 7:30pm, Friday, Mary 25, 2-4pm
Artist Talk & Closing Reception: Sunday, May 26, 2-4pm

Artists: Arian Parsons, Alex Oliva, Alex Tyson, Antarah Crawley, Laura Tighe, Luke Stewart, Maps Glover, Monique Muse Dodd, and Rex Delafkaran

Anti-elitist, anti-establishment, improvisational, collaborative. Intermediate: Fluxus Interpretations presents work inspired by the revolutionary impulses of the Fluxus art movement developed in the 1960’s, but thoroughly embedded in our current digital age. These artists work against boundaries of art and life through installation, video, performance, design, painting, and multi-disciplinary works.

Image: Arian Parsons, 2019

In Your Ear,
April 21, 2019

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In Your Ear

April 21, 2019 at 3:00PM

$5 at the door + Tips for the authors are appreciated // FREE to DCAC Members / Hang out at Songbyrd afterwards

Katy Bohinc is a poet and data scientist based in NYC. Publisher’s Weekly describes her most recent title, Scorpio (Miami University Press, 2018) as “an astute, witty, feminist collection.” She is also the author of Trinity Star Trinity (Scarlet Imprint, 2017) and Dear Alain (Tender Buttons Press, 2014).

Pamela Woolford is a filmmaker, writer, and performer whose work is especially concerned with the lives of black women and girls and others whose joy, history, and inner life are underexplored in American media and popular art. She has been a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award winner for screenwriting, a 2018 North Beach American Film Festival Jury Award winner for her film Generation, a 2018 Experimental Forum Honorary Mention Awardee for her “vision and the film’s unique contribution to cinema,” and a recipient of a 2018 Canada Shorts Award of Commendation, among other honors. She bases the script for Generation on her short story “Just After Supper,” nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize by novelist and Pushcart Prize editor Mark Wisniewski.

Washington D.C. native Morowa Yejide’s novel Time of the Locust was a 2012 finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize and the 2015 PEN/Bingham award, and was a 2015 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work. Her stories have appeared in the Adirondack Review, the Istanbul Review, and others. Her short story “Tokyo Chocolate” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, anthologized by Britain’s best of the Willesden Herald, and praised by the Japan Times. She is a PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools and Hurston/Wright Foundation Workshop author. She lives in the D.C. area with her husband and three sons. Her next novel is forthcoming through Akashic Books.

Tickets are available here.

Life Advice: A Sketch Comedy Show,
April 19 – 20, 2019

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Life Advice: A Sketch Comedy Show

April 19 – 20, 2019

Door: $15 General / $10 DCAC Members

Oh man is this sketch comedy like you’ve never seen it before.  Funny and irreverent.  Not the kind of comedy your grandma likes.  It’s the kind your crazy great aunt likes. Dark comedy exploring the (un)importance of men. Join us, will you?

Tickets are available here.

Naked Girls Reading: A Night At The Movies,
April 12, 2019

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Naked Girls Reading: A Night At The Movies

Friday, April 12 at 7:30 pm 

$25 General/ $20 for DCAC Members

Who doesn’t love a good movie? Your resident Naked Girls are no different. However, they are far fonder of the tales, legends, graphics, and novels that brought these Hollywood blockbusters into existence. Join us as we pop some popcorn and enjoy an all-new evening of in-the-buff readings exclusively at The Sexology Institute! $15 single ticket, $25 couple’s ticket, and receive 20% off purchases.

Tickets are available here.