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UPDATED Oct. 9: A century ago, a few members of the Arlington Women’s Club decided to form a new group: Friends of the Drama. Since then, Arlington Friends of the Drama, or AFD, as the community theater came to be known, has produced season after season of plays, starting with a two-play season, and at times, performing up to five or six works in a single year at 22 Academy St. 

The AFD now has scheduled all upcoming performances for the 2023-2024 season. The theater is offering discounted tickets, with four show bundles priced at $70.

Those interested in a subscription with AFD can click here >> 

A modern classic, "Pippin," ran Sept. 22 through Oct. 8; a description of the plot, other details of the musical's run and that of the other three planned productions all appear below.


Up first was the AFD production of "Pippin," about a young prince searching for the secret to true happiness. He seeks it in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of the flesh and the intrigues of political power-- but ultimately finds it in the place where he least expects it. Written by Roger Hirson and Stephen Schwartz, and directed by Alison Waters-Short, "Pippin" ran Sept. 22 Oct. 7, 2023. Music direction was provided by Arlington resident Div Slomin, choreography by Jill Tokac.

"One Slight Hitch"

Early December brings the romantic farce "One Slight Hitch," by Lewis Black. The parents of the bride want everything perfect for their daughter’s backyard garden wedding. And why not? The groom is perfect, the dress is perfect, the decorations (if they ever arrive) are perfect, too. Then the doorbell rings -- and things start to unravel. Directed by David Dooks, One Slight Hitch is scheduled to run Dec. 1 through Dec. 10, 2023.

8 p.m. performances: Dec. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9

3 p.m. performances: Dec. 3 and 10

"Court-Martial at Fort Devens"

Third up is a drama based on a local true story. Fort Devens in World War II is the setting; African-American women were recruited and trained as Army medical technicians at the base hospital. But no sooner did they complete their training and start to work then they were reassigned to cleaning duties --because a colonel there summarily decided that “colored” women should not attend white soldiers. When the women refused to report to their new assignment, they were threatened with court-martial. "Court-Martial at Fort Devens" is based on their gripping experience. Written by Jeffrey Sweet and directed by Lisa Miller-Gillespie, this play about a little-known part of New England history goes up the first three weekends in March.

March 1 to 3, 8 to 11 and 15 to 17.

Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.

Sundays at 3 p.m.

"Twelfth Night"

A musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night" is to round out the season, organizers say. Conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub, with music and lyrics set to a jazz-funk score by Taub, this is predicted to please both Shakespeare lovers and people who didn’t think they liked Shakespeare until they heard it set to modern music. Maddie Roth stage directs this production, with musical direction from Samantha Prindiville, and choreography by Rebecca Graber. "Twelfth Night" will run the first three weekends in May.

May 3 to 5, 10 to 12 and 17 to 19.

Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.

Sundays at 3 p.m. 

Both season subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale through the theater’s website at Tickets for all performances are $25, but a subscription is just $70 for all four shows. Prices have not been raised in over five years, which is a welcome respite during inflation. The theater is located at 22 Academy Street, Arlington and is accessible to the disabled. Volunteers are welcome; contact the theater at 781-646-5922.

More information about the theater and its upcoming season can be viewed here >> 

June 18, 2023: AFD'S 100th anniversary celebrated

This news announcement was published Aug. 10, 2023, and updated Sept. 7, 2023, based on emails from AFD Theatre. Brynn O'Connor, YourArlington's assistant to the editor, prepared the initial copy, and volunteer Kim Haase updated it. The wording was slightly edited Sept. 20, 2023, Sept. 24, 2023 and then Oct. 9, 2023, to indicate that the show "Pippin" had concluded.