The Reach: Please Touch
The Reach Opening Festival is under way at the Kennedy Center, and you can get free tickets to events through Sept. 22.
The Reach is taking ars gratia artis (art for art’s sake) to a new level with the opening of their $250 million complex where the line between artists and audiences is intentionally blurred.
The facility describes itself as “a living theater where diverse art forms collide to break down the boundaries between audience and art.” Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said in a Washington Post article that what happens in the Reach is “the opposite” of what happens in the Kennedy Center. It’s not sitting and watching, it’s standing and doing. It’s not gowns and tuxes, it’s jeans and flip-flops.
All day, every day, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., the Reach is hosting events that are free and open to the public. What can you do and see there?
- In the Moonshot Studio, learn to draw, write poetry, mix beats and choreograph.
- Be part of the Royal Swedish Opera or the Lion King in the Virtual Reality Lounge, or get a taste of what Traveling While Black is like.
- Finally figure out how professional dancers work their magic in Installation: Slow Dancing, a film showing dancers in 10 minutes of extreme slow motion.
- In between events, step out on the Skylight Pavilion and immerse yourself in music, projected images, sounds and live performances
- Area schools can get into the game too, with field trips scheduled every day in which D.C. public school students get to watch a performance and participate in workshops.
- Teachers can attend special events as well, including a conversation with renowned children’s author Mo Willems (author of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus).
- Watch films, including Black Panther, the 2018 blockbuster starring Chadwick Boseman; America to Me, a documentary about students in elite Chicago neighborhoods; and Showboat, a Washington National Opera production of the 1920s classic musical.
- Collaborate with friends and strangers in Infinite Monster, a space you can go into to draw a monster without being able to see what the others are drawing until you come out again. See your creation after online!
- Listen to Olmeca, billed as an artist, activist and scholar, talk about art, culture and politics as seen through the eyes of struggling populations. He’s a first-generation American who has lived in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico.
- See comedians Rachel Dratch and Jon Glaser perform sketch comedy with members of Second City.
- Master Class: Dancing for All Abilities with MYB Music in Motion is geared toward children with disabilities, though anyone 5 and older is welcome to participate.
- Learn more about the Peace Corps, a program in which volunteers assist those struggling with poverty, famine and other major life stresses in other countries. Started by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, this highly respected organization is still thriving today.
The Reach, next to the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St NW