About Elizabeth Bruce

Elizabeth Bruce, co-founder of Sanctuary Theatre, is an educator, theatre artist, and novelist who has worked with children and artists for over 30 years. She has long led the Multidisciplinary Arts Program at CentroNía, and now serves as Community Arts Producer. She has received grants from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and Poets & Writers, Inc., and founded the Women Artists/Women Healing series. Her debut novel, And Silent Left the Place—published by Washington Writers’ Publishing House—received distinctions from the Texas Institute of Letters, ForeWord Magazine, Small Press Distributors, and The Montserrat Review. She has studied with novelists Richard Bausch, John McNally, Lee K. Abbott and Janet Peery; her publishing credits include Paycock Press’ Gravity Dancers, Washington Post, Lines + Stars and others. A member of Playwrights Forum, her scripts have been staged at Adventure Theatre, Washington Ethical Society, Howard University and Sanctuary Theatre, as well as Carpetbag Theatre as the Lucas Award winner. She performed most recently with Solas Nua and Sanctuary at Capital Fringe Festivals, and holds a BA in English from Colorado College.

Fringe Review: ‘Interrogation’ at Mountain at Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church

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Theatrical theorists weary of plays with their 4th walls intact and the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief tucked safely into their breast pockets can have some fun with John Feffer’s Interrogation, the 6th Fringe offering from this smart and inventive fellow. Feffer is a foreign policy director at the inimitable Institute for Policy Studies and […]

Source Festival Review: ’2014 Full Length Plays’

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The noted writer and teacher Richard Bausch posits that a writer can do anything except bore or confuse the reader.  Presumably, the same tenet applies to the playwright, with the proviso in both cases that readers and audiences vary, and what may bore or confuse one sort may engage and enthrall another, so long as […]

Theatre Review: ‘The Piano Lesson’ at Olney Theatre Center

Jessica Frances Dukes as Berniece and JaBen Early as Avery in Olney Theatre Center's production of THE PIANO LESSON. Photo by Stan Barouh.

The late August Wilson is one of America’s great playwrights, and his extraordinary canon of plays is making its debut at Olney Theatre Center in Olney, Maryland.  Theatregoers should not miss this auspicious event. With resonant grace and fury, Wilson’s “Century Cycle” of ten plays chronicles the anguish and resilience of Black America over the […]

Theatre Review: Brief Encouter by the UK troupe Kneehigh at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Photo of Hannah Yelland as Laura and Jim Sturgeon as Alec in Kneehigh’s U.S. tour of 'Brief Encounter.' Photo by Jim Cox.

The Noel Coward-based play Brief Encounter, the Kneehigh import now playing at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Landsburgh Theatre, comes to Washington as if from another era, another time and space when reality was defined by beauty, lyricism, and purity of intent.  In it, romantic love becomes but a sliver of time, stolen from the mundanity of […]

Theatre Review: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by England’s Bristol Old Vic in Collaboration with South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, the Kennedy Center’s 2014 International Theatre Festival

Photo by Simon Annand.

Once in a rare while, a work of art comes along that so utterly captures the capacity of the imagination that audiences can but weep with laughter and leap to their feet in splendid delight.  Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, presented by Britain’s Bristol Old Vic, in association with South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, is […]

Theatre Review: ‘Savannah Bay’ by Theâtre de l’Atelier at the Kennedy Center’s 2014 International Theatre Festival


Marguerite Duras’s play Savannah Bay follows a young woman desperate to discover the truth about her mother’s suicide the day after her birth. Writer Marguerite Duras, best known for her hauntingly beautiful, and scandalous The Lover, is known for her poetic memoryscapes.  Her worlds are filled with a fusion of fact and illusion, fragmented remembrances and half-heard tales. Any […]

Theatre Review: ‘Ella: The First Lady of Song!’ at MetroStage

Freda Payne as Ella Fitzgerald. Photo by Chris Banks.

If you love Ella Fitzgerald—heck, even if you were born last week and are thus only vaguely familiar with Ella Fitzgerald (in fact, especially if you’re only vaguely familiar with her)–you must see this Ella: The First Lady of Song!  The astonishing vituosa Freda Payne brings the First Lady of Song to life with an […]

Theatre Review: ‘La Vie en Rose’ by the In Series at Gala Theatre

Cast members of ‘La Vie en Rose.’ Photo by Paul Wegner.

Lovers of French song and lovers of beautiful music and beautiful dance will love La Vie en Rose.  And lovers of art forms that blend ballet with transcendent voices, lush musicianship, and elegant production values will truly love this show—as did the opening night In Series audience. …brought the audience instantly to its feet with […]

Theatre Review: ‘Twelfth Night’ at Synetic Theater

Alex Mills as Sebastian, Kathy Gordon as Olivia and Dallas Tolentino as Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Photo by Koko Lanham.

Renowned for their inventive, exhilarating choreography, it is indeed thrilling to watch the kinesthetically amazing Synetic Theatre ensemble launch into full throttle dances we actually recognize.  In Synetic’s wordless production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, set in the comparably silent world of silent film, the company dazzles with dances of the 1920s—the Charleston, Foxtrot, Jitterbug. To […]

Theatre Review: ‘Man in a Case’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Mikhail Baryshnikov in 'Man in a Case.' Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Shakespeare Theatre has again welcomed into its home an ensemble of renowned master artists: Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the combined talents of the Big Dance Theater company. And Washington audiences are again treated to the delights of vanguard artists at work.  Man in a Case, a multi-media avant garde production based on two short […]

Theatre Review: ‘Rancho Mirage’ at Olney Theatre Center

Tracy Lynn Olivera, Susan Lynskey and Tonya Bechman. Photo by Stan Barouh.

With substantial support from the National New Play Network, Olney Theatre is joining two other American professional theatres in birthing Rancho Mirage, the new play by acclaimed American playwright Steven Dietz, directed at Olney by Jason Loewith. And indeed, such a nurturing embrace of new theatrical work inspires keen applause.  Certainly, the friendly audience at the […]

Theatre Review: ‘Measure for Measure’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Natascia Diaz as Mariana. Photo by Scott Suchman.

In the masterful hands of Director Jonathan Munby, Shakespeare Theatre has taken Measure for Measure, one of the Bard’s darker “problem comedies,” and transported it to the hedonistic turned sadistic pre-war 1930’s Vienna. “Cabaret” meets Shakespeare in this breathtakingly contemporary production. The story, in brief, is this. Jolted by the decadence of his society and […]

Theatre Review: ‘Hard Headed Heart’ by Blair Thomas & Company at the Puppets Take Strathmore Festival

Blair Thomas & Company.  Photo courtesy of Strathmore.

In the hands—and imagination—of master puppeteer Blair Thomas puppetry becomes conceptual art of the highest order.  And storytelling becomes a visual and auditory feast that will surprise and delight even the most wizened of theatergoers. Strathmore’s “Puppets Take Strathmore Festival”  concluded with a final performance of Hard Headed Heart, conceived and executed by Blair Thomas […]

Theatre Review: ‘The Third Breast’ by Ambassador Theater at Flashpoint

Sissel Bakken, Matthew Ingraham, and Christopher Henley. Photo by Magda Pinkowska.

Past is prologue and the human heart cannot abide contradiction, certainly not the murderous Orwellian contradiction embedded in The Third Breast by Ireneusz Iredynski, translated by Sylvia Daneel, produced by Ambassador Theater, and presented at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint in downtown Washington, DC. As a work of political analysis—intense allegorical introspection if you will—about the […]