The Broadway-aimed Britney Spears jukebox musical Once Upon a One More Time will now premiere at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., this fall. Performances begin at STC’s Sidney Harman Hall November 29 for a limited engagement through January 2, 2022.
The musical has gone through a number of shake-ups trying to get off the ground. It was originally set to open in Chicago in fall of 2019 and then postponed to run in spring of 2020; the COVID-19 shutdown then resulted in producers canceling the Windy City run.
Directed and choreographed by Keone and Mari Madrid, Once Upon A One More Time features an original story written by Jon Hartmere that flips the script on well-known fairy tales. Cinderella, Snow White, the Little Mermaid, and other characters gather for their fortnightly book club when a rogue fairy godmother grants their wish for a new story by dropping The Feminine Mystique into their laps.
The musical weaves the pop anthems of Spears—including "Oops I Did It Again," "Lucky," "Circus," and "Toxic"—into an adventure about smashing the glass slipper and claiming a different kind of happily ever after.
The latest creative team remains intact with the transfer to D.C., including creative consultant David Leveaux, scenic designer Anna Fleischle, costume and Hair designer Loren Elstein, lighting designer Sonoyo Nishikawa, sound designer Andrew Keister, projection designer Sven Ortel, and wig designer Ashley Rae Callahan.
Casting will be announced in the coming months.
Following the world premiere, Shakespeare Theatre Company presents Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (February 17–March 20, 2022), directed by STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul. Up next will be a co-production with the NYC-based Theatre for a New Audience with The Merchant of Venice (March 22–April 17), starring John Douglas Thompson as Shylock. The Shakespearean programming continues with a contemporary adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing (April 21–May 22) set in a cable TV newsroom. STC Artistic Director Simon Godwin directs.
The season concludes with Red Velvet (June 16–July 27), written by Lolita Chakrabarti and directed by Jade King Carroll. The play follows Shakespearean player Ira Aldridge, an American-born Black performer who played many of the Bard’s most notable roles across Europe.
STC is also offering two special pre-season limited engagement productions outside of the subscription season: James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner (September 14–26, 2021) and the David Straithairn-led Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski (October 6–17), written by Derek Goldman and Clark Young.
Some previously announced shows remain in development for future seasons, including Whitney White’s production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which will be a part of the 2022–2023 season.