Studio plays home to LaBute fest

Festival includes 'Pig,' 'Autobahn,' 'Pleasure'

WASHINGTON — They call it “a day in LaButeville,” a chance for auds to wallow in the wackiness of three staged events by playwright Neil LaBute in one stretch (box dinner included). D.C.’s Studio Theater played host during the last two January weekends as part of its six-week LaBute Festival, and even the playwright turned out.

The festival includes a production of last season’s Off Broadway hit, “Fat Pig”; a world premiere of six short one-acts called “Autobahn”; and “Seconds of Pleasure,” an hour of readings from LaBute’s short story collection.

“This is the first time a professional theater has ever presented my craft in this fashion,” said a flattered LaBute at a reception held Jan. 21 at the home of Studio board topper Sandra Butler. It is also the first time the newly expanded Studio has celebrated a single playwright with concurrent productions on three stages, an idea hatched by founding a.d. Joy Zinoman following the success two seasons ago of LaBute’s “The Shape of Things.”

It’s clear that D.C. audiences are warming to the playwright, who is known for exposing the dark side of personalities. “Fat Pig” has just been extended, and auds are building for the 90-minute “Autobahn.” The LaButeville weekends were sellouts.

The prolific playwright, who slipped into D.C. from his current project of adapting and directing a remake of the 1973 pic “The Wicker Man” (featuring Nicolas Cage), gave Studio an exclusive on “Fat Pig” before general release.

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