Ally Theater Company returns to Joe’s Movement Emporium with daring new work, #poolparty

A thought-provoking play about the history of swimming pools, the desegregation of a private swim club, and how the legacy of racism in the water continues to affect us all. ​​

MOUNT RAINIER, MD June 12, 18—In 1974 a family was denied membership at a private, neighborhood swimming pool, all the members of which were white. Over 40 years later, that story has inspired a new play by local playwright Jennifer Mendenhall opening in the Meyer Performance Theater at Joe’s Movement Emporium’s June 23 – July 15, 2018. Tickets are $25 general admission and $15 for children, students and veterans. Tickets can be purchased online at’s is located at 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712.

About #poolparty

In 2015, the board president of Playwright Jennifer Mendenhall’s pool discovered documents that revealed the story of a family in 1974 which was denied membership to the then all-white pool. The father of that family had reached out to the NAACP who in turn contacted the Department of Justice. Eventually the pool offered the family a membership which the father declined fearing for his children’s safety. The 2015 pool community acknowledged this part of their history by dedicating a newly build pavilion in the father’s name and inviting the surviving family to share their experience at the ceremony. This launched Mendenhall’s research into the history of swimming pools, the desegregation of that particular Mt. Rainier private swim club, and how the legacy of racism in the water continues to affect us all. Please click here for the full Playwright notes.

Please stay post-performance for specialty themed cocktails and opportunities to meet the cast of the show and creative and production team.

#poolpartyis sponsored in part by Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council and produced in partnership with Black Kids Swim.

About Ally Theater Company

Ally Theatre Company produces theatre designed to engage audiences through acknowledging and confronting systemic oppression in America. The company aims to join the vital conversations, sparked by generations of thinkers, writers, performers, and activists by:

-Placing underrepresented populations at the front and center of our narratives and our organization;
-Forming alliances with individuals and organizations who share a similar mission;
-Producing new theatrical works making their world, national, or local premieres; and
-Tackling existing theatrical works that forward the conversation.

WHAT:              Ally Theatre Company presents #poolparty

WHEN:             June 23- July 15 2018 | Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8PM Matinees at 2PM on Saturday and 4PM on Sunday | Community Preview Friday June 22nd at 8PM | Industry Night Monday July 9th at 8PM

WHERE:            The Meyer Performance Theater, Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712.

COST:              $25 (General Admission) $15 (Children, Students & Veterans)


Ally Theatre Company Kicks Off its First Season with the D.C. Premiere of James Ijames’ Fevered Look at American History

When the Mother of America stands trial, will anyone emerge innocent?


Ally Theatre Company—D.C.’s newest theatre company dedicated to art that’s designed to engage audiences through acknowledging and confronting systemic oppression in America—kicks off its inaugural season with the regional premiere of James Ijames’ The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington.

Christmas Eve, 1800. The Mother of America, Martha Washington, lays on her deathbed at Mount Vernon, surrounded by the slaves who will be freed upon her passing. In a fever dream of terrifying theatricality, Martha and the rest of America, yesterday and today, are put on trial for their crimes.


“I am thrilled to bring James Ijames’ brilliant play to DC after its 2014 world premiere in Philadelphia,” says Ty Hallmark, Ally’s Founding and Producing Artistic Director, who also will be directing the show. “There was never a question that Ally Theatre Company would mark its debut with Miz Washington, as it perfectly demonstrates our mission to highlight and elevate voices unheard and spaces unseen. Our first production is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long dialogue with the community, both in the Gateway Arts District and Washington, DC, at large.”

A bold, clever, and damning look at slavery, its perpetrators, and its legacy, Miz Washington holds a mirror up to America’s past and dares us to look away.


Ivana (Tai) Alexander*
Taunya Ferguson*
Tanya Chattman
Nate Shelton
Reginald Richard*
Jonathan Miot
With Jane Petkofsky* as Miz Martha Washington


Audrey Bodek, Set Design; Alison Samantha Johnson, Costume Design; Lolita Clayton Horne, Dramaturgy; Katherine Offutt, Props Design; Hope Villaneuva, Sound Design; E-hui Woo, Lighting Design; Angelisa Gillyard, Assistant Director/Choreographer and Charles Lasky, Stage ManagerDirected by Ty Hallmark*

April 22-May 20 2017
Joe’s Movement Emporium
3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mt. Rainier MD 20712
(301) 699-1819
Tickets on Sale Now!

Life-changing work takes Joe’s stage

The play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” comes to Mount Rainier sparking community member reflections

Local community member Travis Neimann shares the impact of a video clip that changed his social consciousness


Photo by Sarah Kozma

Mount Rainier, MD Feb. 18, 16: “My Name is Rachel Corrie” comes to Joe’s Saturday, March 12 at 7:30 pm. Local community member, Travis Neimann, reflects on the importance of the work in his own personal life:

“When I was a student at The Evergreen State College in 2003, I received a video clip in an email that would eventually change the direction of my academic, political and social consciousness. …It was a video of Evergreen student Rachel Corrie being run over and killed by an Israeli bulldozer…I’m certain I knew then that Palestine existed and that violence was a common occurrence [but] this video clip brought the reality literally to my doorstep … I never forgot her nor Palestine. Over the years that followed I found myself drawn to Palestine and to the struggle that Rachel lived and died for. I became involved in the Palestinian solidarity movement, organizing workshops and conferences on the Portland State University campus. She was an inspiration for me, and also a tale of warning.”

Tickets are available on Joe’s website and at the door for $20 general admission, $15 students & seniors and $10 for children 16 & under. Donations are welcomed to support this production and future productions of the work. Joe’s Movement Emporium has set up a separate donation platform of the show that can be reached by clicking here.



Photo by Mark Chamberlain

About “My Name is Rachel Corrie”

The one-person show “My Name is Rachel Corrie”, composed from Rachel’s emails and journal entries by the late Alan Rickman and editor in chief of The Guardian, Katherine Viner, chronicles the life of the 23 year old American Peace Activist who traveled to Gaza in 2003 with the International Solidarity Movement to defend Palestinian homes from being demolished. It was there, on March 16th, 2003 that she was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while defending a Palestinian’s home from being demolished.

Over the course of the play, Rachel matures from an insightful young girl listing the millions of things she wants to be when she grows up, to a scattered adolescent immersed in the manic search for self while battling boys and an over-involved mom, to a young woman determined to pursue peace and justice in a place she’s never been for people she’s never met, constantly questioning herself, her country and the world around her, and what it is to be human.

002-w Color Hi-Res (1)

Photo by Tom Bloom

About Ashley Malloy

Ashley Malloy is a New England based actor, writer and teaching artist, with an interest in the stories of those who remain underrepresented or go unnoticed by the commercial theatre. She has worked with underprivileged students and children of incarcerated parents in Hartford, CT and has found a wonderful theatrical community in Western Massachusetts.

Ashley has performed at The National End the Occupation Conference in Washington, D.C., Rachel’s hometown of Olympia, WA, courtesy of The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice on the 11th anniversary of Rachel’s death, and in more than 40 cities nationwide, often sponsored by chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine. She is so grateful to Cindy and Craig Corrie, who continue to be supportive of the tour, ever since they attended one of the first performances of this production in September 2013.

Ashley is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association, who has graciously allowed her to continue to educate, activate and inspire audiences with “My Name in Rachel Corrie.”


Tickets are $20 per adult, $15 for students and seniors with ID, $10 for children 16 and under. For more info, visit the website or call 301-699-1819.

The Ghost of Strasburg Haunts Joe’s Nov. 20 & 21st | Buy Your Tickets Now!

IMG_7788Welcome to the Strasburg Hotel…

Where the ladies offer more than a good night’s rest… They provide sanctuary to lost souls.

Circa 1929 in Central Virginia. When the wife of a policeman seeks refuge from her husband at the Strasburg Hotel… the hotel proves anything but idyllic.

From critically-acclaimed playwright Carol Lee Campbell (The Goddess Diaries) comes a new story that blends history with a touch of magic in a genre-defying drama about our dalliances with eternity.

Only $15 to see this brand new show!


  • General Admission: $15

Two Nights the week before Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20th at 8pm
Saturday, November 21st at 3 pm

Click Now to Buy

A note from Carol Campbell“The twenties was a time of great achievement for women, having the 19th amendment ratified, for one. But the pace of change is slow; women who worked or were not married and mothering by a certain age were considered outside of the lines of normalcy and often accused of being immoral and sexually deviant. Ghost is full of characters that live their lives outside of society’s norms.

The issues haven’t gone away. This play holds parallels, including what struggles women today face about their body, their friendships and their fate.”

Check out the Facebook event for great updates, photos of cast and crew and more!

What is Precious to You?

May 4, 2015
Damion Perkins

What is Precious to You?

“Keep what is precious, and leave the rest behind” a piece of advice given by one of the characters in BOXES the play.

So often we get caught on the proverbial hamster wheel- the logistics of family life, scrambling for success at work, sacrificing time and money for material things – and we forget that WE get to choose what is precious to us.

Get Your Tickets Here!

So take a moment today to really think: What is precious to you? And what should you leave behind?

Join us for BOXES, you won’t regret it.

Tickets available now at
For group sales call 301-742-4673.

Purchase your tickets today!

Christal Brown/INSPIRIT presents The Opulence of Integrity: A Dance Work Inspired by the Life and Legend of Muhammad Ali

Washington, DC – Choreographer Christal Brown brings her company INSPIRIT to Joe’s Movement Emporium for the DC premiere of their latest work The Opulence of Integrity. Inspired by the public life and inner searching of boxing’s outspoken superstar, Muhammad Ali, Brown deploys her eclectic movement vernacular to illustrate the turmoil of a life infused by divinity yet misinterpreted by humanity. By using Ali as an archetype, The Opulence of Integrity explores the homogeneous inner struggle for identity as it pertains to men of color in the United States. Two performances will take place onSunday, March 8 at 7pm and Monday, March 9 at 7pm at Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainer, MD 20712.
The Opulence of Integrity is an evening-length work, divided into four movements. The work explores Ali’s career as a boxer, and his life as a social activist, public martyr, and human being. It takes an intimate and expansive look at the social, economic, and spiritual trappings that continually prohibit freedom, while drawing clear parallels of war, resistance, and perseverance through a historical lens.
In The Opulence of Integrity, Brown pours her own experience into the work and dedicates it to her father, brother, and uncle who, in her words, “fought but did not win” and to her son “whose battle has not yet begun.” Brown goes on to say that, “To be born branded by history, burdened by responsibility, and inspired towards greatness requires a committed heart and an opulence of integrity.”
The Opulence of Integrity is performed by six dancers. DC’s own Patrick Washington performs his original written invocation for this piece. There is also an element of projection that lays the backdrop for the cultural and social energy of each time period. The music score for the work was created by Zimbabwean composer Farai Malianga, whose contemporary take on the subject matter supports the choreography every step of the way. Lighting design by Nick Hung provides the audience with the feeling of watching history through the frames of old tattered photos while Aya Sibahara’s costuming infuses vibrancy and individualism to each character.
About Christal Brown 
Christal Brown is a choreographer, educator, performer, writer, and activist. She received her BFA in Dance and minor in Business from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Upon graduation, Brown has performed with Chuck Davis’ African-American Dance Ensemble, Andrea E.Woods/Souloworks, Gesel Mason Performance Projects, the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and Urban Bush Women. Aside from performing, Brown is the Founding Artistic Director of INSPIRIT, a performance ensemble and educational conglomerate dedicated to bringing female choreographers together to collaborate and show new work. The Opulence of Integrity represents a departure from INSPIRIT’s usual milieu – it is Brown’s first foray into working with an all-male ensemble. Founded in 2000, INSPIRIT has been honored to show work at Aaron Davis Hall, St. Mark’s Church, The Joyce SoHo, The Lincoln Theater of Washington, D.C., and various other venues across countries. Brown also launched a nationwide youth initiative for teen girls called “Project: BECOMING” and developed a training module called “Liquid Strength.” Brown has been a resident artist of Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research, and Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and is currently an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Dance Program at Middlebury College.
About Patrick Washington
Patrick Washington, a.k.a. Black Picasso, is regarded by many as one of the country’s premier performance poets, representing classic poetry for the hip-hop generation for over 20 years. Forged in Washington DC’s now legendary U Street Poetry Scene, Washington consistently proves himself a master of genre fusion. As part of The American Poetry Museum, he conducts interactive workshops, spreading his love for the spoken, written & the rhythmic word. As a teaching artist for Words Beats & Life, he utilizes his knowledge & love of hip-hop culture to connect young people to their communities. Washington has worked for several respected organizations: Young Audiences of Maryland, America Scores, Youthbuild, the Gateway Community Development Corporation, and Youthspeaks. As part of the hip-hop/spoken word duo the POEM-CEES, he created poems for the 2007 NFL draft, and wrote a poem dedicating the monument to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the national mall on October 16th 2011.
WHAT: Christal Brown/INSPIRIT: The Opulence of Integrity
WHEN: Sunday, March 8 at 7pm and Monday, March 9 at 7pm 
WHERE: Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainer, MD 20712 
TICKETS: $25 General Admission, $18 Discounted Admission for Students (with ID) and Seniors 

Calling all artists in the DMV area!

vincent flyer

Are you a local performing artist who is interested in developing new work? Do you or your company want audience feedback on projects you are designing? Do you value input in your creative process?

Joe’s Movement Emporium and The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center are partnering to co-present NextLOOK, a series especially designed for artists whose works are in the research and development phase of creation. Regionally-based artists are given time, space and dollars to develop new work, in addition to having opportunities to deepen audience interaction and involvement through previews, workshops and feedback sessions. Artists from across the performing arts – including dance, theatre and music as well as cross-genre collaborations – are encouraged to apply.

If chosen, NextLOOK artists will receive a stipend based on a weekly fee for each artist in the group, not to exceed 10 people, total. NextLOOK artists are provided with five days in the theatre of Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mt. Rainier, MD (days do not need to be contiguous). Only minimal tech support is provided for the residency, as it is designed to be about creative investigation rather than production and performance.

Artists who are selected to be part of NextLOOK must value the opportunity to engage with community members in a variety of settings. There must be at least one public showing and conversation during the residency, and at least one workshop with community members, exploring the artist’s discipline or the subject matter being investigated in the new work. Audience engagement must be designed to ignite interaction and participation with the artist(s) in conversation that provides questions, feedback and ideas about the work in progress.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please fill out the form at the link below so that we can learn more about who you are and what you would do with this opportunity if you were chosen to participate. Please provide links to any video or audio you have of your work so that we can understand more about who you are and what kind of art you are making.

The submission deadline for consideration is Monday, March 16, 2015.

Decisions about the 2015-16 season of NextLOOK will be made by May 1, 2015.

For questions about the application process or the NextLOOK program, please contact Jane Hirshberg, Engagement Manager, or (301) 405-8172.