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A gift of $50 helps Signature Theatre provide free tickets and in class and after-school arts education workshops to more than 1,400 Arlington County and Washington, DC high school students.

Signature Theatre, Inc.

Founded in 1989, Signature Theatre is a nationally known, Tony Award®-winning theater that produces contemporary musicals and plays, reinvents classic musicals, develops new work, and reaches its community through engaging educational and outreach opportunities.

Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, musical theater is Signature's "signature," and the Theatre is known nationally for its musical productions, especially new musicals. Called a “musical theater powerhouse” by THE WASHINGTON POST, Signature combines large-scale productions with its intimate playing spaces and is a leading force in U.S. musical theater. Since its inception, the Theatre has produced 48 world premiere works from 22 commissioned artists with seven still in development, making Signature home to the largest musical theater commissioning project in the United States.

Signature presents more than 500 artistic events annually, including: 

  • an eight-show subscription season, 
  • a popular cabaret series,
  • readings of new work. 

Signature gives back to the community through education and outreach initiatives that engage the area's increasingly diverse population.

Ongoing programs include:

  • SIGNATURE IN THE SCHOOLS, a comprehensive and immersive arts education program for high school students;
  • OVERTURES and STAGE ONE musical theater training for emerging artists and teens;
  • INSIDE SIGNATURE discussion and interview series events; a new work reading series;
  • A free community OPEN HOUSE, a day-long event that includes master classes, seminars, tours, performances, and an outdoor concert that is presented free to the community.

Signature also offers discussion nights, Pride Night performances for the LGBTQ community, and serves the current and retired military and their families with free and discounted tickets.

Signature Theatre is located in Arlington County, a 26 square-mile urban county with a population of 220,000, located directly across the Potomac River from Washington, DC and adjacent to the Northern Virginia jurisdictions of Fairfax County and Alexandria City. Home to the Pentagon (the County’s largest employer), the region is Virginia’s most diverse with 23% foreign born residents. The diversity of the region is reflected in the students who speak 104 languages and hail from 116 countries.

Signature Theatre serves residents of Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. Presently, Signature draws more than 110,000 area residents, including 4,977 loyal subscribers. 55% of Signature’s total audience resides in Northern Virginia. 39% live in the District of Columbia, and the remaining 6% come from outside the region. 

Signature’s community programs draw more than 10,000 annually and provide meaningful resources for at-risk teens and new, non-traditional theatergoers. The SIGNATURE IN THE SCHOOLS program, for example, reaches more than 1,400 students from underrepresented communities. The Program demographics include Hispanic (44%), White (19%), African-American (10%), and Asian (22%) high school students (ages 14 to 18) in Northern Virginia. Additionally, Signature Theatre’s Open Houses and free summer concert draws more than 6,000 enthusiastic Washington area residents including families with young children, teens, college students, young professionals, and residents from local senior living communities.