SCENA launches its 26th Season with a regional premiere, The Marriage of Maria Braun, a stage version of the cult 1979 Fassbinder film opening Sept. 14 at the ATLAS in DC

Washington, DC — August 20, 2013 — The Directors of SCENA are excited to announce the first show of their 26th Season, the passionate WWII drama The Marriage of Maria Braun, which runs from September 14 – October 11 at the ATLAS Performing Arts Center in Northeast DC. The story of Maria Braun was made famous in the 1979 cult film by renowned German film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, an important figure in the New German Cinema (small budget films with large scale impact in German art houses).

The presentation of Maria Braun truly reflects the collective international expertise of many artists at SCENA. Company co-founder and Artistic Director Robert McNamara, who is directing Maria Braun, is an expert on international drama. He has directed dozens of plays in many overseas countries and brings vast knowledge, expertise, and authenticity of foreign literature and culture to DC audiences. Peter Märthesheimer & Pea Fröhlich, noted German dramatists, translated Maria Braun into English and adapted the cult film for the stage. Gabriele Jakobi, who has directed numerous award-winning plays and festivals in her native Berlin, is serving as SCENA Dramaturg and script consultant. And finally, Alisa Mandel from Russia is serving as costume designer and has created many exotic costumes for SCENA and other international productions in the US and abroad.

Performing the title role is Helen Hayes Award® Winner Nanna Ingvarsson, of Danish descent. She recently performed with SCENA to praiseworthy reviews in the roles of Margaret Thatcher in Sink the Belgrano! (2010) and The Wife in GREEK (2011), both by Britain's Steven Berkoff. Also for SCENA, Nanna has performed as Solange in The Maids and in the title role in Dark. Nanna was recently honored with a Boomerang Fund for Artists grant in 2011.

Opening Night + Press Night for Maria Braun is Saturday September 14, 2013. PRESS MEMBERS: please RSVP to or call 703-581-5514 to attend or schedule an alternate date. The play runs about two hours with one intermission.


Director McNamara has produced Fassbinder three times in the past. In 1989, SCENA's second season, he staged Bremen Freiheit, ("Bremen Coffee"), with founding company member Kerry Waters at the old Woolly Mammoth Theatre and in 1992 as a part of the Goethe Institut-DC and the Kennedy Center’s "A Tribute to Germany". SCENA's McNamara also staged the play Katzelmacher ("Cock Artist") at the Stables Arts Center. Plus, in Ireland, he once produced the Irish premiere of Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.

McNamara specializes in modern German playwrights such as Bertolt Brecht, Thomas Brasch, Franz Xaver Kroetz, and others widely regarded as the "New Wave" of writers in German theatre. His recent work includes noted authors such as Marius von Mayenburg, Dea Loher, David Gieselmann, Albert Ostermaier and Theresia Walser. Ultimately, his vast repertoire and expertise means that patrons and critics alike will experience an authentic European production akin to one that you would see in Berlin, Germany.

Tickets to Maria Braun are $20 - $40 (details below) and may be purchased securely from the ATLAS website at Buy Maria Braun Tickets or by calling the ATLAS Box Office at 202.399.7993. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the ATLAS box office at 1333 H Street NE in Washington, DC where hours are typically 9am – 5pm weekdays, plus hours are extended up until showtime on performance days. Maria Braun is appropriate for audiences 16 and older.

Actors: Helen Hayes Award® winner Nanna Ingvarsson, Doug Krehbel, Emily Morrison, Regen Wilson, Theodore Snead, Karin Rosnizeck, Kim Curtis, Lee Ordeman,  Armand Sindoni, and Colin Davies.

Designers: Robert McNamara (Director), Gabriele Jakobi (Dramaturg), Michael C. Stepowany (Set Designer), Alisa Mandel (Costume Designer), Marianne Meadows (Lighting Designer), Denise R. Rose (Sound Designer), Kathryn Rother (Stage Manager), Hope Villanueva (Assistant. Director), Anne Nottage (Literary Manager), TW Starnes (Projections Designer), and Paul Gallagher (Fight Director).


Previews:   $10 on September 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 (Tue – Sat at 8:00 pm, Sun 3:00 pm)

Opening:   Saturday, September 14 is VIP Opening Night + Press Night: 8:00 pm curtain; reception to follow

Full Run: September 14 – October 11, 2013 (Tuesday – Saturday at 8:00 pm; Sunday at 3:00 pm)*

(NOTE): *Visit for exact performance dates, as some days are dark.

Price: Tue – Thurs + Sun: $35 adults, $20 students;  Fri & Sat: $40 adults, $25 Students

Tickets: Reserve by Phone: 202.399.7993  or

Buy Tickets on the Atlas website at Buy Maria Braun Tickets


1333 H Street NE Washington, DC 20002

Press: Email:

Phone: 703-581-5514  or

Parking: Valet Parking is available at the Rock n Roll Hotel (1353 H St., a few doors from the ATLAS). If driving, side-street parking is suggested (Maryland Ave, 10th – 12th Streets, etc.). Also, the X2 Metrobus runs down H Street. Visit for schedules.

Deals: Student / Artist Special” – Tues – Thurs + Sun: $15;  Fri & Sat: $20.  Must present a valid student ID or artistic credentials at Box Office for discount. 


About Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Born in 1945, Fassbinder was a film director, screenwriter, and actor. His professional career lasted less than 15 years, yet he maintained a frenetic pace in film producing 40 feature length films, two television film series, three short films, four video productions, four radio plays, and 24 stage plays. He played 36 acting roles in his own and others' films. He also worked as a film cameraman, stage actor, author, composer, designer, editor, producer, and theatre manager. The subtext of his work reflected a desire to provoke and disturb audiences. His remarkable creative energy co-existed with a wild, self-destructive libertinism that garnered him a reputation as the "enfant terrible" of the New German Cinema (while serving as its central figure). Fassbinder had tortured personal relationships with actors and crewmembers that he regarded as his surrogate family. His pictures show a deep sensitivity to social outsiders and a hatred of violence. Fassbinder died at age 37 from heart failure resulting from a lethal interaction of cocaine and sleeping pills.

About SCENA Theatre 

SCENA Theatre brings the best international theatre to Washington, DC and stimulates cultural exchange between theatre artists, locally and worldwide. Founded in 1987 under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert McNamara and Managing Director Amy Schmidt, SCENA produces an annual season of plays and seasonally staged readings, as well as a Workshop Series to develop new works from around the globe. To learn more about SCENA's mission, niche in Washington, or past productions, click here About SCENA or call 703-684-7990.