SCENA continues its 25th Anniversary Season with a powerful production of Oscar Wilde's Salomé, the controversial Biblical tragedy in one act, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street NE in Washington, DC.

Washington, DC — June 17, 2013 — The Directors of SCENA Theatre announce the second production of their landmark 25th Anniversary season—Oscar Wilde's engrossing tragedy in one act— Salomé. This provocative, controversial stage play is rarely performed in the Nations Capital. Now, DC theatergoers will get to experience Oscar Wilde's dark and shocking tale of revenge, lechery, and deception at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (SCENA's interim venue during it's search for a suitable, permanent space).

Oscar Wilde's Salomé is directed by SCENA's co-founder and Artistic Director Robert McNamara. Opening Night / Press Night is Saturday July 13, 2013. Members of the press should RSVP to to attend or to schedule a preferred alternate performance. The play runs about 95 minutes with no intermission. Salomé is appropriate for audiences 16 and up. Tickets are $20 - $40 and may be purchased on the Atlas website at Buy Salomé 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.

SCENA is building upon its 25-year tradition of presenting controversial stage plays with the presentation of Salomé. The play is a Biblical story of Salomé, the stepdaughter of the tetrarch (King) Herod Antipas. One day, a mysterious prophet named Jokanaan (John the Baptist) descends upon King Herod’s palace. The prophet delivers foreboding predictions for the King, which cause him great distress. So, the King seeks relief in watching the captivating Princess Salomé dance. She agrees only when he swears to give her anything she wants. Ultimately, she desires the prophet’s head on a platter—as he is the only man unfazed by her beauty.

"Oscar Wilde's Salomé is the ideal play to continue our landmark 25th Anniversary Season", said Artistic Director Robert McNamara. "It embodies our niche—and reflects our history—of presenting provocative and exceptional international theatre that makes people think", he added. McNamara has added one creative twist to this production: the era of the play has been reset in the divine decadent milieu of the 1920s. Recently, SCENA produced another Oscar Wilde play, The Importance of Being Earnest, twice to sold-out houses (in 2011 and 2010).

Oscar Wilde, the celebrated Victorian-era playwright and poet, originally wrote Salomé back in 1891 in French. A longtime friend of Wilde's, Robert Ross, once stated: "Salomé has made the author's name a household word wherever the English language is not spoken". In 1892 Wilde explained why he wrote Salomé in French: "I have one instrument that I know I can command, and that is the English language. There was another instrument to which I had listened all my life, and I wanted once to touch this new instrument to see whether I could make any beautiful thing out of it. (Pall Mall Gazette, June 29 1892). 

A year after Wilde wrote Salomé, rehearsals began for the play's debut on the London stage with renowned French actress Sarah Bernhardt. Yet, rehearsals were halted when Lord Chamberlain's licensor of plays banned Salomé on the grounds that it was illegal to portray Biblical characters on stage. The play ultimately premiered on Feburary 11, 1896 while Oscar Wilde was in prison in Paris serving time for "Gross Indecency with male persons" (the euphemism for homosexual acts in prudish Victorian England).

Salomé was later made into a successful opera by Richard Strauss (which premiered in Berlin in 1905). Numerous Hollywood film versions have been made of this Biblical tale starring screen legends such as Alla Nazimova and screen vamp Theda Bara. Rita Hayworth also appeared in a Hollywood 1950's re-make, and Ken Russell also made a film of Salomé.

Actors: Irina Koval, Brian Hemmingsen, Rena Cherry Brown, Joseph Carlson, Armand Sindoni, Kim Curtis, Renata Loman, Karin Rosnizeck, Michael Miyazaki, Tom Byrne, Caroline Wolfson, and Tony Strowd. U/S: Tom Byrne, Pasquale Guiducci & Karin Rosnizeck.

Designers: Robert McNamara (Director), Michael C. Stepowany (Set), Alisa Mandel (Costumes), Christopher Kurtz (Sound Design /Composer), Lena Salins (Stage Manager), Brittany Williams (Asst. Director), Anne Nottage (Literary Manager), and Gabriele Jakobi (Dramaturg).

Previews:  $10 on July 10, 11 & 12, 2013 (Wed, Thurs & Fri) at 8pm

Opening:  Saturday, July 13 is VIP Opening Night / Press Night: 8pm curtain; reception to follow

Performing:  July 13 – August 18, 2013 (Thurs, Fri & Sat at 8pm; Sun at 3pm) PLUS two special bonus performances on Wed Aug. 14 at 8pm and Sun Aug 18 at 8pm.

Price: $20 - $40 (Thurs & Sun: $35 adults, $20 Students; Fri & Sat: $40 adults, $25 Students


1333 H Street NE

Washington, DC 20002

Events: "Seven Veils Dance" T.B.A.

Press: Email:

Phone: 703.581.5514  OR

Click: on Press link (at left) for Photos

TICKETS: Reserve by Phone: 202.399.7993

Buy Salomé Tickets Here

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 Specials” – Thurs & Sun: $20; Fri & Sat: $25. Must present a valid student IDs at Box Office to receive discount. 


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 aimed at developing new works from around the globe. To learn more about SCENA's mission, niche in Washington, or past stage productions, please call 703-684-7990.