In-Person Productions

2022–2023 Season

The Gift of Nothing

December 9, 2022 — January 29, 2022

Adapted for the stage by Patrick McDonnell, Aaron Posner, and Erin Weaver
Music and lyrics by Andy Mitton

Featuring the characters of Patrick McDonnell’s MUTTS comic strip, and faithfully adapted by McDonnell, Aaron Posner, and Erin Weaver, “The Gift of Nothing” tells the story of Earl the enthusiastic pup and Mooch the curious cat. Today is a special day and to celebrate, Mooch has decided to give Earl a present, but can he decide on what to give the dog that has everything? This little gem of a show teaches children that the joy is not in the gift, but in the act of giving.

COVID Protocols

Adventure is excited to welcome you to our show! As we move to indoor performances and in the spirit of protecting the most vulnerable in our community, a few friendly reminders:

  • Adventure Theatre requires everyone over the age of two years old attending its shows to wear a mask and remain masked while in our facility.
  • A proof of vaccination will be required for admission for all individuals ages 12 and up.
  • Any customer 12 and up without proof of vaccination will not be granted access to the performance.

Meet the Playwright

Sandra Eskin

Sandra Eskin most recently co-wrote the musical adaptation of Blueberries for Sal with Michael Bobbitt (script) and William Yanesh (music and lyrics), which was produced by ATMTC in 2018. She also wrote the stage adaptation of Jumanji with Michael Bobbitt as well as Just a Dream, based on another book by Chris Van Allsburg, which traveled to schools in the D.C. area as well as to Singapore.

Eskin’s first ATMTC production was Molly’s Pilgrim in 2004. A veteran of the Playwright’s Forum, she has also had readings and productions of other plays at the Source Theatre and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington. Eskin loved taking her now-grown children to ATMTC productions when they were young, and she served on the theatre board for more than a decade.

When she is not writing plays, Eskin, a lawyer and longtime consumer advocate, currently serves in the Biden Administration as the Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Michael J. Bobbitt

Michael is the former Artistic Director of Adventure Theatre (2007 – 2019) Currently, he is the Executive Director of Mass Cultural Council, the most senior official in arts and culture for the state of Massachusetts. A published playwright, his plays include Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds (nominated for The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical by the Helen Hayes Awards), Garfield, the Musical with Cattitude, Jumanji (Nominated for Outstanding Play or Musical Adaptation by the Helen Hayes Awards), Caps for Sale, Blueberries for Sal, Bingo Long and the Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, The Yellow Rose of Texas, Mirandy and Brother Wind, Say It Ain’t So, The Stephen Schwartz Project, Tam’s Two Dads.

For the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theatre, he has revised How Old Is a Hero?, Black Diamond and Going the Distance. Additionally, he co-adapted Big, the musical into a Theatre for Young Audience version and the redux of Broadway’s After Midnight. Currently, he’s working on a Radio play commission from Hartford Stage and an adaptation of Monster Mash: A New Musical. He studied creative writing and music at Susquehanna University and theater and dance at The Washington Ballet, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and NY University’s Tisch School of the Arts (Cap 21).

As a writer, his work has been accepted in the 2006 NYC International Fringe Festival, The New York Musical Theatre Festival. His new musicals, Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds and Caps for Sale appeared at the New Victory Theatre in NYC. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Meet the Composer

William Yanesh

William Yanesh is a Washington, DC-based composer, arranger and music director. His compositions include music and lyrics for Blueberries for Sal and Caps for Sale at ATMTC, the latter of which toured nationally and played at New York City’s New Victory Theatre in 2016; music and lyrics for the Little Thinkers Adventures podcast; and the choral work The Astronomer, premiered by the Capital Hearings and featured on their album When The Night is New.

He is currently developing the musicals Monster Mash with Michael J. Bobbitt, and The Vanishing Girl with Hope Villanueva. As an arranger, his work has been heard in the premiere of the TYA version of Big River in 2019, the Kennedy Center’s premiere of Me…Jane, Adventure Theatre’s production of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and Shakespeare Theatre Company (DC)’s production of Man of La Mancha. As a music director and conductor, he has worked frequently at Ford’s Theater (where he won the Helen Hayes award for Outstanding Music Direction for Into the Woods in 2020), Arena Stage, 1st Stage (VA), Round House Theatre (MD), and Signature Theatre (VA). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Meet the Director & Choreographer

Ashleigh King

Ashleigh King is a Washington D.C.- based director, choreographer, actor, and teaching artist. She is a recipient of the Helen Hayes Award for her choreography of Legally Blonde at Keegan Theater and a directing fellow for Jenn Weber and MEP working on Hip Hop Nutcracker. Recent projects have included: Working the musical (Labor Heritage Foundation), Teenage D (Woolly Mammoth and Huntington Stage), Head Over Heels (JMU), Fairview (Woolly Mammoth). Here at Adventure, she also served as choreographer for Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible… (2018) and the world premiere of the TYA adaptation of Big River. Much of her time in DC has also been spent on area stages in multiple productions at The Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theater, Olney Theater, Signature Theater, and Studio Theater. Upcoming: Grace at Ford’s Theater, Spamalot at Northern Stage. Boundless gratitude to my friends and mentors that are: the team here at Adventure, Michael, Sandy, and Bill, my incredible family, and my own little ducklings. 

Meet the Music Director

Benjamin Lurye

Benjamin Lurye

Benjamin Lurye is a long-time ATMTC teaching artist who also previously appeared here as an actor in Five Little Monkeys, Alexander…Bad Day, and A Year With Frog and Toad. Music Direction credits include Caucasian Chalk Circle (Constellation Theatre, also composed incidental music), The Tempest (We Happy Few)and many educational productions at local high schools, ATMTC, and Imagination Stage. Acting credits include A Little Night MusicSweeney Todd, and Diner (Signature Theatre); My Fair LadySweeney ToddMary PoppinsForever Plaid, and Joseph…Dreamcoat (Olney Theatre); Sweeney Todd and The Fantasticks (Rep Stage); Cinderella (Virginia Rep); Forever Plaid (ArtisTree Musical Theatre Festival); Les MiserablesRagtime1776, and Joseph…Dreamcoat (Toby’s Dinner Theatre); Hello, Dolly! (Ford’s Theatre); and others. Ben holds a BM from the University of Maryland and lives in Brooklyn, NY. Visit him online at benlurye.com and on IG: @ben_lurye_sings_high.

Meet the Cast

Rebecca Ballinger (she/her/hers) - Ensemble

Jordan de Guzman Moral (he/him/his) - Mike

Graciela Rey (she/her/hers) - Mrs. Mallard

Ben Ribler (he/him/his) - Mr. Mallard

Professional Shows

Our 2019-2020 season features an amazing team of female directors who are illustrating beautiful works that have never been seen on ATMTC’s stages. We are so excited to bring our perspective and energy to these productions based on familiar and beloved stories. We hope you are too! 

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Accessible Shows

Get information about our accessible seating options and sensory-friendly and ASL interpreted public performances.

See a Student Show

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