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2700 S Lang Street
Arlington, VA 22206
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3700 S Four Mile Run Drive
Arlington, VA 22206
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Homeless Garden: An Open Filming


Homeless Garden
Kathleen Akerley behind the camera Stills from filming of Homeless Garden
May 2 - 25, 2024

(Homeless Garden, by Matt Minnicino, was co-conceived by Graham Miller and originally produced by Refracted Theatre Company.)

Avant Bard is filming this month and you are invited to play a part. Here’s the description taken from the director’s social media post about this project:

Seven actors, four camera operators, one first AD, one brilliant writer, one producing partner, one generous sponsor, and I will spend the next month filming a documentary. A documentary about a struggling theatre’s experience with trying to create Homeless Garden, a play that questions “ownership” of land in the context of environmental crisis and generational inequities in wealth … while theatre itself is grappling with those same issues.
Here’s the extra fun part: filming is open to the public. And for those who choose, the public will be part of the film because every “show” night — where five pages of the screenplay are filmed — there is also both curated and freeform discussion, between takes, about the issues.

That’s Producing Partner Kathleen Akerley’s description and it’s spot on. Come join the conversation and play your part. Disclaimer: There is absolutely no requirement to be filmed if you don’t want to be – you’ll just let the box office know and we’ll ensure no footage of you gets into the final cut!

See the DC Theatre Arts article about this project for more information.

Avant Bard Producing Partner Kathleen Akerley directs and the cast includes Producing Partner Sara Barker with Jordan Brown, Lucy Redmon Connell, Louis E. Davis, Kate Kenworthy, Matthew Pauli, Danielle Rhodes, and Rachel Sanderson.

New for 2024: Free admission to the show is open to all Arlington middle and high school students along with $20 tickets for their accompanying parent(s)/guardian(s).

Important Note: The open filming will take place over four weekends, so each filming session will cover only a portion of the play. A summary of the play will be provided, and you will be given the context for the scenes being filmed during that session. All attendees will be emailed access to the full film once complete and as it’s being submitted for festival runs.

The first week and Saturday Matinees are Pay-What-You-Can sessions. The matinee sessions on Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, are Mask-Required sessions.

Please arrive by 7:30 p.m. (or 2:00 pm) to complete the release form (or to opt out). Filming will begin at 8:00 pm (or 2:30 pm); each session is 90 minutes. Due to the nature of film work, we will not be able to admit anyone after filming has begun.

The following filming sessions are available:

Thursday, May 2, 7:30 pm (PWYC)
Friday, May 2, 7:30 pm (PWYC)
Saturday, May 4, 2:00 pm (PWYC)
Saturday, May 4, 7:30 pm (PWYC)
Thursday, May 9 7:30 pm
Friday, May 10 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 11 2:00 pm (PWYC)
Saturday, May 11 7:30 pm
Sunday, May 12 2:00 pm
Thursday, May 16 7:30 pm
Friday, May 17 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 18 2:00 pm (Masks Required/PWYC)
Saturday, May 18 7:30 pm
Sunday, May 19 2:00 pm (Masks Required)
Thursday, May 23, 7:30 pm
Friday, May 24, 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 25, 2:00 pm (PWYC)
Saturday, May 25, 7:30 pm
(PWYC = Pay What You Can)

A list of which parts of the play are being filmed on which day, plus synopses of The Cherry Orchard and Homeless Garden, are available here.

General Admission is $40. Half-price tickets are available for Seniors, Veterans and Active Duty Military, and general Students. Admission for Arlington County Students is free, and their chaperones are half-price.


In order of appearance
Hermes: Louis E. Davis*
Val: Rachel Sanderson
Ani: Kate kenworthy
Leo: Matthew Pauli
Liv: Sara Barker^
Firs: Henrietta
Dawn: Danielle Rhodes
Sosh: Jordan Brown
Tro: Lucy Redmon Connell

Production Team

Director: Kathleen Akerley^
Co-Conceiver: Graham Miller
First Assistant Director: Caroline Johnson
Lead Producer: Alyssa Sanders^
Co-Producer: Kathleen Akerley^
Co-Producer: Sara Barker
Intimacy Choreographer: Bess kaye
Camera Operators/Audio Technicians: Mirko Almosd, Madeline Krieger, Séamus Miller, Ash O’Keefe
Box Office Manager: Anthony De Souza

* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

^ Avant Bard Theatre Producing Partner


Special thanks to Avant Bard Production Sponsor Pete Miller for supporting Homeless Garden: An Open Filming.


Additional thanks to Cecilia Allen, Jared Davis, Jarrod DiGiorgi, Richard Gibson, Toni Goldberg, Gwen Grastorf, Eva Klain, Vanessa Piccorosi, Erin thomas, Andrés Luque Turriago, and Tara Smith Whitworth


  1. Ann K. Kurzius

    I’ve searched several pages on various sites, without finding the cost of a ticket to see Homeless Garden at times other than PWYC. Is it always $20?
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Peter

      Sorry for the confusion. We’ll make it clearer on the pages.

      The standard price is $40. Half-price tickets are available for Seniors, Veterans and Active Duty Service Members, and general Students—while Arlington County Students get free admission.

      Hope to see you soon!

      • Raoul Smith

        …so you’re charging folks $40 to sit and watch you film something? These should all be pay what you can, on a donation basis for this new kind of work. No way am I gonna shell over $40 to watch a stop-start, random, out of context scene filmed over and over again. Good luck; I hope this appeals to others

        • Peter

          Sorry that we haven’t described the event adequately. It is not an audience sitting there passively while we film scenes over and over. The attendees are participants as we film the scenes. Yes, the scenes may be out of context, but if you’re familiar with The Cherry Orchard, it will be easy to see how Matt Minnicino is riffing on those characters; and Kathleen Akerley, the director, will provide additional context for the scene. And we don’t get through more than a few pages, so just a scene or two, and a handful of takes. In between the takes, there is a discussion with the participants about the filming process, but more importantly, about the ideas being presented in the play, and how the play comments on current conditions in our life in general, and in the theater world in particular.

          So you’re not sitting there watching a film being made of a play. You are participating in a documentary about the filming of a play, joining in the discussion about the issues addressed by the playwright. It’s very “meta”, and so a bit hard to describe.

          If you have more questions, please feel free to ask.

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