Ellicott City's Chesapeake Shakespeare Company greets the fall with Thornton Wilder's classic 1938 drama about small town life, "Our Town," Oct. 7-30 at Historic Patapsco Female Institute in Ellicott City. Call 410-313-8874.
Columbia's Silhouette Stages enters its third season with a production of the 2005 Broadway musical comedy about a children's competition, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," Oct. 28-Nov. 5 at Slayton House (10451 Twin Rivers Road, 410-637-5289).
Columbia's Red Branch Theatre Company (9130-I Red Branch Road, 410-997-9352) continues its fourth season with a production of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's musical romance "Once on This Island," Oct. 2-22. A stage version of the fairy tale "Pinocchio" can be seen there Dec. 8-11.
A 25th anniversary revival of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's multiple award-winning musical of Victor Hugo's "Les Misérables" opens the season at Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2700 F St., NW, 800-444-1324) Sept. 28-Oct. 20. The KenCen will then present a new staging of Henrik Ibsen's feminist tale of domestic discontent, "A Doll's House" titled "Mabou Mines Dollhouse" Oct. 20-22.
Historic Ford's Theatre (511, 10th St. NW, 202-347-4833) opens its season with a political musical, Alfred Uhry's "Parade," which tells of a Jewish factory owner's lynching in the early-20th century. It runs Sept. 23-Oct. 30 and will be followed by the theater's ever-popular annual production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" Nov. 18-Dec. 31.
Virginia's Signature Theatre (4200 Campbell Avenue, 703-820-9771) has a staging of Hunter Foster and Matt Conner's musical take on "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "The Hollow," running through Oct. 16. Joe Meno and Adam Gwon's musical about lost innocence, "The Boy Detective Fails" runs concurrently through Oct. 16.
The Olney Theatre Center for the Arts (2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, 301-924-3400) continues Sept. 28-Oct. 23 with Agatha Christie's classic whodunit "Witness for the Prosecution." A staging of the ever-popular Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The Sound of Music" follows, Nov. 16-Jan. 1.
The Silver Spring Stage (10145 Colesville Road, 301-593-6036) opens its season Sept. 16-Oct. 8 with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's semi-comic tale of a twentysomething trying to get one of his plays made into a movie, "Based on a Totally True Story." Stephen Adly Guirgi's surrealist morality tale "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot," follows on Oct. 28-Nov. 19.
The Forum Theatre, in residence at the Silver Spring annex of the Roundhouse Theatre (8641 Colesville Road, 240-644-1390) opens it season Sept. 22-Oct. 15.with Caryl Churchill's "Mad Forest: A Play from Romania," which looks at various aspects of the Romanian Revolution of 1989.
Finally, a bit closer to home, the Laurel Mill Playhouse (508 Main St., 301-617-9906) opened its season again with a "One-Act Festival," which continues through Sept. 25. Then the troupe will delve into deep psychological waters with Robert Anderson's ultimate family drama of unfinished business, "I Never Sang for My Father," Sept. 30-Oct. 16.