Things to do in the DC area: ‘You Are Who You Eat,’ Capital Jazz Fest … and more!

Inside Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s new exhibit, ‘Rose: You Are Who You Eat’

There’s so much to do in the D.C. area in the coming days, and WTOP has you covered with our weekly roundup of area events worth anticipating.

Check back every Thursday for a roundup of Things to do in the D.C. area.

It all started in the womb, and now the true story of “gender feasting” has been brought to the nation’s capital.

Artistic director of the Bearded Ladies Cabaret company and lead artist John Jarboe has brought her immersive “Rose: You Are Who You Eat” experience to the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in D.C. This project encompasses a “musical shrine” to Jarboe’s twin, Rose.

In an interview with WTOP, Jarboe said that she began her art project several years ago when her aunt told her that she absorbed her twin in the womb. After being commissioned by the Works & Process performing arts series at the Guggenheim, Jarboe produced several video works, which were later adapted into a musical about “gender cannibalism.” This term, she said, alongside the metaphor of eating is very visceral and “resists assimilation.”

“In my experience growing up queer in the Midwest, I was hungry. I was hungry for anything that smelled of queer at all,” said Jarboe. “The metaphor of cannibalism was really useful. I also love the idea that it’s not at all — or at least easily — politicized at a time when people are politicizing trans identity so aggressively.”

In May, Jarboe debuted “The Rose Garden,” a multiroom performance that is hosted at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, through Sept. 29. She described it to WTOP as “an escape room of Midwestern denial.”

For D.C., Jarboe has brought her story to the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company with the show, “Rose: You Are Who You Eat.” This experience includes a concert inside the theater lobby as well as an immersive exhibition, “The Rose Garden: Green Room” at CulturalDC’s Mobile Art Gallery, which is located inside a 40-foot shipping container located just outside the theater.

This section in the lobby of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, called “Rose’s Closet,” allows guests to take or leave feminine and masculine clothing.

Inside the main lobby of Woolly Mammoth, there is also “Rose’s Closet,” which is an inclusive and free clothing exchange where guests are invited to “take a gender and leave a gender.”

Jarboe told WTOP that she hopes the “queerdos” (a portmanteau of “queer” and “weirdos”) who come to experience this exhibit leave feeling fed.

“I hope people feel nourished. … I hope that people feel loved and feel seen,” she said.

Here’s what else is happening in the D.C. area.


Capital Jazz Fest
From June 7 through 9, the 31st annual Capital Jazz Fest is bringing over 30 musical acts, plus juried craft vendors, culinary treats and interactive Q&A sessions. This year, expect artists like Grammy and Emmy-winning singer Andra Day, Gregory Porter, Anthony Hamilton and Chrisette Michele. Tickets for the event at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, start at approximately $100.

Go-Go on the Rooftop
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is back with a free rooftop concert series. Starting Sunday, June 9, this weekly Go-Go music series is being hosted on Sundays with notable groups featured like E.U., Backyard Band and Junkyard Band. Stay tuned for more bands to be added to the lineup.

Eckington Hall Two Year Anniversary
At Alethia Tanner Park, Eckington Hall’s two-year anniversary event on Saturday, June 8, is expected to bring a variety of food vendors, live music and games. The event is free.

Capital Pride Parade, Festival … and more!
There’s so much to look forward to this weekend and beyond as the D.C. region celebrates Pride Month. For a full list of local, LGBTQIA events, check out this Pride Month event guide.


“The Migration” dance performance
The Step Afrika! company is performing, “The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence,” at Arena Stage’s Kreeger Theater from June 7 through 14. This production tells the story of when millions of African Americans migrated from the rural South to the North during the 20th century to escape racial oppression. Tickets start at approximately $50.

Trolley Trail Day
On Saturday, June 8, enjoy a full day’s celebration along the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail with a fun run, bicycle ride, local music and children’s activities. The free event is open to the public.

Local Author Bazaar
The People’s Book bookstore in Takoma Park, Maryland, is hosting this inaugural bazaar on Saturday, June 8, for visitors to meet and greet local authors. Tickets are free.


Taste of Springfield
Have a taste of some of the best local flavors at the seventh annual Taste of Springfield festival. The event is on Saturday, June 8, at Springfield Town Center in Springfield, Virginia.

Yoga at MoCA Arlington
Bring a mat, water bottle and notebook with a writing utensil to the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington this Saturday, June 8, for a 60-minute yoga session inside the galleries. Donation-based tickets start at $10.

Tiny Beer Fest
On Sunday, June 9, at Fairfax, Virginia’s High Side bar, enjoy a selection of over 45 craft beers, ciders, and mead, as well as Asian street food and live music. A “Dad Joke contest” is also planned. Tickets start at $45 for general admission and $60 for VIP tickets.

Have an event you’d like featured in WTOP’s Things to do in the D.C. area weekly guide? Fill out this contact form to have your event considered.

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Michelle Goldchain

Michelle Goldchain’s reporting has focused primarily on the D.C. area, previously working as Editor of Curbed DC for Vox Media and Audience Growth & Engagement Editor for Washington City Paper. She is the author of “D.C. by Metro: A History & Guide.” She also reports for 'Artsplained' on YouTube.

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