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Scena Theatre presents the World Premiere of The Last Drop, a new drama by Australia’s John Shand. RSVP now to see and review it on Opening Night, Monday, April 15, 2024

Washington, DC, March 12, 2024  — The Directors of Scena Theatre continue their 36th Season in DC with the World Premiere of The Last Drop, a new apocalyptic drama by Australia's John Shand, This play will be presented at the DC Arts Center from April 15 - May 12, 2024. The timing of this play is eerily apropos given the many economic troubles, environmental issues, and cultural clashes now taking place in the US.

Press Night: Monday, April 15, 7:30 pm at DC Arts Center in Adams Morgan at 2438 18th St. NW Washington, DC, 20009. To reserve your Press seat, or to request an alternate show, please RSVP now to 

PLOT: Western civilization collapses during an economic upheaval and water becomes scarce. Pestilence, violence and war drive people from the cities. Mary and Joe survive in the sand-dunes, desalinating sea water with a ramshackle still. They eat insects and random crustaceans. Their love is but a faded memory. Then, invaders arrive: Valentino is a shark of a trader. Esmeralda is his accomplice and whore. One ill-fated night in their company tears Mary & Joe apart. Hidden truths emerge that leave Mary at her wit’s end with just one way out. This sparks a new world order that alters the course of history.

Artistic Director Robert McNamara is excited to stage another bold drama by Shand. "John is a prolific writer with a vivid imagination. The Last Drop is the story of a dystopian future that spotlights the epic and cyclical history of mankind. It portrays how we nearly succeed in destroying the planet." Scena produced another play by Shand in 2018 at the ATLAS Performing Arts Center—the US premiere of GUILT, a play about human desire that collides with Catholic doctrine, politics and sexual mores.

This play is ideal for audiences in the DC region. It provokes deep political thought on the many grave issues now threatening our lives. These include a damaged environment from pollution by manufacturers and excessive consumption; civic upheaval as a result of limited resources and conflicting ideologies; a looming economic recession due to rampant government spending and overreach; and the ongoing, highly debated issue of climate change and how it impacts us. Patrons will see these issues unfold along with the potentially dire consequences for society—which has become increasingly uncivil since the onset of COVID-19 and the aftermath.

Scena Theatre has a rich history of staging world, US and regional premiers of bold plays by renowned and up-and-coming writers. In the past 15 years alone, this will be the company’s 11th such premiere (including the two aforementioned plays by John Shand).

In 2015, we staged the regional premiere of The Norwegians by C. Denny Swanson. In 2014, Scena presented the DC-area premiere of Handbag by Mark Ravenhill of England. In 2013, we staged the regional premiere of The Marriage of Maria Braun by Rainer Werner Fassbinder of Germany. In 2012, Scena produced the East Coast premiere of Mein Kampf by George Tabori of Hungary. In 2011, we staged the regional premiere of Purge by Sofi Oksanen of Finland at the old H Street Playhouse. In 2010, we staged the DC-area premiere of Sink the Belgrano! by Steven Berkoff.

PRESS NIGHT / OPENING:  Monday, April 15 at 7:30 pm

$20 Previews:  Friday, April 12, 7:30 pm  |  Saturday, April 13, 7:30 pm  |  Sunday April 14, 2:30 pm

Performances:  April 15 – May 12, 2024 (Monday - Saturday 7:30 pm | Sunday Matinees 2:30 pm)


Price:  $45

Venue:  DC Arts Center Adams Morgan, 2438 18th St. NW Washington, DC, 20009

Box Office ?s:    (202) 462-7833

Show & "Talkback":  Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 2:30 pm matinee

Industry Night:  Monday, May 6, 2024 at 7:30 pm  |  Phone: 703-217-9007

Photos:  (Click on Press, at Left Sidebar — Available April 13)


JOE: Robert Sheire

MARY: Stacy Whittle


ESMERALDA: Danielle Davy (AEA)

UNDERSTUDY, JOE: David Johnson


Director: Robert McNamara; Scenic Designer: Carl Gudenius; Lighting Designer: Marianne Meadows; Costume Designer: Alisa Mandel; Sound Designer: Brandon Cook; Projections/Images: Kirk Kristlibas; Stage Manager: Joshua Stout; Assistant Director: Anne Nottage; Movement Coach: Kim Curtis; Fight Director: Paul Gallagher; Property Master: Khue Duong; and Dramaturg: Cate Brewer

John Shand is an Australian playwright, librettist, poet, author, journalist, critic and drummer. He has written about the arts in some 40 publications, including being a drama and music critic for The Sydney Morning Herald since 1993. In 2017, he won the Arts Journalism Award at “The Walkleys”, Australia’s Pulitzer Prize equivalent. His 20 plays include GUILT, developed with the great British theatre-maker Steven Berkoff, which Scena premiered in Washington, DC in 2018. His libretto for the oratorio Voices (about Joan of Arc, and composed by Mark Isaacs) premiered at Sydney Opera House in 1997. His books include Jazz – The Australian Accent, and he contributed to The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. His website is

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, seasonally staged readings, as well as a Workshop Series aimed at developing new works from around the globe. To learn more about our mission or past stage productions, please visit— and click on the “About” button on the left navigation menu.