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“All She Must Possess” to Premiere at Rep Stage This February

New Production By Susan McCully Runs February 8–25, 2018, at Howard Community College
A still from the production of All She Must Possess

The Washington Post featured a story about Rep Stage's production of "All She Must Possess" and the life of the Cone sisters featured in the play itself. Read the story.

Columbia, MD – Playwright Susan McCully’s original production about Baltimore’s famed Cone sisters, “All She Must Possess,” will premiere at Rep Stage, the professional regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College (HCC). Dr. Claribel and Miss Etta Cone, daughters of German-Jewish immigrants, could have lived tranquil, appropriate lives as respected Victorian ladies. Instead, the iconic duo voraciously collected art and curios from around the world. The unassuming Etta, often overshadowed by her sister, sat demurely among art and literary geniuses of the early twentieth century, while slowly amassing one of world's greatest Modern art collections.

Directed by Joseph W. Ritsch, “All She Must Possess” is a highly theatrical celebration of Etta's extraordinary life. Works of art come alive, and her one-time lover, Gertrude Stein, sings her praises while the audience watches her journey from society laughingstock to doyen of Modernity.

“All She Must Possess” is Rep Stage’s production in participation with the 2018 DC Women’s Voices Theater Festival.

Playwright Susan McCully is a performer, scholar of feminist theatre, and dramaturg. For the past 15 years, she has been performing semi-autobiographical pieces at fringe festivals, universities and intimate theatres across the United States, as well as festivals in Prague, Budapest, Toronto, and Exeter, UK. Her play “Susan McCully’s Inexcusable Fantasies” was performed at the Philadelphia LGBT Theatre Festival, as well as the Orlando and New York Fringe Festivals. Her Appalachian Greek tragedy, “Kerrmoor,” was produced to broad critical acclaim during the first Women’s Voices Theatre Festival. Creating feminist theatre and supporting like-minded theatre makers remains her primary scholarly focus at UMBC, where she is an assistant professor. She previously served as the artistic director of “GrrlParts” (2007-2011), a yearly festival of short plays commissioned by major female playwrights and highlighting roles for college-aged actresses. The UMBC Theatre has produced two of her plays, “Leah’s Dybbuk” and “Voracious.”

“All She Must Possess” opens February 8, 2018, with a limited run through February 25 in the Studio Theatre of the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center (HVPA) on the campus of HCC, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Maryland. There will be post-show discussions on February 11 and 23. Rep Stage will also hold a pre-show lecture prior to the 2 p.m. performance on February 24.

Tickets are $40 for general admission, $35 for seniors and the military, and $15 for students with a current ID. Thursdays are $10 performances. For tickets and additional information, visit or call the box office at 443-518-1500.

The press performance is Friday, February 9 at 8 p.m. For press reservations, contact Zheyan Damavandi in the Rep Stage office at 443-518-1510 or email

During the run of “All She Must Possess,” Howard Community College will host a complementary exhibit on fashion from the era of Baltimore’s Cone sisters. The exhibit will be held in the Rouse Company Foundation Gallery, which is located in the HVPA, across from the box office.


  • Grace Bauer*: Etta Cone
  • Valerie Leonard*: Claribel Cone/Gertrude Stein
  • Nigel Reed*: Matisse/Leo Stein
  • Teresa Castracane*: The Blue Nude/Alice B Toklas/Lily
  • Keri Eastridge**: The Writer­


  • Written by: Susan McCully
  • Directed by: Joseph W. Ritschv
  • Set Design: Daniel Ettinger++
  • Lighting Design: Conor Mulligan++
  • Sound Design: William D’Eugenio
  • Costume Design: Julie Potter
  • Projection Design: Sarah Tundermann++
  • Stage Manager: Julie DeBakey Smith*
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Brittany Federici**

* Members Actor’s Equity Association
** Equity Membership Candidate
++ Member of United Scenic Artists, IATSE
vMember of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

Rep Stage, the professional regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College, is celebrating its 25th season. Led by Producing Artistic Director Joseph W. Ritsch, Rep Stage produces engaging and evocative contemporary American classics and new works. Rep Stage is dedicated to collaborating with regional artists in its commitment to bringing richly diverse work to audiences. Recognized as a professional Washington, DC metropolitan area theatre company by Theatre Washington, Rep Stage has a proud history of Helen Hayes Award-winning productions and nominations. The theatre is a member of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and Theatre Communications Group. Performances are made possible by Howard Arts Council, Maryland State Arts Council, Howard County and Maryland state governments, and generous individual donors.
Topics: Arts & Culture
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