Community Arts Services Initiative (C.A.S.I.)

CASI programs serve a broad community audience of several hundred adults and nearly 1,000 school children each season.

I.S.5 – The In Series Blog

Stay up to date with all the In Series news and operatic thoughts by reading Artistic Director Timothy Nelson’s blog I.S.5, including guests postings by other artists and windows into the core of what the In Series is all about.

Finding Gabriela DC Youth Poetry Contest

The Finding Gabriela DC Youth Poetry Contest is a signature CASI project, established in 2010 in honor of Gabriela Mistral, Chilean poet and first Latin-American to win a Nobel Prize (1945).  Convening young local poets between 12 and 23 and accepting submissions in both Spanish and English, the Contest takes place each April (National Poetry Month). Between 2010 and 2016 the contest attracted well over 500 young poets and over 1000 poems!

For more information about the Finding Gabriela DC Youth Poetry Contest, click here or contact Brian J. Shaw at

By writing poetry for the In Series’ [Poetry] Contest, my immigrant students have been able to find a voice that many of them did not know they possessed.  A voice to express their anxieties, their fears, their frustrations, their hopes, and their dreams. When my students share their poems with the class, they realize the value of education, of staying in school, the value of struggling and fighting for their dreams.  The impact of writing poetry has been very powerful for all my students, especially with disenfranchised students who are considering giving up on their education. Students at risk of not successfully completely their GED cite their participation in the poetry contest as a reason for staying in school.”

Josué TorresSocial Studies and Language Arts Teacher - The Next Step Public Charter School

“…Hincho mi corazón para que entre como cascada ardiente el universo…”
“…I open my heart so the Universe can enter it like a cataract of fire…”

Gabriela MistralFirst Latin American awarded a Nobel Prize (Literature, 1945)

Family Opera Programs

2018-2019 Season Presents:


Come to interact and sing along in English & Spanish: Cri-Cri’s irresistible songs and stories are Latino musical icons from a gentler time!

Dec. 1 & 8 at 11am

GA $20; SE $18; YP $12. Group (8+) 10% discount.

Source Theatre
1835 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

Cri-Cri: El Grillito Cantor


Zarzuelita Latina

Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood

Mozart’s Bastian & Bastianna

School Shows

Bring music right to your classroom! CASI offers theatrically designed musical programs that mirror our unique main stage productions and offer plenty of interactive participation to school audiences grades 2 – 12.

To have CASI visit your school call Brian J. Shaw at 202-204-7765 or email

Current productions in repertory:

Zarzuelita Latina!: Music from Spain & Latin America:

Discover the traditional Spanish musical, or Zarzuela! Popular in early 20th century Cuba and Latin America, Zarzuela combines music, dance, and theatre. Discover the art form while learning about Spanish and Latino geography, history, music, and dance.  Students even have opportunities to join in onstage in this interactive, bilingual program.

Length of Event: 45-50′
Grades: 1st, 2nd,3rd, 4th

Mozart’s Bastian & Bastianna, a Magical Fairy Tale:

Written when he was 12, Mozart’s fairy-tale opera is full of love, magic, and sheep.  It tells the charming tale of a shepherdess and her former sweetheart who seek the help of a local magician to bring them back together.

Length of Event: 45-50′
Grades: 2nd,3rd, 4th

Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood: 

The perfect student’s introduction to opera and theatre. An interactive journey through Duke Ellington’s DC—from U Street and the Howard Theatre to Anacostia.  Come groove along with Duke’s jazz with live jazz trio. Join amazing performers as they discover how a local hero influenced the Harlem Renaissance, helped shape the cultural history of Washington D.C., and became an international star.

Length of Event: 45-50′
Grades: 2nd,3rd, 4th

Cri-Cri: El Grillito Cantor (Cri-Cri: The Little Singing Cricket): 

Cri-Cri is the Mexican Muppet, an iconic radio program popular all over Latin America in the1960s-70’s! Learn about the age of radio, and join three gifted performers who, with the audience’s help, dance, play and sing along to these classic songs in Spanish and in English.

Length of Event: 45-50′
Grades: PreK-K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Senior Home Performances & Discounts

The In Series offers special group rates and individual discount tickets to members of senior communities in the DC Metro area.  We also work with individual communities to bring small opera and American song cabarets directly to their residents. To learn more about bringing opera to your community or to sign up for our discount program, contact Brian J. Shaw at or 202-204-7763.  

Director’s Salon for Fidelio

Director’s Salon Series

Audiences are invited to these free conversations with the directors, designers and select performers of the season’s major productions, which include short demo performances and an open rehearsal. Launched in 2011 by former In Series Board member Shannon Mouton, the panel-performance-and-reception format promotes community engagement and understanding of the creative process.

Director’s Salon Schedule 2017-18

The Magic Flute – 9/13/2017
Operetta Holiday – 11/27/2017
Zarzuela a la Cubana – 4/9/2018
The Emperor of Atlantis – 6/4/2018

Artist & Audience Dialogues

Our popular artists-and-audience dialogues are offered before or after a performance of each major season production. Performers and directors assemble on stage to take questions from and dialogue with audience.

Artist & Audience Dialogue Schedule 2018-19

Viva V.E.R.D.I. – The Promised End  – 8/27/2018
Figaro in Four Quartets – 10/08/2018
Operetta Wonderland – 11/13/2018
From U Street to the Cotton Club – 12/17/2018
La Paloma – And the Wall – 3/11/2019
The Tale of Serse – 5/20/2019

Audience Talkback for Goyescas

For additional information about CASI please call Brian J. Shaw at 202-204-7765 or email