Events calendar: Thursday, April 19

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Children’s programs

  • Hillwood’s April preschool series, “Spectacular Statues,” will focus on exploring animals and other creatures in the sculptures located throughout the estate’s gardens. This three-part program is open to children ages two to five. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. $10 to $12 per session or $25 to $30 for all three classes. Cost covers one child and one accompanying adult. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. 202-686-5807. Sessions will repeat on April 26.

Classes and workshops

  • A weekly class on “Basic Knitting: Casting On, Garter Stitch, Purl Stitch” will offer instruction for beginners who want to learn the essential foundations of knitting. 5 p.m. Free. West End Library, 2301 L St. NW. 202-724-8707.

Concerts

  • Students of Alice Deal Middle School will present Disney’s “High School Musical” on stage. 6:30 p.m. $5 for children; $12 for adults. Alice Deal Middle School Auditorium, 3815 Fort Drive NW.
  • Grammy-winners Kronos Quartet and pipa virtuoso Wu Man will tell the story of Yin Yu Tang, a 300-year-old house from a southeastern Chinese village that was dismantled in 2003 and rebuilt at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Massachusetts. The event will include works by many composers and will be enhanced with live staging and video elements from acclaimed director Chen Shi-Zheng. 8 p.m. $30 to $50. George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. 202-994-6800.

Discussions and lectures

  • Cristin McKnight Sethi, an assistant professor and director of graduate studies at the George Washington University Department of Art History, will hold a lecture on the diverse Miao peoples living in China and their use of textiles as an important source of cultural identity and communication, particularly in the absence of any written language. Noon. Free. The George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum, 701 21st St. NW. 202-994-5200.
  • The Goethe-Institut Washington and the D.C. Public Library will hold a monthly German conversation group, where all proficiencies of German are welcome to a German language conversation on the topic “Gleiche Chancen” or “Equal Opportunities.” Participants are encouraged to bring brown bag lunches. 12:30 p.m. Free. Goethe-Institut Washington, 1900 K St. NW, Suite 03. 202-847-4700.
  • James M. Hawes, a former Navy Seal, will delve into the U.S.’s clandestine operations in Vietnam and the Congo during the Cold War, as detailed in his book, “Cold War Navy Seal.” Also at this event, Richard L. Holm, a former CIA employee who has won several awards for his work, will sign copies of his book, “The Craft We Chose: My Life in the CIA.” 1 to 4 p.m. Free. International Spy Museum, 800 F St. NW. 202-393-7798.
  • The National Geographic Museum will hold a talk about what it’s like to be a National Geographic Explore with biological anthropologist Marina Elliott, paleoanthropologist Genevieve von Petzinger, evolutionary biologist Ryan Carney and documentary artist and photographer Matthew Cicanese. 5:30 to 8 p.m. $20. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. 202-857-7700.
  • Join architect Thomas Phifer as he explains the humanistic and ecologically sensitive approach to his designs, which include the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Glenstone Museum in Potomac. 6:30 to 8 p.m. $10 to $20. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202-272-2448.

Films

  • The Japan Information and Culture Center will screen “Foujita,” chronicling the life and work of Tsuguharu Foujita, whose paintings became very popular among the Paris art scene in the 1920s. At the onset of World War II, Foujita relocated to a small town in the countryside of northern Japan, discovering a side of his home country that he never knew. 6:30 p.m. Free; registration required. Embassy of Japan, 1150 18th St. NW. 202-238-6900. This film is recommended for viewers ages 17 and older.
  • Join Katharine Weymouth (granddaughter of former Washington Post publisher Kay Graham) and Washington Post investigative reporter Kimbriell Kelly for a screening of clips from “The Post” and discussion about the real-life events and characters depicted in the film. 6:30 p.m. Free. Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. 202-885-1000.

Performances

  • Computer programmer Mark Vigeant will take audience suggestions to build and launch a completely new website onstage as part of a Comedy at the Kennedy Center titled “Let’s Make a Website.” 6 p.m. Free. Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
  • The Georgetown University Theater & Performance Studies program will premiere the witty and moving play “Amanuensis” by L.M. Feldman, which imagines the life and relationships of blind poet John Milton during the years he spent writing “Paradise Lost,” the 12-volume epic poem famously transcribed by his illiterate daughters when he was blind and outcast. 8 p.m. $10 to $18. Davis Performing Arts Center’s Gonda Theatre, 37th and O streets NW. 202-687-2787. The show will continue on April 15 at 2 p.m. and on Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 p.m. until April 21.

Special events

  • This month’s “Dumbarton at Dusk” event will feature telescope demonstrations and stargazing activities from the National Capital Astronomers. The event will also include live music, food and a cash bar. 5:30 to 8 p.m. Suggested donation of at least $5. Dumbarton House, 2715 Q St. NW. 202-337-2288.
  • A Shakespeare Theatre Company “Happenings Happy Hour” will focus on the writing of Samuel Beckett with staged readings of “Play” and “The Old Tune.” Complimentary drinks will be offered. 6 to 7 p.m. Free. Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. 202-547-1122.
  • In recognition of 80 years since Austria was annexed to Nazi Germany during World War II, the Austrian Cultural Forum will present “Hate is a Failure of Imagination,” a series of readings from texts by Holocaust victims and survivors. 7 to 9 p.m. Free. Embassy of Austria, 3524 International Court NW. acfdc.org.