Ford's Theatre, Closed Since Government Shutdown, To Reopen Tomorrow
Paul R. Tetreault, director of Ford's Theatre Society, announced that the Ford's Theatre National Historic Site (FOTH) will reopen Wednesday, October 16, thanks to $25,000 in emergency funding provided by a key trustee, Ronald O. Perelman. The site will reopen for daytime visits at 9a.m. on Wednesday, and performances of "The Laramie Project" will resume at 7:30 p.m. that evening. "The Laramie Project" runs through Oct. 27; all remaining tickets for performances are $25.
The agreement to reopen the site, which has been closed since Oct. 1, developed over the Columbus Day weekend in conversations between Tetreault and the National Park Service (NPS). After several states agreed to provide funding to reopen parks in their jurisdictions, Tetreault and NPS began exploring how a similar agreement might work for FOTH. In the spirit of continued cooperation between the Society and the National Park Service, the Society agreed to find funding to pay for park operations normally funded by NPS in four-day increments. The $25,000 gift will enable the Society to reopen the site for the next eight days.
"For 45 years, Ford's Theatre Society has been honored to operate Ford's Theatre in a public-private partnership with the National Park Service," Tetreault said. "For the last 15 days, both NPS and the Society have been exploring ways to reopen this important historic site to the public. Thanks to the generosity of Ronald O. Perelman, we have found a way to pay NPS's expenses for the next eight days. We look forward to welcoming our patrons back to 'The Laramie Project' as well as our daytime programming. While we are pleased that we have found a short-term solution, we sincerely hope that the shutdown ends soon, as private dollars cannot replace the government's role at Ford's Theatre National Historic Site in the long term."
Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings Inc., is the Founding Sponsor of the Ford's Theatre Society's Lincoln Legacy Project; he also serves on the Society's Board of Trustees. The Lincoln Legacy Project is a multi-year programming effort to generate dialogue around the issues of tolerance, equality and acceptance. "The Laramie Project" is at the core of this year's Lincoln Legacy programming.
During the recent shutdown, performances of "The Laramie Project" were relocated to First Congregational United Church of Christ, just up the street.
"Though the shutdown has been painful, we have been amazed by the generosity of Rev. Sidney Fowler and the members of First Congregational, who have opened their beautiful space to us for more than a week of performances," Tetreault said. "We were honored to be in their space, and we look forward to future collaborations with our neighbors."
Ford's Theatre Society (FTS) is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and does not use any federal funding nor federal employees for its programming.