THE BLOOD QUILT, BASKERVILLE & More to Premiere at Arena Stage in 2014-15 Season

Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith reveals the 2014/15 season lineup for the company's 65th season and fifth year in the Mead Center for American Theater. As a national center focused on showcasing American voices and artists, this season is designed with range through productions that are emotional, uplifting, funny and thought-provoking.

"It is remarkable to think of Arena Stage's contribution to the American theater over the past 64 seasons, and our 65th year aims to honor that history and revel in creating new and inspiring work that challenges us to keep pursuing excellence for our committed Washington audiences," Smith states.

She continues, "The season boasts five world premieres: Katori Hall's beautiful family-drama The Blood Quilt, Ken Ludwig's murderously funny adventure Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery directed by Gary Griffin, Morris Panych's raucous comedy The Shoplifters and The Originalist, John Strand's masterful play about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, which I will direct starring local favorite Edward Gero, as well as Our War-an epic commission of 25 writers as part of the National Civil War project.

"It also marks the D.C. premiere of the winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, which will be directed by Aaron Posner in his Arena debut, and our sixth production of August Wilson's Pittsburgh Play Cycle with the classical American drama King Hedley II, directed by Timothy Douglas. The American gold-standard musical returns in a big way with Fiddler on the Roof, which I am privileged to direct in the year of its golden anniversary, and audiences are in for another treat with Five Guys Named Moe, a musical directed by Robert O'Hara featuring the infectious music of Louis Jordan."

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater 2014/15 Schedule*

The Shoplifters
World premiere comedy
Written and Directed by Morris Panych
In the Kreeger Theater / September 5 - October 19, 2014

Meet Alma, a career shoplifter who prefers the "five-finger discount" over some lousy senior citizen deal, whose elaborate life of petty crime is halted by an overzealous rookie security guard and his affable mentor who's seen it all. With an expertly drawn cast of oddball characters, The Shoplifters is full of surprises and sparks with a surprisingly high-stakes battle of wills over increasingly thought-provoking issues. Don't miss Morris Panych's biting, world premiere comedy about society's haves and have-nots and how much they might actually have in common.

Our War
National Civil War Project theatrical event
Commissioned writers as of February 26, 2014:
Maria Agui Carter, Lydia Diamond, Amy Freed, Diane Glancy, Joy Harjo, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Aditi Kapil, Dan LeFranc, David Lindsay-Abaire, Ken Ludwig, Taylor Mac, Ken Narasaki, Lynn Nottage, Robert O'Hara, Heather Raffo, Charles Randolph-Wright, Tanya Saracho, Betty Shamieh, John Strand, Tazewell Thompson, William S. Yellow Robe, Jr., Karen Zacarías and two students from George Washington University: Zinhle

Essamuah and Nicholas Ong
Directed by Anita Maynard-Losh
In the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle / October 21 - November 9, 2014

An esteemed collection of some of America's finest playwrights, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award and Olivier Award, has been assembled to create a dynamic new theatrical event reflecting on the repercussions of the U.S. Civil War. Through a rich tapestry of short monologues, a core ensemble of gifted actors, accompanied by notable Washingtonians, give voice to far-reaching questions about the war, its aftermath and its reverberations in our lives today. Our War, commissioned by Arena Stage for the National Civil War Project, uses the power of live theater to bring new understanding to the shades of Blue and Gray that define one of the most significant periods of American history.

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