Center Stage Announces Casting for Paula Vogel's Civil War Christmas

Center Stage Announces Casting for Paula Vogel's Civil War Christmas

This holiday season, Center Stage brings to Baltimore a new holiday classic for the entire family with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel's A Civil War Christmas. Casting has just been announced for this production, led by director Rebecca Taichman and choreographer Liz Lerman.

A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration, the third production of Center Stage's 2013-14 Season, spins a musical tale of hope and forgiveness set on Christmas Eve in 1864. Previews begin on November 19 and the show runs through December 22. Center Stage's production brings together an all-star creative team of three leading women in the arts: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, Obie award-winning director Rebecca Taichman, and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient choreographer Liz Lerman.

"With A Civil War Christmas, Paula has done something truly extraordinary. She's managed to uncover, in the nooks and crannies of history, the common humanity that unites us regardless of gender, class, religion, or race," says Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah. "Whether an icon like Lincoln or an infantryman whose name has been lost to history, her characters are written with a level of generosity and integrity that is rare indeed."

"As a long-time observer of the evolution of this play, I echo Kwame's excitement for bringing A Civil War Christmas to our Baltimore audiences," says Managing Director Stephen Richard. "It will be the perfect opportunity for families to come together, celebrate the holiday season, enjoy some spectacular music, and maybe even learn a bit of history."

Among the cast, a familiar face returns to Center Stage with Jeffry Denman, last seen as the Narrator in Into the Woods (2011-12), who takes on the towering figure of Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Denman's many Broadway credits include White Christmas, How to Succeed..., and The Producers.

Two local Maryland students will share the role of Jessa, a young girl separated from her mother on this bitterly cold night as they flee to Washington-Baltimore resident Sierra Weems, from Lutherville Laboratory Elementary School, and Owings Mills resident Mackenzie Jarrett, a student at Sudbrook Magnet School for the Arts.

For the many characters, both historic and fictional, whose lives are intertwined on this cold Christmas night, Center Stage brings together an ensemble cast of regional and Broadway talent: Oberon K.A. Adjepong (Ruined, Philadelphia, Huntington, Yale Rep); Kati Brazda (A Moon for the Misbegotten, Broadway); Tyrone Davis, Jr. (Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe, Classical Theatre of Harlem); Andrea Goss (Once, Broadway); Matthew Greer (Cabaret, Broadway); Sekou Laidlow (The Mountaintop, Philadelphia); Tracey Conyer Lee (The Piano Lesson, Delaware Theatre); Nicole Lewis (Hair, Broadway); and A .J. Shively (La Cage Aux Folles, Broadway).

A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration by Paula Vogel, directed by Rebecca Taichman, begins previews on Wednesday, November 19. The show opens officially on Wednesday, November 26, and closes December 22. Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased by calling 410.332.0033, or visiting www.centerstage.org. Full information on the season can be found at www.centerstage.org/2013-14season.

A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration is made possible by Northrop Grumman, with additional support from Miles and Stockbridge. Center Stage is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges, and universities for arts activities. Funding for the MSAC is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Maryland Public Television is a Media Partner for Center Stage's 2013-14 Season.

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