Ford's Theatre Announces Shutdown Update, New LARAMIE PROJECT Schedule; Sets Vigil for 10/11

Ford's Theatre Announces Shutdown Update, New LARAMIE PROJECT Schedule; Sets Vigil for 10/11

Due to the government shutdown, Ford's Theatre Society (FTS) has relocated several performances of "The Laramie Project" to First Congregational United Church of Christ (945 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001) between October 9 and 15, 2013. The 2 p.m. October 13 performance of "The Laramie Project" has been cancelled. Patrons who had purchased tickets to performances October 9 through 15 at Ford's Theatre will be contacted by their point of purchase to exchange into performances at the church. All remaining tickets for performances at the First Congregational United Church of Christ are $25.

Performances of "The Laramie Project" at the First Congregational United Church of Christ are October 9, 10, 11, 12 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., and October 12 at 2 p.m. Doors will open for general admission seating 30-minutes before performance time. Tickets may be purchased online at www.fords.org or in person at the Ford's Theatre Box Office (511 Tenth Street NW, Washington, D.C.). When Ford's Theatre is allowed to reopen, "The Laramie Project" will resume as scheduled.

All proceeds from the Friday, October 11 performance of "The Laramie Project" will be donated to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Following the performance, the Society will host a candlelight vigil outside of Ford's Theatre in honor of Matthew's legacy and National Coming Out Day. At the vigil, Matthew Shepard's father, Dennis Shepard, will make remarks, Rev. Dwayne Johnson of the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington will lead an interfaith moment of silence, and Members of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, directed by Dr. Thea Kano, will sing. This event is free to the public. For more information on Friday's vigil, visit http://www.fords.org/event/candlelight-vigil.

Ford's Theatre is operated through a public-private partnership between Ford's Theatre Society and the National Park Service. Ford's Theatre Society (FTS) is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, and we do not use any federal funding or federal employees for our programming. Because of the government shutdown, Ford's Theatre Society is not able to access the Ford's Theatre National Historic Site for its performances of "The Laramie Project."

As the government shutdown progresses, the Ford's Theatre Society will be in touch with patrons regarding the status of their performances and programming.

The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman and Members of the Tectonic Theater Project and directed by Matthew Gardiner is presented as part of The Lincoln Legacy Project.

"The Laramie Project" presents a deeply complex portrait of a community's response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man living in Laramie, Wyoming. In a series of poignant reflections, the residents of Laramie react to the hate crime and surrounding media storm with anger, bewilderment and sorrow. The play portrays the seismic and deeply personal impact Matthew's death had on this small town while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence. Fifteen years later, Matthew Shepard's story still reverberates, urging us on with its clarion call to confront the destructive power of bullying and hate, in all forms. "The Laramie Project" is the third offering in the multi-year Lincoln Legacy Project-an effort to generate dialogue around issues of tolerance, equality and acceptance. Experience the story that TIME Magazine calls "a pioneering and powerful stage event."

Updated performance schedule for "The Laramie Project" is as follows:

- Tuesday, October 8, at 7:30 p.m.: FTS will host a free performance. Tickets will be available at the church beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open for general admission seating at 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 9, at 7:30 p.m.: Patrons with tickets to the previously scheduled Oct. 9 performance at Ford's Theatre will be exchanged into the performance at the church. All remaining tickets will be $25.
- Thursday, October 10, at 11 a.m.: All student groups with tickets to the previously scheduled Oct. 10 performance at 11 a.m. at Ford's Theatre will be exchanged into the performance at the church. This performance is sold out.
- Thursday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m.: Patrons with tickets to the previously scheduled Oct. 10 performance at Ford's Theatre will be exchanged into the performance at the church. All remaining tickets will be $25.
- Friday, October 11, at 7:30 p.m.: Patrons with tickets to the previously scheduled Oct. 11 performance at Ford's Theatre will be exchanged into the performance at the church. All remaining tickets will be $25. All proceeds will be donated to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Following the performance, Ford's will host a candlelight vigil outside of the theatre in honor of Matthew's legacy and National Coming Out Day.
- Saturday, October 12, at 2 p.m.: Patrons with tickets to the previously scheduled Oct. 12 performance at 2 p.m. at Ford's Theatre will be exchanged into the performance at the church. All remaining tickets will be $25.
- Saturday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m.: Patrons with tickets to the previously scheduled Oct. 12 performance at 7:30 p.m. at Ford's Theatre will be exchanged into the performance at the church. All remaining tickets will be $25.
- Sunday, October 13, at 2 p.m.: This performance has been canceled. Patrons will be contacted regarding exchanging into a later performance.
- Tuesday, October 15, at 7:30 p.m.: Patrons with tickets to the previously scheduled Oct. 15 performance at 7:30 p.m. at Ford's Theatre will be exchanged into the performance at the church. All remaining tickets will be $25.

First Congregational is a congregation of the United Church of Christ which has a long history of advocating for the rights of all. As a Congregational Church founded in 1865, we have been deeply involved in the history of Washington, and remain deeply rooted in history while engaged in exploring new forms of faithfulness. During the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, First Church was always engaged on the side of racial justice, working for change and serving as a staging area for the 1963 March on Washington. In 1987, First Church formally voted to become an Open and Affirming congregation in the UCC, welcoming all people regardless of sexual identity. We assert that community responsibilities and steadfast love balance autonomy and freedom. We come together to keep each other grounded in times of stress and receptive to the wonder of life in times of joy. For more information, visit www.firstuccdc.org.

Ongoing Ford's Theatre Society Programming:

Center for Education and Leadership (514 Tenth Street NW)

The Center for Education and Leadership, which is owned and operated by the Society, will stay open; hours have been extended from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.during the government shutdown. Housed in a building directly across the street from the historic theatre, the Center features a 34-ft sculpture of Lincoln books and two floors of permanent exhibits that bring the values and ideals of Lincoln from the past into the present, examining the immediate aftermath of Lincoln's death and his multi-faceted legacy. It also includes one floor of temporary exhibits, currently showing Not Alone: The Power of Response. Not Alone features a selection of letters sent to Matthew Shepard's family in order to explore the themes of empathy, community response and personal responsibility. It is presented in conjunction with the Society's production of "The Laramie Project."

Special Exhibition- Not Alone: The Power of Response

Second Floor Gallery: Center for Education and Leadership (514 Tenth Street NW)

Through November 3, 2013

Following Matthew Shepard's attack in 1998, complete strangers from all over the world, moved by the horrific circumstances of Matthew's death, reached out to his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, to share their condolences, outrage, grief, love and support. Not Alone: The Power of Response pairs artist Jeff Sheng's Where Matthew Lay Dying, a hauntingly beautiful composite photograph of the fence outside Laramie-taken from Matthew's perspective-with a selection of the letters sent to the Shepard family in order to explore the themes of empathy, community response and personal responsibility.

Walking Tour:

Investigation: Detective McDevitt

written by Richard Hellesen

directed by Mark Ramont

runs March through October

On the night of April 14, 1865, Detective James McDevitt was on duty at the Washington Metropolitan Police headquarters, a half-block from Ford's Theatre. Just before 10:30, frantic witnesses rushed in with horrifying news: President Lincoln had been shot at the theatre. Join Detective McDevitt as he revisits the sites and reexamines the clues from the investigation into the Lincoln Assassination Conspiracy.

"Investigation: Detective McDevitt" lasts approximately two hours and makes at least eight stops throughout the story. The distance walked is approximately 1.6 miles from Ford's Theatre to the White House. Wear comfortable shoes. Tickets are currently available for dates through October 26, 2013. Spring 2014 dates will be announced in January 2014.

National Park Service and Ford's Theatre Society Partnership

Since Ford's Theatre's reopening in 1968, more than 100 years after the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, it has been one of the most visited sites in the nation's capital. Operated through a partnership with the National Park Service and Ford's Theatre Society, Ford's Theatre has enthralled visitors because of its unique place in United States history, and its mission to celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and explore the American experience through theatre and education. The NPS and FTS work together to present the Theatre's nearly one million annual visitors with a high quality historical and cultural experience.

Ford's Theatre Society

The Ford's Theatre Society was founded under the guidance of executive producer Frankie Hewitt, who, during her 35-year tenure, established Ford's as a living, Working Theatre producing performances that highlighted the diversity of the American experience. Since the arrival of Paul R. Tetreault as Director, critics and the theatregoing public have recognized Ford's for the superior quality of its artistic programming. With works from the nationally acclaimed "Big River" to the world premieres of "Meet John Doe," "The Heavens Are Hung In Black," "LiberTy Smith" and "Necessary Sacrifices," Ford's Theatre is making its mark on the American theatre landscape. Under the leadership of Wayne R. Reynolds, Board of Trustees Chairman Emeritus (Chairman 2007 to 2012), the mission of Ford's Theatre Society expanded to include education as a central pillar. This expansion led to the creation and construction of the Center for Education and Leadership, which opened in February 2012. Currently, under the leadership of Board of Trustees Chairman Eric A. Spiegel, Ford's enters a second phase of strategic planning to ensure the organization's place as a national destination for exploring Lincoln's legacy and the American experience through the intersection of history, performance and education.

For more information on Ford's Theatre and the Ford's Theatre Society, visit www.fords.org.

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