Hallie Foote, Khaled Nabawy to Join Ron Rifkin, Richard Thomas in Arena Stage's CAMP DAVID
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater announces the full company for the world-premiere historical drama Camp David, penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright and directed by Artistic Director Molly Smith. Based on true events surrounding the 1978 Camp David Accords, the play follows the 13-day meeting between President Jimmy Carter, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat as they attempted to create the impossible: peace in the Middle East. The production features Tony Award nominee Hallie Foote (Broadway's Dividing the Estate) as Rosalynn Carter, Egyptian actor and activist Khaled Nabawy (Kingdom of Heaven, Fair Game) as Anwar Sadat, Tony Award winner Ron Rifkin (Alias, Broadway's Cabaret) as Menachem Begin and Emmy Award winner Richard Thomas (The Waltons) as President Jimmy Carter. Camp David runs March 21-May 4, 2014 in the Kreeger Theater.
"To say this is one of the most important stories to put on our stage is a complete understatement," shares Smith. "It's important to be reminded of a moment-now 35 years ago-when people from very different cultures and perspectives risked their lives and careers and put themselves on the line personally, intellectually and spiritually by sitting down to forge an agreement. Through Lawrence's brilliant script, this incredible cast and with the incomparable access and research provided through Gerald Rafshoon, audiences will viscerally experience the complex and deeply human process of these pivotal negotiations."
Camp David is the second project produced as part of Arena Stage's American President's Project, an initiative investigating the lives and legacies of our nation's Presidents and their families. Arena Stage is committed to illuminating the broad canvas of the American experience by delving into the history of Americans of all backgrounds and walks of life, including the first families who have resided here in our nation's capital and have shaped our country's narrative.
"Washington is the perfect place for Camp David to begin its life, and especially now, when the lessons of that historic moment are so resonant," says Wright. "Molly has been an ideal partner on this play. To begin with, she had the courage to commission what was a very ambitious project, and she brought her energy, judgment and insight into the process from the very beginning. It's been a very happy experience for me to be working with the team at Arena."
Camp David is produced in association with Emmy Award-winning TV and movie producer Gerald Rafshoon, who served as White House communications director during the momentous summit at Camp David and also brought the idea of this project to Smith. Of the upcoming premiere Rafshoon adds, "I have wanted to do a film or play about the Camp David peace talks ever since I was a minor participant during those 13 historic days. The subject and the issues are more relevant today than anytime. Lawrence and Molly are the perfect writer and director to capture not only the history but the suspense and emotional experience of the Carters, Begin and Sadat. Knowing the four characters as I do, I think we have the perfect cast."
Lawrence Wright (Playwright) makes his Arena Stage debut with Camp David. He is a longtime writer for The New Yorker and author of eight books, including his recentGoing Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief. His book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 won the Pulitzer Prize and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 best nonfiction books ever written. He was the co-writer of the screenplay for 1998 movie The Siege, with Denzel Washington and Annette Bening, and also wrote Noriega: God's Favorite, with Bob Hoskins, for television. He has written and performed two one-man shows: My Trip to al-Qaeda, which he performed off-Broadway and at the Kennedy Center in 2007, was made into a movie for HBO; and The Human Scale, which Lawrence performed in New York and Tel Aviv. His most recent play, Fallaci, was staged by Berkeley Repertory Theater in the spring of 2013. Wright lives in Austin, Texas, where he plays the keyboards in a blues band, WhoDo.