Karas and Lodge to Star in Arena Stage's Heidi Chronicles

Arena Stage will present a major revival of the award-winning contemporary comedy The Heidi Chronicles in loving tribute to the late Wendy Wasserstein. The Heidi Chronicles runs April 6 - May 13 on the Fichandler Stage. The press opening night performance is Thursday, April 12 at 8:00 p.m.

Arena Stage welcomes back acclaimed director Tazewell Thompson (Artistic Director of Westport Country Playhouse) to guide this smart and comedic production. Helen Hayes Award-winner and Washington favorite Ellen Karas (The Women, Shakespeare in Hollywood, The Revengers' Comedies at Arena) will star in the title role alongside a cast of familiar Arena faces including Marty Lodge (M. Butterfly, Of Mice and Men), as Scoop Rosenbaum.  The production will also star Wynn Harmon (Broadway's Porgy and Bess) as Peter Patrone, Catherine Weidner (A Streetcar Named Desire at the Kennedy Center) as Susan Johnston, Susan Bennett (Orson's Shadow Off-Broadway) as Fran/April/Ensemble, David Covington (A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theatre) as Chris/Mark/Ray/Ensemble, Hope Lambert (Little Women at the Kennedy Center) as Lisa/Jill/Ensemble and Emerie Snyder as Denise/Becky/Ensemble.

"In this insightful comedy, Heidi Holland, feminist art historian, recounts significant milestones in her life - meeting lifelong friends at '60s political events, her own uncertain activism in the '70s and confronting her inner turmoil over her role as a woman of the '80s," state press materials. 

"I am thrilled to be producing this remarkable play in honor of my dear friend Wendy Wasserstein," said Artistic Director Molly Smith. "Each time I encounter Wendy's work, I am struck by its significance for myself and for all women in each stage of our lives. Wendy challenges the status quo with grace, wit and warmth in a way that goes beyond the social mores of any decade or gender. Heidi's struggle with identity is one that is painfully and brilliantly self-referential, and I know that audiences will love her intelligence and spirit."

Kirby Malone and Gail Scott White will join Set Designer Donald Eastman to bring a visually stunning production to the Fichandler Stage. They are teamed with Tazewell's consistent crew of designers including period costumes by Merrily Murray Walsh, sound by Fabian Obispo and lighting by Robert Wierzel.

The Heidi Chronicles opened Off-Broadway in 1988. It met critical acclaim throughout the nation, winning every major award in 1989 including the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and awards from Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle. It is arguably Wasserstein's most recognized work, and earned her a grant from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays. The Heidi Chronicles brings Wasserstein's grace, humor and smart sensibility to the dilemmas of modern womanhood, indelibly leaving her one-of-a-kind mark on American theater.

Playwright Wendy Wasserstein (October 18, 1950 - January 30, 2006) became an American pioneer in her field and was hailed by The New York Times as the "chronicler of women's identity crises." Her major works include Uncommon Women and Others, The Heidi Chronicles, The Sisters Rosensweig, Isn't It Romantic, An American Daughter, Old Money, Third and the screenplay The Object of My Affection.  She was hospitalized with lymphoma in December 2005, and passed away in January of last year.

Visit www.arenastage.org for tickets and more information. 

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