8th Annual Military Thanksgiving Dinner Announced For 11/23

Every year hundreds of D.C.-area military families must spend the Thanksgiving holiday away from loved ones. In gratitude for their service, Arena Stage is inviting wounded warriors, service men and women and their families to a complimentary dinner and performance of the musical comedy Anything Goes at the Mead Center for American Theater (1101 Sixth Street, SW) on Friday, November 23. Since the first Military Thanksgiving in 2011, Arena Stage has served nearly 1,500 military members and their families with the annual event.

The evening will include remarks from Retired Lieutenant General Susan S. Lawrence, former Chief Information Officer of the United States Army.

"A core value for Arena Stage is to serve artists, the national, regional and local communities, and the theater field, through effective partnerships and collaboration," shares Executive Producer Edgar Dobie. "This event is truly speaking to these communities. Artists have the opportunity to share their thanks with our military colleagues, Arena is able to welcome folks into our home when they are away from theirs, and we all get to enjoy the very essence of theater with a rousing performance of Anything Goes. We are delighted to continue this tradition and look forward to celebrating with our military friends."

The evening will begin with a 5:30 p.m. cocktail reception featuring a performance by military musicians and the presentation of the colors. A seated, three-course dinner will be prepared and served by Ridgewells Catering at 6:00 p.m., and guests will enjoy a performance of Anything Goes at 8:00 p.m.

Arena Stage is working primarily through the USO-Metro to distribute the tickets irrespective of rank. Additional tickets are distributed through the Washington, D.C.-Virginia Medical Center Caregiver Support Program, Luke's Wings and the Southeast Veterans Service Center. It is anticipated that about 200 service men and women and their families will experience this special event.

Military Thanksgiving is generously sponsored by Lockheed Martin. Additional support is provided by Raytheon; The Boeing Company; Discovery, Inc.; Northrop Grumman; Clark Construction; David Bruce Smith, in honor of Max Smith; Rick and Carol Froehlich; GEICO and Enterprise Holdings.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, contact Char Manlove-Laws at cmanlove-laws@arenastage.org or 202-600-4030 or visit arenastage.org/militarythanksgiving

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. This year the company received three Edison Awards for ground-breaking innovations in autonomy, satellite technology and directed energy.

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Producer Edgar Dobie, is a national center dedicated to American voices and artists. Arena Stage produces plays of all that is passionate, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays and impacts the lives of over 10,000 students annually through its work in community engagement. Now in its eighth decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000. arenastage.org

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