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Arena Stage Launches Love Letter Experience Delivered Through The Mail

The project is inspired by Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig's Dear Jack, Dear Louise.

Arena Stage Launches Love Letter Experience Delivered Through The Mail

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater is excited to announce a unique storytelling experience delivered directly to mailboxes across the country. Inspired by Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig's (Broadway's Lend Me a Tenor, Crazy For You) Dear Jack, Dear Louise, patrons will receive a series of nine letters in the mail that follow the love story of Ludwig's parents, Jacob S. Ludwig and Louise Rabiner. This intimate journey via post includes letters, personal photos and telegrams specifically designed and handcrafted with period details by Arena Stage's Properties Director Jenn Sheetz and Assistant Properties Director Lance Pennington.

"When Arena's Casting Director/Line Producer Teresa Sapien suggested we create a tactile experience based on Ken Ludwig's Dear Jack, Dear Louise for people to enjoy at home during the pandemic, we were excited," shares Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith.

"We used to write letters all the time - emails are not the same. To watch this love affair grow over letters is intriguing and fun," Smith continues. "Ken Ludwig's Dear Jack, Dear Louise, based on the true story of how his parents met and courted, is a lovely play - and now a fun, exciting at-home experience. Whether or not you saw the play, experience this story recreated in real time through the mail."

This enchanting experience makes the perfect gift for your loved ones. For $35, patrons will receive nine individual letters with special keepsakes related to the story. The limiteda??time experience is available for purchase beginning January 14 by visiting here. Mailings will start in early March, with new letters placed in the mail twice a week. Recipients should expect to receive all nine packets within a six-week period.

Premiering at Arena Stage in 2019, Ken Ludwig's Dear Jack, Dear Louise is "utterly charming" (Washington City Paper). The play was awarded the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical at the 2020 Helen Hayes Awards. Set in 1942 during World War II, Captain Jacob S. Ludwig and aspiring actress, Louise Rabiner, correspond through a series of letters and become pen pals. A romance soon begins to form and the two must find their way toward each other, even though they have never met.

This love story brings audiences back to an era when handwritten letters were the most important form of communication when physically separated. While audiences cannot gather and are isolated at home, this devised form of theater revitalizes a sense of personal connection to theatergoers' mailboxes.

"Letters give us a great insight into who we are. It's lovely to see this lost artform being renewed and sustained during this time of isolation," explains Ludwig. "There's a really interesting tension and spontaneity that exists in letters that make them so special. There are formalities that exist in the body of the correspondence itself which give a nice sense of distance and, at the same time, intimacy by talking directly to the heart of the person receiving the letter."

This limited-time experience is generously sponsored through the Artistic Director's Fund.

For more information and to purchase a love letter experience, visit here.


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