DEATH OF A SALESMAN, JEFFERSON'S GARDEN, THE WIZ and More Set for Ford's Theatre's 2017-18 Season
Ford's Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault today announced the Ford's Theatre 2017-2018 season will include Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman directed by Stephen Rayne; the American premiere of Jefferson's Garden by Timberlake Wertenbaker and directed by Nataki Garrett; the fantastical musical The Wiz directed by Kent Gash; and A Christmas Carol with Craig Wallace reprising the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.
Ford's Theatre also announced that it will produce August Wilson's Fences as part of the following 2018-2019 season, in a continuing commitment to presenting American classics. In the past few years, Ford's has produced Thornton Wilder's Our Town, Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie and Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Ford's continues the tradition of producing work by America's most iconic playwrights with Fences and the 2017 production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, both of which will feature Craig Wallace.
Performances of the Society's actor-led History on Foot walking tours of downtown Washington, D.C., and daytime one-act play performances of One Destiny also continue in the spring of 2018.
"In the characters of next season's plays, we recognize our own triumphs, trials, hopes and fears," said Ford's Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault. "With our 2017-2018 season Ford's continues our commitment to feature local Washington actors and to present some of the finest classic plays and musicals that speak to the vibrancy of the human experience."
"I am thrilled to have Stephen Rayne back to direct, and eager to see Craig Wallace not only reprise the role of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, but also take on Willy Loman with Kimberly Schraf as Linda Loman," Tetreault continued.
"In 2018 we also welcome new-to-Ford's artists Nataki Garrett and Kent Gash. Nataki's brilliantly directed An Octoroon and Kent's powerful production of Choir Boy at Studio Theatre made strong impressions on me. I very much look forward to seeing their thoughtful and visionary ideas come to life on our historic stage."
Ford's Theatre is continuing its commitment to offer more than 1,400 free performance tickets to the company's mainstage productions during the 2017-2018 season. All tickets to the first preview performances of Death of a Salesman, Jefferson's Garden and The Wiz will be offered free of charge via a ticket lottery, and at least 100 free tickets will be made available for the first preview performance of A Christmas Carol. The Free First Preview initiative seeks to remove price barriers and build audiences in a more inclusive way, by inviting those who live and work in the Washington community who might not otherwise consider participation in the arts.
On Sale dates for the Ford's Theatre 2017-2018 season will be announced in May 2017.
The Ford's Theatre 2017-2018 Season:
Death of a Salesman
Directed by Stephen Rayne
September 22 to October 22, 2017
Willy Loman's career is over. During a pivotal 24 hours, he reflects on his life as a father, husband and traveling salesman. Truth and lies intermingle as Willy tries to reconcile the optimism of his youth with his unfulfilled dreams. As the full force of reality crashes down on him, he places his last hope of success in his two sons. Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning classic challenges us to reconsider what it means to succeed and the cost of chasing the American Dream. Stephen Rayne (Our Town, The Widow Lincoln, Sabrina Fair) directs Craig Wallace as Willy Loman and Kimberly Schraf as Linda Loman.
A Christmas Carol
Directed by Michael Baron
Featuring Craig Wallace as Scrooge
November 16 to December 31, 2017
Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Originally conceived by Michael Baron, this music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Dickens's Yuletide classic. Acclaimed actor Craig Wallace returns to play Ebenezer Scrooge in a production heralded as a "rich visual and vocal treat" (TheaterMania) and "infectiously jolly" (Washington Post).
Directed by Nataki Garrett
January 19 to February 11, 2018
In this sweeping drama, playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker explores the contradictions between our founding fathers' ideals and the realities of freedom in America. Christian, a Quaker pacifist, defies his family to fight in the American Revolution. On his travels, he meets and falls in love with an enslaved woman named Susannah, who is tempted to fight for the British when they promise liberation. Christian and Susannah cross paths with Thomas Jefferson, George Mason and Sally Hemings. These encounters force them to confront the compromises America makes after the promise of equality. Wertenbaker creates a dazzling world, taking us from Revolutionary battlefields to Paris to Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello. Nataki Garrett (Woolly Mammoth's An Octoroon) directs this American premiere.
From the story "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum
March 9 to May 12, 2018
Ease on down the road with Dorothy and her friends Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion on their quest to meet The Wiz. In this adaptation of L. Frank Baum's magical novel, Dorothy is whisked away by a tornado to the fanciful land of Oz. There, she and her sidekicks encounter munchkins, flying monkeys and a power-hungry witch named Evillene who vows to destroy them. Winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, The Wiz is a musical feast featuring soul, gospel, R&B and pop as well as exuberant choreography. Rediscover the power of courage, heart, brains and friendship in this classic story at the historic Ford's Theatre.
March through June 2018
Learn about Lincoln's assassination from two men who were there. This 35-minute play at Ford's Theatre explores the key facts of the assassination while capturing the emotions of that fateful night in 1865, as told through the eyewitness accounts of actor Harry Hawk and Ford's Theatre co-owner Harry Ford, among others. As they reconstruct the sequence of events, they grapple with the question: Could John Wilkes Booth have been stopped? One Destiny was honored with The Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community in 2011, and celebrated its 1,000th performance in spring 2016. Performance dates and times for spring 2018 to be announced.
History on Foot Walking Tours:
Investigation: Detective McDevitt
March through October 2018
Join Detective McDevitt as he re-visits and re-examines the sites and clues surrounding the assassination of our nation's 16th president. This outdoor tour lasts approximately two hours and makes at least eight stops. The distance walked is 1.6 miles from outside of Ford's Theatre to the White House. Please wear comfortable shoes. Performance dates and times for 2018 to be announced.
One of the most visited sites in the nation's capital, Ford's Theatre reopened its doors in 1968, more than a hundred years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Operated through a partnership between Ford's Theatre Society and the National Park Service, Ford's Theatre is the premier destination in the nation's capital to explore and celebrate Abraham Lincoln's ideals and leadership principles: courage, integrity, tolerance, equality and creative expression.
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, Necessary Sacrifices, The Widow Lincoln and The Guard, Ford's Theatre is making its mark on the American theatre landscape. In the past decade, 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, the Society is building Ford's Theatre into a national destination for exploring Lincoln's ideas and leadership principles and finding new ways to bring Lincoln's legacy to life for the 21st-century learner.
For more information on Ford's Theatre and the Ford's Theatre Society, please visit www.fords.org.