Jennifer Mendenhall To Replace Carla Harting In LEGACY OF LIGHT At Arena Stage

Due to a bike accident in the D.C. area, actress Carla Harting has suffered a broken leg with compound fractures and will no longer be able to continue in the role of Olivia in the Arena Stage production Legacy of Light. Legacy of Light, written by D.C. playwright Karen ZacarÍas and directed by Arena Artistic Director Molly Smith, runs until June 14 at Arena Stage in Crystal City. For the remaining performances, Jennifer Mendenhall (Woolly Mammoth company member) will join the cast in the role of Olivia.

"We all send Carla our best wishes for a quick recovery, and we're grateful that the accident wasn't worse. She will be missed!" comments Smith. "Jennifer is a wonderful actress, who is intellectually sharp and quite funny - so many of us here in D.C. have enjoyed seeing her perform in area theaters. We're glad that she is able to join us at Arena, and I'm excited to experience her interpretation of the character of Olivia."

Jennifer Mendenhall (Olivia, Wet Nurse) is delighted to return to Arena Stage, where she appeared in The Revenger's Comedies and Pygmalion. Her recent performances include Woman and Scarecrow (Solas Nua); The Accident (Theatre J); A Beautiful View, Crestfall (Studio Theatre Second Stage); Measure for Pleasure*, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Grace*, Lenny & Lou*, Homebody/Kabul (with Theatre J), Cooking with Elvis*, The Day Room (Woolly Mammoth; company member); Ambition Facing West, The Monument, You Are Here*, Slaughter City (Theatre Alliance); Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major (Kennedy Center); Major Barbara (Shakespeare Theatre); dark play, or stories for boys... (Humana Festival); Cradle of Man (Florida Stage); Electra*, Rapture (MetroStage); and many others at Round House, Olney, Potomac Theatre Project, Folger Theatre. (*Helen Hayes Award nom)

The matinee and evening performances of Legacy of Light were cancelled on Sunday, May 31 due to Hasting's medical emergency, but all upcoming performances will take place as scheduled with Mendenhall in the role of Olivia. Patrons with questions or concerns are encouraged to call the Arena Stage Sales Office at (202) 488-3300.

Legacy of Light is a funny and moving romp about the passion for truth as lived by two different women in their separate eras: Dr. Olivia Hasting Brown in modern-day New Jersey and Émilie du Châtelet in 18th century France. Peter Marks of The Washington Post remarks, "This is a work with its heart in the right place, one in which the comic machinations emanate from a source of bona fide light." Paul Harris of Variety writes, "Prolific D.C.-based playwright Karen Zacarías intertwines themes of motherhood and scientific discovery from a deliciously quirky perspective in Legacy of Light, an entertaining new comedy getting a classy launch from Arena Stage."

For ticket information, please call (202) 488-3300 or visit

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Managing Director Edgar Dobie, Washington, D.C.-based Arena Stage has become the largest theater in the country dedicated to American plays and playwrights. Founded in 1950 by Zelda Fichandler, Thomas Fichandler and Edward Mangum, Arena Stage was one of the nation's original resident theaters and has a distinguished record of leadership and innovation in the field. With the opening of the new Mead Center for American Theater in 2010, Arena Stage will be a leading center for the production, development and study of American theater. Now in its sixth decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 200,000. For more information please visit

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