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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, MSNBC's Chris Matthews and More Join OUR WAR, Beginning Tonight at Arena Stage


In a bold undertaking as part of the company's involvement with the multi-year, multi-city National Civil War Project, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has commissioned Our War, a dynamic new theatrical event and collection of short stories that explores-through diverse perspectives-the historical memory and present-day reverberations of the U.S. Civil War. The series launches today, October 21, and continues through November 9, 2014.

Director Anita Maynard-Losh weaves the vignettes by 25 esteemed playwrights-including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, Olivier Award and Helen Hayes Award-together through performances by an ensemble of local actors including Kelly Renee Armstrong, Ricardo Frederick Evans, John Lescault, Tuyet Pham, Lynette Rathnam and Sara Waisanen. Joining the ensemble throughout the run are nearly 30 notable leaders from the D.C. community, including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and more.

The playwrights represented in Our War include Maria Agui Carter, Lydia Diamond, Amy Freed, Diane Glancy, Joy Harjo, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Aditi Kapil, Dan LeFranc, David Lindsay-Abaire, Ken Ludwig, Taylor Mac, Ken Narasaki, Lynn Nottage, Robert O'Hara, Heather Raffo, Charles Randolph-Wright, Tanya Saracho, Betty Shamieh,John Strand, Tazewell Thompson, William S. Yellow Robe, Jr., Karen Zacarías as well as two students participating through Arena Stage's National Civil War Project partnership with George Washington University: Zinhle Essamuah and Nicholas Ong. To view playwright biographies, visit

Our War guest performers include Deborah Amos (NPR International Correspondent); Tamara Christian (COO, International Spy Museum); The Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope (Washington National Cathedral); Dr. John J. DeGioia (President, Georgetown University); Anita Dunn (Managing Director, SKDKnickerbocker); Jack Evans (D.C. Councilmember, Ward 2); Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States); The Very Rev. Gary Hall (Dean, Washington National Cathedral); Kaya Henderson (Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools); The Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. (Senior Servant, Metropolitan Baptist Church); Hari Jones (Assistant Director and Curator, African American Civil War Museum); Dr. Cornelius M. Kerwin (President, American University); Dr. Steven Knapp(President, George Washington University); Chris Matthews (Hardball, MSNBC); Anita McBride (Executive in Residence, School of Public Affairs, American University and former Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush); James P. Moran (Congressman, D-VA); Eleanor Holmes Norton (Congresswoman, D-D.C.); Archbishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr. (D. Min., Pastor, Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church); Diane Rehm (The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU); Andy Shallal (entrepreneur and owner of Busboys and Poets); Tom Sherwood (NBC reporter); Rabbi Gil Steinlauf (Senior Rabbi, Adas Israel Congregation); Constantine Stavropoulos (owner of Tryst, The Diner, Open City, The Coupe and Tryst at The Phillips); Joan Wages (President & CEO, National Women's History Museum); and Judy Woodruff (Co-Anchor and Managing Editor, PBS Newshour).

The creative team of Our War includes Dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke, Set Designer Robbie Hayes, Costume Designer T. Tyler Stumpf, Lighting Designer Catherine Girardi, Sound Designer Elisheba Itoop and Stage Manager Kurt Hall.

For up-to-date information about the Our War guest artists, including performance dates and times, visit

Photos courtesy Arena Stage.

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