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Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative

Arena Stage hosted a Power Lunch on Monday, February 27, to officially kick off the theater's ambitious Power Plays initiative, which will commission and develop 25 new plays over the next 10 years, focused on politics & power. Scroll down for photos from the event!

The event included a moderated panel discussion with CBS Sunday Morning's Rita Braver and commissioned playwrights Jacqueline E. Lawton, Mary Kathryn Nagle, John Strand and Nathan Alan Davis; remarks from DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Executive Director Arthur Espinoza, Jr.; and the announcement of a $2.5 million gift from Curtis T. Bell towards the Power Plays initiative.

Bell's contribution will be leveraged as a matching gift challenge, ultimately raising an additional $2.5 million to fully fund the Presidential Voices cycle of the initiative.

Power Plays encompasses five distinct cycles-Presidential Voices, African-American Voices, Insider Voices, Musical Theater Voices and Women's Voices. The Presidential Voices cycle includes the previously produced Camp David by Lawrence Wright, which explored the pivotal 1978 Camp David Accords between President Jimmy Carter, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and will include future projects on John Quincy Adams and Theodore Roosevelt, among others.

Power Plays is the largest commissioning project in Arena Stage's history and will feature one story per decade, beginning with 1776 through today. Seven commissioned projects are currently in development, with playwrights Nathan Alan Davis, Eve Ensler, Rajiv Joseph, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Aaron Posner, Sarah Ruhl and John Strand. Jacqueline E. Lawton's Intelligence is currently running through April 9, 2017 as the third commission to debut as part of the initiative, joining Camp David and John Strand's The Originalist, which offered a rare portrayal of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Photo Credit: Cameron Whitman

high res photos Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
CBS's Rita Braver (center) with playwrights Mary Kathryn Nagle, Nathan Alan Davis, Jacqueline E. Lawton and John Strand Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
CBS's Rita Braver and Artistic Director Molly Smith Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
Playwrights Mary Kathryn Nagle, Jacqueline E. Lawton, Nathan Alan Davis, CBS’s Rita Braver, playwright John Strand, Artistic Director Molly Smith and Deputy Artistic Director Seema Sueko Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
Artistic Director Molly Smith Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
Playwrights Jacqueline E. Lawton, John Strand, Mary Kathryn Nagle, CBS’s Rita Braver, playwright Nathan Alan Davis and Artistic Director Molly Smith Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Executive Director Arthur Espinoza, Jr. Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
Curtis T. Bell, Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Director Edgar Dobie Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
Curtis T. Bell displays his political campaign button collection Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
Scott Tucker, Steve Wood, board member Joyce Moorehead, Artistic Director Molly Smith, Curtis T. Bell, Peter Nguyen, Board Chair Judith Batty, Joseph Reef, Board President Beth Newburger Schwartz Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
Board member Margaret Tomlinson, Board President Beth Newburger Schwartz and Katie Snowdon Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
Harriette Ecton, Amanda Stafford and Jessica Stafford Davis Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
Michael and Mele Melton Photo Flash: Arena Stage Hosts 'Power Lunch' to Kick Off POWER PLAYS Initiative
Tables are set for Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater's Power Lunch on February 27, 2017.

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