Photo Flash: Inside Arena Stage's Reading of the Mueller Report Volume II
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, in association with activist and actress Jjana Valentiner, recently held a public, nonpartisan 11-hour marathon reading of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Report.
Up to 200 participants read through Volume II of the report. Russia's interference in the election has been well covered by the media. The American public is less familiar with the specifics covered in Volume II.
"Why read the Mueller Report at Arena Stage? As a theater focused on American plays and American stories, the Mueller Report is a far-reaching and intricate American story about D.C. and the people in it," explains Artistic Director Molly Smith. "This is our city and so many of these events happened here. It's a community service to read the report with a multiplicity of voices from the world of the arts and politics and everyday citizens. Many people have only heard the report in bits and pieces - this gives them the opportunity to read aloud without comment, listen and make up their own minds. This reading is, in many ways, a democratic act."
"There is something really wonderful about reading aloud with a group of people, especially if that group is representative of our broader community," shares Valentiner. "The Mueller Report can be quite dense and heavy at times, but there is a real clarity when it is read aloud with many different voices."
The Washington, D.C. event is inspired by the success of the inaugural 24-hour reading, originally conceived by Director Jackson Gay (Arena's Kleptocracy). Hosted in New York in June 2019, over 700 people attended, and up to 50,000 listeners streamed the reading of the Mueller Report.
Scheduled volunteer readers for July 11 included a range of activists, artists and community leaders: Charles Allen, Charlotte Clymer, Maria Manuela Goyanes, David Grosso, Michael Kahn, Peter and Judy Kovler, Jim Moran, David Muse, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ryan Rilette, Chase Rynd, Mark Walsh and more.
Photo Credit: Ryan Maxwell
Beth Newburger Schwartz
Laura C. Harris