Photo Flash: SOVEREIGNTY Opens at Arena Stage

Mary Kathryn Nagle's daring new work Sovereignty makes its world premiere at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Under the direction of Artistic Director Molly Smith, Sovereignty travels the intersections of personal and political truths, and historic and present struggles, in the fight to save the sovereignty of Cherokee Nation both past and present. A gripping political exploration, Sovereignty will run January 12-February 18, 2018 in the Kreeger Theater.

Sovereignty, based on the stories of Nagle's Cherokee grandfathers, spans 1830s Cherokee Nation (now present-day Georgia) and Andrew Jackson's presidency to the Cherokee Nation in present-day Oklahoma. Sovereignty follows Sarah Ridge Polson, a young Cherokee lawyer fighting to restore her Nation's jurisdiction and defend the constitutionality of the 2013 Violence Against Women Act in the United States Supreme Court.

Joining the previously announced Kalani Queypo as John Ridge, the cast includes Joseph Carlson (Round House's The Night Alive) as Andrew Jackson/Ben, Kyla García (Netflix's Cable Girls) as Sarah Polson, Michael Glenn (Arena Stage's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery) as Samuel Worcester/Mitch, Jake Hart as Elias Boudinot/Watie, Andrew Roa (Denver Center Theatre's Black Elk Speaks) as Major Ridge/Roger Ridge, Dorea Schmidt (Arena Stage's Fiddler on the Roof) as Sarah Bird Northrup/Flora, Todd Scofield (Arena Stage's The City of Conversation) as White Chorus Man and Jake Waid (Perseverance Theatre's Macbeth) as John Ross/Jim Ross.

"185 years ago, the federal government sitting in Washington, D.C. sought to eradicate the sovereignty of Cherokee Nation," shares Nagle. "It is an honor to return to D.C. today and share the story of why, and how, those efforts were not successful. At a time when many in the United States have been hurt and threatened by polarization and prejudice, I believe we can all find healing in understanding how my grandfathers, and all of our Cherokee relations, survived one of the most polarizing episodes in American history."

Sovereignty is the fourth commission to debut as part of Arena Stage's Power Plays, an ambitious initiative commissioning and developing 25 new plays and musicals from 25 writers over the course of the next 10 years. With Power Plays, Arena Stage focuses Washington, D.C.'s unique theatrical voice on politics and power, amplifying the theater's role as a national center dedicated to American voices and artists, located in the heart of the nation's capital. The massive undertaking features one story per decade, beginning with 1776 through today, and builds on the tremendous success of previous Arena Stage commissions and Power Plays-Lawrence Wright's Camp David, John Strand's The Originalist and Jacqueline E. Lawton's Intelligence.

TICKETS: Tickets for Sovereignty are $40-90, subject to change and based on availability, plus applicable fees. For information on savings programs such as pay-your-age tickets, student discounts, Southwest Nights and hero's discounts, visit arenastage.org/shows-tickets/single-tickets/savings-programs.

Tickets may be purchased online at arenastage.org, by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth St., SW, D.C.

high res photos

Photo Flash: SOVEREIGNTY Opens at Arena Stage
Playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle and Director/Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith at the opening night for Sovereignty, January 24, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman

Photo Flash: SOVEREIGNTY Opens at Arena Stage
Dorea Schmidt (Sarah Bird Northrup/Flora), playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle and Kyla García (Sarah Polson) at the opening night for Sovereignty, January 24, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman

Photo Flash: SOVEREIGNTY Opens at Arena Stage
Andrew Roa (Major Ridge/Roger Ridge) and Jake Waid (John Joss/Jim Ross) at the opening night for Sovereignty, January 24, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman

Photo Flash: SOVEREIGNTY Opens at Arena Stage
Kalani Queypo (John Ridge) and Dorea Schmidt (Sarah Bird Northrup/Flora) at the opening night for Sovereignty, January 24, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman.

Photo Flash: SOVEREIGNTY Opens at Arena Stage
Jake Hart (Elias Boudinot/Watie), Kyla García (Sarah Polson) and Andrew Roa (Major Ridge/Roger Ridge) at the opening night for Sovereignty, January 24, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman.

Photo Flash: SOVEREIGNTY Opens at Arena Stage
Todd Scofield (White Chorus Man), Joseph Carlson (Andrew Jackson/Ben) and Michael Glenn (Samuel Worcerster/Mitch) at the opening night for Sovereignty, January 24, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman.

Photo Flash: SOVEREIGNTY Opens at Arena Stage
Playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle and Karen Zacarías at the opening night for Sovereignty, January 24, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman.

Photo Flash: SOVEREIGNTY Opens at Arena Stage
The cast and creative team at the opening night of Sovereignty, January 24, 2018, at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Cameron Whitman

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