WASHINGTON, D.C.: Ford’s Theatre director Paul R. Tetreault today announced the theatre’s 2016–17 season, featuring a new 9/11-themed musical as well as revivals of contemporary classics.
“We are thrilled to kick off our 2016–17 season with the East Coast premiere of the inspirational musical Come From Away,” said Tetreault in a statement. “During a time when the nation will mark the 15th anniversary of September 11, Come From Away’s uplifting true story and vibrant music shows how the good will of others can shape our circumstances for the better.”
Tetreault also announced that Ford’s Theatre is committing to a new initiative to offer more than 2,000 free performance tickets to mainstage productions in the coming season. The initiative seeks to remove price barriers and build audiences in a more inclusive way by inviting those who live and work in the Washington community who might not otherwise consider participation in the arts. Additional details on this initiative will be made available in August.
David Hein and Irene Sankoff’s musical Come From Away (Sept. 2–Oct. 9), which had its acclaimed premiere at La Jolla Playhouse before stopping over at Seattle Repertory Theatre last year, tells the story of what happened to flights diverted from New York City to Newfoundland on Sept. 11, 2001. With its sights set on Broadway in the spring of 2017, the show is directed by La Jolla Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley.
Piano-playing political satirist Mark Russell will have no shortage of material when he takes the stage for a one-night appearance on Sept. 19.
Another Washington fixture, Edward Gero, returns as Scrooge in the Ford’s beloved annual A Christmas Carol (Nov. 17–Dec. 31), adapted by Michael Wilson and directed by Michael Baron.
A revival of Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? follows (Jan. 21–Feb. 19, 2017), with direction by Aaron Posner and a performance by Holly Twyford as Martha.
Next is a remount of the epochal historical musical Ragtime (March 10–May 10, 2017), with a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. This tale of turn-of-20th-century America, adapted from E.L. Doctorow’s classic novel, will be directed by Peter Flynn and will feature a D.C.-based cast that including Kevin McAllister, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Nova Y. Payton, and Jonathan Atkinson.
Running throughout next spring is the Ford’s Theatre perennial One Destiny by Richard Hellesen (March–June 2017), a 35-minute one-act that tells the story of the President Lincoln’s assassination via eyewitness accounts. This popular daytime offering, directed by Mark Ramont, will reach its 1,000th performance this spring.
Another assassination-themed Ford’s offering from the team of Hellesen and Ramont is Investigation: Detective McDevitt, part of the theatre’s “History on Foot” walking tours. Running March through October, the tour follows a fictional investigator as he revisits and reexamines sites and clues surrounding the assassination of our nation’s 16th president, from Ford’s Theatre all the way to the White House.
One of the most visited sites in the nation’s capital, Ford’s Theatre reopened its doors in 1968, more than a hundred years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Operated through a partnership between Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service, Ford’s Theatre is the premier destination in the nation’s capital to explore and celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s ideals and leadership principles: courage, integrity, tolerance, equality and creative expression.