Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site (Museum, Theatre, Petersen House) and the Center for Education and Leadership will be closed to the public on Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014.

FORD’S THEATRE SOCIETY PRESENTS "DRIVING MISS DAISY" SEPT. 26-OCT 26, 2014

DRIVING MISS DAISY
BY ALFRED UHRY
DIRECTED BY JENNIFER L. NELSON

Production Features Nancy Robinette and Craig Wallace in Leading Roles

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ford’s Theatre Society 2014-2015 season begins with Nancy Robinette and Craig Wallace in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Driving Miss Daisy, directed by Jennifer L. Nelson, September 26 through October 26, 2014, at Ford’s Theatre (511 Tenth Street NW, Washington, D.C.). The cast also includes Ron Heneghan as Boolie Werthan.

When Daisy Werthan causes a car wreck, her son hires hard-working chauffeur Hoke Coleburn to look after her. What begins as a hostile clashing of wills between a stubborn Jewish matriarch and a proud black man evolves into a decades-long friendship as the two navigate Civil Rights-era Atlanta. With humor and heartfelt emotion, Alfred Uhry’s beloved play poignantly explores the transformative power of true friendship.

“For me, Driving Miss Daisy is an exploration of change in American society,” said Director Jennifer L. Nelson. “Daisy and Hoke are both outsiders in their own ways, and the story is a testament to two people pushing past their personal limitations and discovering parts of themselves they had forgotten: warmth, humility and love.”

Driving Miss Daisy is a show that I have wanted to produce at Ford’s for several years, but one that I could only imagine with Nancy and Craig in the leading roles. I am thrilled that the stars have aligned and that audiences will soon see these tremendous Washington actors bring their characters to life,” said Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault.

Driving Miss Daisy is made possible by Lead Sponsor Lockheed Martin Corporation and Sponsors Oshkosh Corporation, Siemens Corporation and ConocoPhillips. The 2014-2015 season sponsors are The Home Depot and Chevron. WAMU 88.5 FM serves as media partner.

THE DIRECTOR

Acclaimed director Jennifer L. Nelson returns to direct at Ford’s Theatre for the first time since the world premiere of Necessary Sacrifices in 2012. Additional Ford’s directing credits include Black Pearl Sings! and Jitney. Nelson also wrote and directed the Ford’s Theatre History on Foot walking tour, A Free Black Woman: Elizabeth Keckly. Nelson has directed productions for Adventure Theatre, Theater J, Woolly Mammoth, Round House, Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre, Rep Stage, Theatre of the First Amendment and Imagination Stage, among others. An accomplished playwright and actress, Nelson served as Producing Artistic Director of the African Continuum Theatre, where she produced more than 20 plays and several world premieres including her Helen Hayes Award-winning Torn From the Headlines. Nelson worked with Arena Stage’s Living Stage Theatre Company for 20 years, served two terms as President of the League of Washington Theatres, and on the board of the Theatre Communications Group. She has taught at Georgetown University, George Washington University, American University, George Mason University and UCLA. Nelson will direct The Call at Theater J in spring 2015. Nelson is the Ford’s Theatre Artistic and Lincoln Legacy Project Advisor.

THE CAST

Nancy Robinette returns to Ford’s to play the role of Daisy Werthan. Robinette previously appeared in the Ford’s Theatre productions of The Carpetbagger’s Children and State of the Union. A five-time Helen Hayes Award winner, Robinette has appeared in a host of roles with the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, Arena Stage, Round House and Woolly Mammoth. Robinette has performed Off Broadway with Roundabout Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop. Her regional credits include roles at McCarter Theatre, The Old Globe, Papermill Playhouse and Williamstown Theatre Festival. She also has appeared in films including Serial Mom, Soldier Jack and The Day Lincoln Was Shot.

Craig Wallace returns to Ford’s to play the role of Hoke Coleburn. Wallace most recently appeared at Ford’s Theatre in The Laramie Project, Our Town and as Frederick Douglass in Necessary Sacrifices. Wallace has performed multiple times with Arena Stage, Folger, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature, Round House and Woolly Mammoth. His regional credits include Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Hangar Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and others. Wallace holds a BFA from Howard University and an MFA from Pennsylvania State University, with additional training from the Royal National Theatre, London.

Ron Heneghan makes his Ford’s Theatre debut as Boolie Werthan, Daisy’s son. Local credits include The King and I at Olney Theatre and August: Osage County for Everyman Theatre. As a member of the Resident Acting Company for Chesapeake Shakespeare Theatre, Heneghan appeared in productions of Richard III and Our Town. He has performed with Pennsylvania Shakespeare, Seattle Rep, Empty Space, Lyric Stage Company and Huntington, among others.  He also has appeared in episodes of HBO’s Veep and Netflix’s House of Cards.

THE DESIGNERS

Jennifer L. Nelson’s design team includes Scenic Designer Tony Cisek (Our Town, 1776, Parade, Black Pearl Sings!, Jitney); Costume Designer Helen Huang (The Laramie Project, The Rivalry, The Carpetbagger’s Children, Necessary Sacrifices); Lighting Designer Dan Covey (Necessary Sacrifices, Black Pearl Sings!, Jitney) and Sound Designer Elisheba Ittoop (Kennedy Center: Elephant and Piggie, Woolly Mammoth: We Are Proud to Present). Driving Miss Daisy also features Wig and Makeup Design by Anne Nesmith (Spelling Bee, Violet, Our Town, Necessary Sacrifices, Parade, others) and Dialects by Lynn Watson. The production team includes Production Stage Manager Brandon Prendergast and Assistant Stage Manager Hannah R. O’Neil.

SPECIAL PERFORMANCES AND OFFERS

There will be audio-described performances of Driving Miss Daisy on Saturday, October 11, at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, October 21, at 7:30 p.m. A sign-interpreted performance is Thursday, October 16, at 7:30 p.m. A captioned performance is Saturday, October 25, at 2 p.m.

Ford’s Theatre offers a free Driving Miss Daisy preview performance and pre-show workshop to D.C.-area educators on Wednesday, October 1, 2014. This program provides teachers with valuable resources for teaching social studies and English Language Arts themes using theatrical experiences. Priority is given to teachers who have made arrangements to bring their students to the Driving Miss Daisy student matinee performances on October 9, 16 and 23 at 11 a.m. Teacher workshops include dinner and are free for up to 20 teachers. R.S.V.P. to education@fords.org by September 25, 2014.

Following the 2 p.m. performance of Driving Miss Daisy on October 5, director Jennifer L. Nelson and assistant director Rick Hammerly will be on hand to discuss the production with audience members at a Meet and Mingle event. This free event takes place at the restaurant Bistro D’Oc, located just across the street from Ford’s Theatre. A cash bar will be available. Tickets to the October 5 performances are not required to attend the Meet and Mingle.

Patrons age 35 and under are invited to attend Under 35 Night for Driving Miss Daisy, Wednesday, October 8, 2014. Use promo code UNDER35 to purchase $18 tickets to the October 8, 7:30 p.m. performance, then stay late for a complimentary glass of wine. Spend time with other young arts fans, meet new people and see Ford’s Theatre in a brand new light. Purchase tickets in advance through Ticketmaster online or by calling (800) 982-2787. Patrons must show valid ID at the Ford’s Theatre Box Office when claiming Under 35 tickets. Limit of six per person.

Ford’s Theatre partners with UrbanSitter (a quick and efficient online booking system for finding babysitters and nannies) to offer parents $10 off the service when booking for a performance of Driving Miss Daisy. If this is your first booking on UrbanSitter, simply enter code FORDS10 on the UrbanSitter website, urbansitter.com. Offer subject to UrbanSitter, Inc.’s Terms of Service. First-time customers only. Recipient must become a registered user of UrbanSitter with valid credit card on file to redeem offer. Restrictions include sitter availability, sitters who accept electronic payments, and service to requested location (not all areas served). UrbanSitter reserves the right to modify these terms. Must be redeemed by December 31, 2014.

Senior citizens (60+) may purchase discounted tickets to weekday and weekend matinees of Driving Miss Daisy at Ford’s Theatre in the premium orchestra and rear orchestra. These tickets may be purchased in advance through Ticketmaster online or by calling (800) 982-2787. Patrons must show ID at the Ford’s Theatre Box Office. Limit of two per person. Senior Driving Miss Daisy prices are: weekday matinees: $31; weekend matinees: $34.

Ford’s Theatre Society
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.

The Ford’s Theatre Society was founded under the guidance of executive producer Frankie Hewitt, who, during her 35-year tenure, established Ford’s as a living, working theatre producing performances that highlighted the diversity of the American experience. Since the arrival of Paul R. Tetreault as Director, critics and the theatregoing public have recognized Ford’s for the superior quality of its artistic programming. With works from the nationally acclaimed Big River to the world premieres of Meet John Doe, The Heavens Are Hung In Black, Liberty Smith and Necessary Sacrifices, Ford’s Theatre is making its mark on the American theatre landscape. Under the leadership of Wayne R. Reynolds, Board of Trustees Chairman Emeritus (Chairman 2007 to 2012), the mission of Ford’s Theatre Society expanded to include education as a central pillar. This expansion led to the creation and construction of the Center for Education and Leadership, which opened in February 2012. Currently, under the leadership of Board of Trustees Chairman Eric A. Spiegel, Ford’s enters a second phase of strategic planning to ensure the organization’s place as a national destination for exploring Lincoln’s legacy and the American experience through the intersection of history, performance and education.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Beyea at lbeyea@fords.org

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FACT SHEET: DRIVING MISS DAISY
BY ALFRED UHRY; DIRECTED BY JENNIFER L. NELSON
SEPTEMBER 26-OCTOBER 26, 2014

When Daisy Werthan causes a car wreck, her son hires hard-working chauffeur Hoke Coleburn to look after her. What begins as a hostile clashing of wills between a stubborn Jewish matriarch and a proud black man evolves into a decades-long friendship as the two navigate Civil Rights-era Atlanta. With humor and heartfelt emotion, Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play poignantly explores the transformative power of true friendship. Acclaimed Washington stage actors Nancy Robinette and Craig Wallace return to Ford’s to perform in this beloved classic.

DATES:
September 26 to October 26, 2014
Private Donor/Media Performance: September 30 at 7:30 p.m.

LOCATION:
Ford’s Theatre is located at 511 10th Street NW, Washington, D.C. (between E and F Streets).

TIMES:
Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. (except September 27 and 28).

There will be audio-described performances of Driving Miss Daisy on Saturday, October 11, at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, October 21, at 7:30 p.m. A sign-interpreted performance is Thursday, October 16, at 7:30 p.m. A captioned performance is Saturday, October 25, at 2 p.m.

TICKETS:
Tickets range $15-$62. Ticketmaster fees may apply. Discounts are available for groups, senior citizens, military personnel and those younger than 35.

PARKING:
Paid parking is available at several independent neighborhood garages: the 24-hour QuickPark at the Grand Hyatt (entrance on 10th Street between G and H Streets NW), the Central Parking Garage (entrance on 11th Street between E and F Streets NW), and the Atlantic Garage below Ford’s Theatre (at 511 10th Street, NW).

METRO:
Metro Center station (Red, Blue, Orange and Silver Lines) is two and one half blocks north of the theatre from the Eleventh Street exit. Gallery Pl-Chinatown station (Red, Yellow and Green Lines) is two and one half blocks north of the theatre from the G Street exit. For further information, call Metro at (202) 637-7000.

ACCESSIBILITY:
Ford’s Theatre is accessible to persons with disabilities, offering wheelchair-accessible seating and restrooms, and audio enhancement.

Tickets at www.fords.org and Ticketmaster: (800) 982-2787 
Information: (202) 347-4833 Groups: (202) 638-2367

Ford’s Theatre on Twitter: @fordstheatre and #FordsDaisy
Ford’s Theatre on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fordstheatre