Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site (Museum, Theatre, Petersen House) and the Center for Education and Leadership will be closed to the public on Monday, May 19, 2014.

FORD’S THEATRE ANNOUNCES LINCOLN LEGACY PROJECT 2013 PROGRAMMING

Mainstage Production The Laramie Project Marks 15 years
Since Matthew Shepard’s Murder

Free Monday Night Discussion Series Featuring Judy Shepard,
Cokie Roberts, Former Laramie Sheriff Dave O’Malley,
Among Others

Candlelight Vigil Planned in Memory of Matthew Shepard on
October 11—National Coming Out Day

World Premiere Exhibition Not Alone: The Power of Response
Featuring letters addressed to the Shepards at the
Center for Education and Leadership

Readings of the companion play The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later
Presented in repertory with The Laramie Project October 6 and 20

Washington, D.C.—Paul R. Tetreault, Director of Ford’s Theatre Society, announced the special event schedule for the third year of The Lincoln Legacy Project—this year thematically connected with the Society’s production of the stage play The Laramie Project (September 27-October 27, 2013), and recognizing the 15 years since Matthew Shepard was abducted and killed in an anti-gay hate crime in Laramie, Wyoming. The multi-year Lincoln Legacy Project encourages people of differing viewpoints to engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue about diversity and understanding through a range of programming including performances, panel discussions, special museum exhibitions, education programs and more. This fall, Ford’s presents The Laramie Project to spark conversation about social injustice, bigotry, bullying and violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, and to take steps toward understanding, inclusion and equality.

Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault remarked, “Matthew Shepard’s death in 1998 ignited a debate about the definition of hate crimes and strengthened the resolve of many to advocate for social justice. In our third year of The Lincoln Legacy Project we are honored to welcome Dennis and Judy Shepard, local youth and partner organizations from across the nation and the District to continue the dialogue about bullying, bias and hate directed at the LGBT community. By inviting multiple perspectives to the stage, we hope this fall’s programming will propel us forward in the spirit of Lincoln’s ideals of understanding, acceptance and reconciliation.”

In conjunction with the play, Ford’s offers a series of free Monday night panel discussions beginning September 30 at 7 p.m., with Cokie Roberts in conversation with Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother, in With Malice Toward None: Judy Shepard, a Mother’s Response to Hate. On October 7 at 7 p.m., The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart moderates a discussion titled With Charity for All: Lives Changed by Hate, with Dave O’Malley (a former Laramie police commander), Billy Rowles (former Jasper, Texas, sheriff) and members of KhushDC, Washington’s South Asian LGBTQ community, about hate crimes that have changed the course of their lives and led to greater outreach in society. The third panel, To Bind up the Nation's Wounds: Communities Respond to Hate, on October 21 at 7 p.m., centers on the methods local and national communities have created or used in response to hate crimes and features Tony Banout from the collegiate Interfaith Youth Core, Patrice O'Neill, CEO/Executive Producer for The Working Group/Not In Our Town and National Public Radio’s Michele Norris as moderator. The discussion series concludes October 28 at 7 p.m. with To Achieve and Cherish a Just and Lasting Peace: Envisioning a World Beyond Hate, featuring local youth from Split This Rock and Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL).

A world-premiere exhibition at the Center for Education and Leadership (514 Tenth Street NW) featuring letters addressed to the Shepard family in the wake of Matthew’s death is on display September 10-November 3, 2013. Not Alone: The Power of Response pairs artist Jeff Sheng’s hauntingly beautiful photograph, Where Matthew Lay Dying, (Laramie Wyoming), 2007, with a selection of letters sent to the Shepard family in order to explore the themes of empathy, community response and personal responsibility. Admission is included with regular daytime visit tickets to Ford's Theatre.

Ford’s Theatre hosts a Pay What You Can (PWYC) preview performance of The Laramie Project, September 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ford’s Theatre box office on the day of the performance starting at 5:30 p.m. Limit of two tickets per customer. Cash only. Seating is on a first-come basis.

Ford’s Theatre hosts a special faith night performance of The Laramie Project on Thursday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m. Groups of 15 or more receive a 50 percent discount on performance tickets and admittance to a special post-show discussion about how the faith community can promote tolerance and inclusion. The discussion will feature Dean of Washington National Cathedral Gary Hall. Interested groups should contact the group sales office at (202) 638-2367 or email groups@fords.org.

The weekend of October 11, 2013, marks the 15th year since Matthew Shepard died. Ford’s Theatre will donate all proceeds from the October 11, 7:30 p.m. performance of The Laramie Project to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Following the evening performance, audience members and the public are invited to participate in a candlelight vigil in memory of Matthew Shepard’s life and in recognition of National Coming Out Day. Matthew’s father Dennis Shepard, Rev. Dwayne Johnson of Metropolitan Community Church of Washington and members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, directed by Dr. Thea Kano, will be on site to lead participants in a brief program outside of the historic Ford’s Theatre.

Ten years after the hate-crime murder of Matthew Shepard, Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project revisited Laramie, Wyoming, to see if and how the town had changed. What were the long-term effects on Laramie? How had the community reconciled, and did their recollections of the murder or attitudes toward the crime change over time? On Sundays, October 6 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., Ford’s Theatre presents readings of the companion play Ten Years Later in repertory with The Laramie Project. This play captures what Kaufman and his team discovered, illuminating the ongoing consequences of Matthew’s murder and how his death led to social change in America. Tickets for Ten Years Later are $8 and are available for purchase in person at the Ford’s Theatre Box Office or online at www.fords.org (Ticketmaster fees apply).

Additional Ford’s Theatre events for the Legacy Project include facilitated talk-backs following evening performances of The Laramie Project (except October 2 and 11).

Special pre- and post-performance education programs for school groups and classroom teachers are available. A limited number of Student Matinee tickets are available free of charge to Title 1 schools. Interested teachers should contact education@fords.org for more details. Ford’s also extends its Operation Discovery discount ticket program to all student groups of 15 or more for The Laramie Project. Operation Discovery tickets are available for $12 to Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday performances through the Group Sales office at (202) 638-2367 or groups@fords.org.

Events for The Lincoln Legacy Project will be presented in cooperation with several partner organizations including the Matthew Shepard Foundation, The Trevor Project, Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL), Facing History and Ourselves, Not in Our Town, Split This Rock, Teaching for Change, Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center, The DC Center, Human Rights Campaign, Tectonic Theater Project, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and PFLAG—Metro DC Chapter.

The Lincoln Legacy Project is made possible with support from Founding Sponsor Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. Additional support provided by Gregory Craig; The Pew Charitable Trusts; and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, Harold Holzer, Chairman. The Washington Post is the Official Media Partner of The Lincoln Legacy Project.

Tickets to The Laramie Project and Not Alone: The Power of Response are currently on sale. Beginning September 16, tickets to the Monday night discussion series and Ten Years Later may be reserved in person at the Ford’s Theatre Box Office, through Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787 or online at www.fords.org. Ticketmaster fees apply. Groups of 15 or more may reserve tickets by calling (202) 638-2367. All panel discussion tickets must be picked up by 6:45 p.m. to guarantee admittance. For more information about school and teacher resources and programs, email education@fords.org or call (202) 434-9537.

The Laramie Project
By Moisés Kaufman and Members of the Tectonic Theater Project
Directed by Matthew Gardiner
September 27-October 27, 2013
Part of The Lincoln Legacy Project

The Laramie Project presents a deeply complex portrait of a community’s response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man living in Laramie, Wyoming. In a series of poignant reflections, the residents of Laramie react to the hate crime and surrounding media storm with anger, bewilderment and sorrow. The play portrays the seismic and deeply personal impact Matthew’s death had on this small town while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence. Fifteen years later, Matthew Shepard’s story still reverberates, urging us on with its clarion call to confront the destructive power of hate, in all forms. The Laramie Project is the third offering in the multi-year Lincoln Legacy Project—an effort to generate dialogue around issues of tolerance, equality and acceptance. Experience the story that TIME Magazine calls “a pioneering and powerful stage event.”

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 mission of Ford’s Theatre Society is to celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and explore the American experience through theatre and education. For its accomplishments, the organization was honored in 2008 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given by the U.S. government to artists, arts institutions and arts patrons.

Since the arrival of Paul R. Tetreault as Director, critics and the theatregoing public have recognized Ford’s Theatre Society 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.

In 2006, 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. The new Center brings the values and ideals of Lincoln from the past into the present, examining Lincoln’s multi-faceted legacy through exhibits, workshops, seminars and speakers, as well as community outreach programs.

For more information on Ford’s Theatre and the Ford’s Theatre Society, please visit www.fords.org.

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Fact Sheet: 2013 Lincoln Legacy Project Events

The Ford’s Theatre Society presents a series of special events as part of The Lincoln Legacy Project. Thematically connected with the production of the stage play The Laramie Project (September 27-October 27, 2013), this year’s Legacy Project events explore a range of topics addressing hate crimes, understanding and social justice in American society. 

The Laramie Project
By Moisés Kaufman and Members of the Tectonic Theater Project
Directed by Matthew Gardiner
September 27-October 27, 2013
Part of The Lincoln Legacy Project

The Laramie Project
presents a deeply complex portrait of a community’s response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man living in Laramie, Wyoming. In a series of poignant reflections, the residents of Laramie react to the hate crime and surrounding media storm with anger, bewilderment and sorrow. The play portrays the seismic and deeply personal impact Matthew’s death had on this small town while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence. Fifteen years later, Matthew Shepard’s story still reverberates, urging us on with its clarion call to confront the destructive power of hate, in all forms.

Special Exhibition- Not Alone: The Power of Response - FREE
Center for Education and Leadership (514 Tenth Street NW)
September 10, 2013–November 3, 2013

Following Matthew’s attack, complete strangers from all over the world, moved by the horrific circumstances of Matthew’s death, reached out to Judy and Dennis Shepard to share their condolences, outrage, grief, love and support. Not Alone: The Power of Response pairs artist Jeff Sheng’s Where Matthew Lay Dying, a hauntingly beautiful composite photograph of the fence outside Laramie—taken from Matthew’s perspective—with a selection of the letters sent to the Shepard family in order to explore the themes of empathy, community response and personal responsibility.

A Pay What You Can (PWYC) preview performance of The Laramie Project is scheduled for Sunday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ford’s Theatre box office on the day of performance starting at 5:30 p.m. Limit two per customer. Cash only. Seating is on a first-come basis.

The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later
October 6 and 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Ten years after the hate-crime murder of Matthew Shepard, Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project revisited Laramie, Wyoming, to see if and how the town had changed. What were the long-term effects on Laramie? How had the community reconciled, and did their recollections of the murder or attitudes toward the crime change over time? This play captures what Kaufman and his team discovered, illuminating the ongoing consequences of Matthew’s murder and how his death led to social change in America. Tickets are $8.00 and can be reserved at www.fords.org or (800) 982-2787 (Ticketmaster fees apply).

Ford’s Theatre hosts a special faith night performance of The Laramie Project on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Groups of 15 or more receive a 50 percent discount on performance tickets and admittance to a special post-show discussion about how the faith community can promote tolerance and inclusion. The discussion will feature Dean of Washington National Cathedral Gary Hall. Interested groups should contact the group sales office at (202)638-2367 or groups@fords.org.

Candlelight Vigil: Remembering Matthew Shepard - FREE
October 11, 2013

The weekend of October 11, 2013, marks the 15th year since Matthew Shepard died. Proceeds from the 7:30 p.m. performance of The Laramie Project on October 11 will be donated to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Immediately following the evening performance on October 11, audience members and the public are invited to participate in a candlelight vigil in memory of Matthew Shepard’s life and in recognition of National Coming Out Day. Matthew’s father Dennis Shepard, Rev. Dwayne Johnson of Metropolitan Community Church of Washington and members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, directed by Dr. Thea Kano, will be on site to lead participants in a brief program outside of the historic Ford’s Theatre.

Monday Night Discussion Series - FREE
In conjunction with the play, Ford’s offers a series of free Monday night panel discussions

DATES:
September 30 at 7 p.m.With Malice Toward None: Judy Shepard, a Mother’s Response to Hate
October 7 at 7 p.m.—With Charity for All: Lives Changed by Hate
October 21 at 7 p.m.To Bind up the Nation's Wounds: Communities Respond to Hate
October 28 at 7 p.m.To Achieve and Cherish a Just and Lasting Peace: Envisioning a World Beyond Hate

Post-Performance Discussions

Following evening performances of The Laramie Project (except October 2 and 11).

ADVANCE RESERVATIONS: Tickets to The Laramie Project and Not Alone: The Power of Response are currently on sale. Beginning September 16, tickets to the Monday night discussion series and Ten Years Later may be reserved at the Ford’s Theatre Box Office, through Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787 or by visiting www.fords.org. Ticketmaster fees apply. Groups of 15 or more may reserve tickets by calling (202) 638-2367. Tickets must be picked up by 6:45 p.m. to guarantee admittance.

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

PARKING:
Paid parking for Ford’s Theatre is available at several independent neighborhood garages: the 24-hour QuikPark 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 and Orange 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.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Beyea at lbeyea@fords.org