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 PRESENTS 75TH ANNIVERSARY PRODUCTION OF "OUR TOWN"

OUR TOWN
BY THORNTON WILDER
DIRECTED BY STEPHEN RAYNE


Several commemorative events scheduled for February 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ford’s Theatre 2012-13 season continues with a production of Thornton Wilder’s treasured American drama Our Town, directed by Stephen Rayne, January 25 through February 24, 2013. Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama presents a timeless commentary on the transience of human existence. Teenagers George and Emily meet, fall in love, marry—and suffer the slings and arrows of everyday life. Wilder transforms their ordinary story into a poignant and captivating exploration of mortality and the interconnectivity of human beings. In celebration of the play’s 75th-Anniversary year, Stephen Rayne (The Heavens Are Hung In Black, Sabrina Fair and Parade) directs a diverse cast, creating an Our Town for our time.

Our Town is a play which transcends differences in culture, class and race, and speaks to the great themes common to all great art: love, death and marriage,” said director Stephen Rayne. “From its first production in 1938, the play struck a powerful chord with the American psyche, and it is as fresh and relevant today as it was then. I am hoping to bring a fresh perspective to this great classic and present a production that Ford's and Mr. Wilder will be proud of.”

Ford’s also offers a series of programs in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of Our Town including readings of Wilder’s plays with local universities, a pre-performance seminar with author Penelope Niven and Thornton Wilder's nephew and literary executor Tappan Wilder, and a special celebration of the play’s Broadway opening to include the presentation of The Thornton Wilder Society’s "Thornton Wilder Prize."

Our Town is made possible with support from Lead Sponsor Exxon Mobil Corporation and production sponsor Qualcomm. WAMU-FM is the Official Media Partner for Our Town.

THE DIRECTOR

Stephen Rayne returns to Ford’s Theatre following the 2011 inaugural Lincoln Legacy Project production of Parade. Rayne also directed Sabrina Fair and the world premiere production of The Heavens Are Hung In Black during the 2009 Ford’s Theatre Reopening Season. Recent productions also include The Merry Wives of Windsor for the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Chantecler (Buenos Aires) and The Two Worlds of Charlie F for Haymarket Theatre and tour. Additional regional directorial credits include productions of A View from the Bridge, A Christmas Carol, Hay Fever, Closer, Equus and House and Garden at the Alley Theatre, Macbeth for the New York Arts Festival and productions of Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot in St. Louis and Chicago. Rayne has directed more than 50 productions in Europe, Latin America and Asia, including productions in London’s West End and with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre, Hampstead Theatre and Royal Opera House, among others.

THE CAST

The cast for Our Town includes Portia in Wilder’s iconic Stage Manager role. Portia appeared on Broadway in Ride Down Mt. Morgan and also in the Roundabout production of McReele (Drama Desk Nomination). She appeared in the Goodman, Royal Shakespeare Company, Paris and Hamburg productions of The Merchant of Venice directed by Peter Sellers, and in films including The Messenger and Freedomland. Portia’s television credits include appearances in CSI, Hart of Dixie, Law & Order and 30 Rock.

The Our Town cast also includes Michael Bunce, Erin Driscoll, Alyssa Gagarin, Kellee Knighten Hough, Joey Ibanez, James Konicek, John Lescault, Susan Lynskey, Kevin McAllister, Tony Nam, Jon Hudson Odom, Tom Story, Kimberly Schraf, Frederick Strother, Brynn Tucker, Nickolas Vaughanb Jenn Walker, Craig Wallace and Christopher Wilson.

THE DESIGNERS

Stephen Rayne has envisioned a simplistic color scheme and set design for Our Town in order to showcase the story’s universal themes of love and loss. Our Town features Scenic Design by Tony Cisek (1776, Parade, Black Pearl Sings!, Jitney), Costume Design by Kate Turner-Walker (National Tour Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical), Lighting Design by Pat Collins (Parade, The Heavens Are Hung In Black, Elmer Gantry, others), Original Music and Sound Design by David Budries (1776, Parade, Liberty Smith, Little Shop of Horrors, others) and Nathan A. Roberts (The Servant of Two Masters for Guthrie, Yale Rep and Shakespeare Theatre Company), Wig and Makeup Design by Anne Nesmith, and Movement and Mime Director Mark Jaster. The production team also includes Production Stage Manager Brandon Prendergast and Assistant Stage Manager Kate Kilbane.

OUR TOWN 75th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EVENTS
In honor of the 75th anniversary, Ford’s Theatre presents a series of events:

Our Town 75th Anniversary Celebration: February 4, 2013, at 7 p.m.
Ford’s Theatre celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Broadway opening for Thornton Wilder’s Our Town with a special program on the Ford’s Theatre stage. As part of the evening’s festivities, the Thornton Wilder Society will present its Thornton Wilder Prize to an individual in the arts who practices their calling with the distinction, devotion and zest that characterized the artist for whom the Prize is named. Tickets are free but required. For details and reservations, visit http://www.fords.org/event/75th-anniversary-celebration-our-town

Reading: Wilder’s Classic One Acts: February 11, 2013, at 7 p.m.
Ford’s Theatre presents an evening of classic one-acts by Thornton Wilder, read by students from American, Georgetown and Howard universities. The evening includes The Long Christmas Dinner, Pullman Car Hiawatha and The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden. Tickets are free but required.  Support provided by Samuel French. For details and reservations, visit http://www.fords.org/event/reading-wilders-classic-one-acts

Our Town Pre-Performance Seminar: February 12, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. Join us for a pre-performance seminar with Tappan Wilder, the playwright's nephew and literary executor, in a dialogue with Penelope Niven, author of a major new Wilder biography. A copy of Niven’s newly released biography, Thornton Wilder: A Life, and a light dinner are included in the price of admittance. Tickets go on sale to the public on January 6, 2013, for $45. Tickets to Our Town sold separately. http://www.fords.org/event/our-town-pre-performance-seminar

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FACT SHEET: OUR TOWN
By Thornton Wilder; Directed by Stephen Rayne
January 25-February 24, 2013

Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Our Town presents a timeless commentary on the transience of human existence. Teenagers George and Emily meet, fall in love, marry—and suffer the slings and arrows of everyday life. Wilder transforms their ordinary story into a poignant and captivating exploration of mortality and the interconnectivity of human beings. In celebration of the play’s 75th-Anniversary year, Stephen Rayne (The Heavens Are Hung In Black, Sabrina Fair and Parade) returns to direct a diverse cast, creating an Our Town for our time.

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

TIMES: Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. (except February 10,17 and 24), matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. (except January 26 and 27). 11 a.m. matinees on February 7, 14 and 21.

There will be audio-described performances of Our Town on Tuesday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 16, at 2 p.m. Sign-interpreted performances are Thursday, February 14, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 23, at 2 p.m.

TICKETS: Tickets start at $15. Discounts are available for groups, senior citizens, military personnel and those younger than 35.

Our Town 75th Anniversary Celebration: Monday, February 4, 2013, at 7 p.m.
Ford’s Theatre celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Broadway opening for Thornton Wilder’s Our Town with a special program on the Ford’s Theatre stage. As part of the evening’s festivities, the Thornton Wilder Society will present its Thornton Wilder Prize. Tickets are free but required. For details and reservations, visit www.fords.org.

Reading: Wilder’s Classic One Acts: Monday, February 11, 2013, at 7 p.m.
Ford’s Theatre presents an evening of classic one-acts by Thornton Wilder, read by students from American, Georgetown and Howard universities. The evening includes The Long Christmas Dinner, Pullman Car Hiawatha and The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden. Tickets are free but required. For details and reservations, visit www.fords.org.

Our Town Pre-Performance Seminar: Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at 5:30 p.m.
Join us for a pre-performance seminar with Tappan Wilder, the playwright's nephew and literary executor, in a dialogue with Penelope Niven, author of a major new Wilder biography. A copy of Niven’s newly released biography, Thornton Wilder: A Life, and a light dinner are included in the price of admittance. Tickets go on sale to the public on January 6, 2013, for $45. Tickets to Our Town sold separately.

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

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Beyea lbeyea@fords.org or (202)434-9543