In his fourth commission for Ford’s Theatre, playwright Richard Hellesen explores the two documented encounters between Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln during a period of national crisis.
During the summers of 1863 and 1864, Douglass challenges Lincoln to use his power as president to bring truth to America’s founding ideal that “all men are created equal.”
Craig Wallace will play Frederick Douglass with Paul Morella as Abraham Lincoln.
Hellesen’s previous works for Ford’s Theatre include One Destiny, Investigation: Detective McDevitt and The Road from Appomattox, three gripping and insightful explorations of critical moments in Civil War history.
The play will be available to Ford's Theatre members beginning April 6 and to the general public beginning April 12.
WPFW 89.3FM, Pacifica radio in the nation’s capital, is Broadcast and Media Partner for Necessary Sacrifices and will air the play April 15 at 5:00 p.m. and April 21 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. WPFW also will make the broadcast available to other Pacifica radio stations nationwide during April and May 2021.
“This nation cannot excel half-equal and half-unequal. To accept that would be merely to remove our shackles from our legs, clean and polish them, and put them right back on. This work must be done, and done forever,” Frederick Douglass in Necessary Sacrifices.
Recommended for ages 12 and older. Necessary Sacrifices features complex language and ideas. Dialogue includes Frederick Douglass’ use of the N-word to draw attention to the racism, hypocrisy and danger Black people experienced.
Ford’s does not condone the use of hate speech, racial slurs or language that is used to hurt or denigrate any person or group.