Statement from Our Director

An update from Director Paul R. Tetreault on the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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Welcome to the Ford’s Theatre Press Room, designated for working members of the media.

We invite you to learn more about the history, vision, leadership and programming of Ford’s Theatre below. If you would like to cover events or productions at Ford’s Theatre, or film at the historic site, contact us at press@fords.org

Office hours are Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. ET. Please note our teams continue to work from home.

Latest News and Press Releases

Ford’s Theatre Society Announces Free Virtual Programming in April 2021 to Commemorate the 156th Anniversary of the Lincoln Assassination

Virtual Programs and Performances, Student Workshops, History Resources, Live Discussions with Scholars and more

Washington, D.C. – Ford’s Theatre commemorates the 156th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and death on April 14 and 15, and throughout the month of April with digital programming.

Ford’s Theatre Presents Radio Play of “Necessary Sacrifices” by Richard Hellesen; Directed by Psalmayene 24; Featuring Craig Wallace as Frederick Douglass and Paul Morella as Abraham Lincoln

Audio available to Ford’s Theatre Members April 6, 2021; Audio available to the Public April 12-May 30, 2021; WPFW 89.3FM to Broadcast Play April 15 at 5:00 p.m. and April 21 at 3:00p.m.

Washington, D.C.— Ford’s Theatre has announced an audio drama adaptation of Richard Hellesen’s “Necessary Sacrifices,” featuring acclaimed Washington actors Craig Wallace as Frederick Douglass and Paul Morella as Abraham Lincoln. Psalmayene 24 makes his Ford’s directorial debut. The radio play will be made available to Ford’s Theatre Members on April 6 and to the public on April 12-May 30 via the Ford’s Theatre website, www.fords.org. 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. WPFW also will make the broadcast available to other Pacifica radio stations nationwide during April and May 2021.

D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Montana High School Students Develop Podcasts as Part of Ford’s Theatre Oratory Program

Initial episodes of “Stand Up, Be Heard: The Podcast” showcase student oratory skills and uplift student voices on critical social issues including mental health, the death penalty.

Washington, D.C. – Ford’s Theatre announced that seven high school classrooms in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and Montana are developing a series of student podcasts for release on www.fords.org as part of their work with the Ford’s Theatre Oratory program. The initial projects for “Stand Up, Be Heard: The Podcast" include a three-episode series from each classroom. The first podcast episodes addressing social issues such as the impact of the pandemic on student mental health, the inequity of the death penalty and LGBTQIA issues are now available for free streaming at https://www.fords.org/for-teachers/programs/oratory/stand-up-be-heard-the-podcast.

Ford’s Theatre Society Announces Abraham Lincoln Institute Online Lincoln Symposium

Livestreamed March 22, April 5, April 19 and May 3 at 4:00 p.m. EDT

The Abraham Lincoln Institute and Ford’s Theatre Society present a free online symposium series focused on the life, career and legacy of President Abraham Lincoln, Mondays, March 22, April 5, April 19 and May 3 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. Events are simulcast to audiences through Ford’s Theatre digital platforms including Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitter and the Ford’s Theatre website. Speakers include David S. Reynolds, H. W. Brands, Ted Widmer, R.J.M. Blackett, Lucas E. Morel, Mark E. Steiner, Tamika Nunley and Carroll “C.R.” Gibbs.

Now Available: “One Destiny” On Demand by Richard Hellesen; Directed by Mark Ramont

Forty-minute Video Production Available for Free via Registration at www.fords.org

Washington, D.C. – Ford’s Theatre Society announced release of its free, on-demand video version of the popular stage play One Destiny by Richard Hellesen, directed by Mark Ramont. One Destiny On Demand is now available for streaming Feb. 8-June 13, 2021, with event registration on https://www.fords.org/visit/one-destiny. The 40-minute video production revisits the events of April 14, 1865, with a cast of historical characters who were present, including Ford’s Theatre co-owner Harry Ford and stage actor Harry Hawk. As they reconstruct the sequence of events, they grapple with the question: Could John Wilkes Booth have been stopped from assassinating President Abraham Lincoln?

Upcoming Cabinet Conversations with David Rubenstein, Gen. James N. Mattis, Rex W. Tillerson, Sheldon Epps, Erik King, Tamika Y. Nunley and Martha S. Jones

Live virtual events are simulcast Feb. 25, March 4 and 18 via Ford’s Theatre Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitter and website at 4:00 p.m. EST

February 25, 2021: “Cabinet Conversation: Black Voices in American Theatre,” with Ford’s Theatre Senior Artistic Advisor Sheldon Epps and Actor Erik King. ” March 4, 2021: “Cabinet Conversation: Lincoln and Leadership,” with Former U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis, Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and Philanthropist David M. Rubenstein. March 18, 2021: “Cabinet Conversation: Black Women Leading the Change-Pioneers from the Civil War to Today,” with Tamika Y. Nunley and Martha S. Jones. Each 50-minute conversation includes viewer Q&A, and connects lessons of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and legacy to contemporary life.

Ford’s Theatre Launches Speech Workshop Series: “Our Words, Our Power” February 22-June 21, 2021

Monthly workshops explore how ordinary citizens and public figures use their words to inspire change

Washington, D.C. – Ford’s Theatre announced the launch of its monthly “Our Words, Our Power” workshop series, exploring how ordinary citizens and public figures use their words to inspire change and shape our world. The hour-long workshops are livestreamed over Zoom at 7:00 p.m. ET on select Mondays, February 22 - June 21, 2021. Each includes a performance of a notable speech or poem on a particular theme, a facilitated discussion on the speech’s impact, the emotions evoked and the relevancy of the words today, and applicable tips that anyone can use to improve public speaking.

Ford’s Theatre Society Chairman Phebe N. Novakovic Announces New Board of Trustees Members

Washington, D.C.—Ford’s Theatre Society Chairman Phebe N. Novakovic announced the nonprofit’s new members of the Board of Trustees. New members include B.J. Agugliaro, Steven Barry, Andy Blocker, Elaine Chao, Dianne Cleaver, Mark Crawford, Alphonso Jackson and Marc Lampkin. The Board of Trustees of Ford’s Theatre Society is the governing body with responsibility for governance and oversight of the Society. Members serve three-year terms, with possibility of nomination for an additional three-year term. A complete list of current Board of Trustees members is available on the Ford’s Theatre website at https://www.fords.org/about.

Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site Temporarily Closes Until Further Notice in Response to Rising Local and Regional Cases of COVID-19

Virtual Live, Interactive and On-Demand Distance-Learning Programs Continue

Washington, D.C. – Due to rising regional and national cases related to the coronavirus pandemic, Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site will temporarily close to the public starting Monday, Nov. 23. Virtual programming such as the scheduled monthly Cabinet Conversations (Dec. 17), Virtual Play Readings (Dec. 10) and distance-learning events will continue. “Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service reopened Ford’s Theatre and its museum on a limited basis on October 14, after a seven-month closure,” explained Paul R. Tetreault, director of Ford’s Theatre Society. “We have implemented a series of new health and safety measures to safely welcome back visitors. However, we cannot ignore the rising cases in our city and region. Based on the data and in partnership with the National Park Service, we are reclosing the site to further protect our staff and visitors.”

Ford’s Theatre Partners With WAMU 88.5 FM To Present Radio Play of “A Christmas Carol”

Audio available to Ford’s Theatre Members December 7, 2020; To the Public on www.fords.org December 14, 2020; WAMU 88.5 FM Broadcast at noon ET December 25, 2020

Washington, D.C. – In time for the holiday season and in partnership with WAMU 88.5, Washington, D.C.’s NPR news station, Ford’s Theatre presents a one-hour radio play adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, featuring acclaimed Washington actor Craig Wallace as Ebenezer Scrooge. WAMU will broadcast the play on December 25, 2020, at noon ET. The radio play will also be made available to Ford’s Theatre Members on December 7 and to the public on December 14, via the Ford’s Theatre website, www.fords.org/carol-radio. In addition, WAMU will make the broadcast available to other public media stations nationwide during December 2020.

Phased Reopening of Ford’s Theatre Site Announced by Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service

Reopening for Museum and Theatre Wednesday, October 14, 2020; Advance Ticket Reservations Required; Tickets for October 14-18 available online beginning October 13 at 10 a.m; Petersen House and Aftermath Exhibits Remain Closed

Washington – Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service announce a phased reopening schedule for Ford’s Theatre and the Ford’s Theatre Museum beginning Wednesday, October 14, 2020, with advance tickets required. Tickets for October 14-18 will be available online beginning October 13, 2020, at 10 a.m. Following the initial opening, Ford’s Theatre and its museum will operate with a modified schedule for daytime visitation on Wednesdays through Sundays with required advance tickets. Timed entry to Ford’s Theatre and museum will be available on the hour from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The site will be closed during the 1 p.m. hour for cleaning. Adhering to capacity policies set forth by DC Health, a maximum number of 25 visitors per hour are permitted in the building during this stage of reopening.

Ford’s Announces Changes to 2020-2021 Theatre Season

A Christmas Carol To Be Released as a Radio Play; Revised Three-Play Spring Season Focuses on Civil Rights Icons; New Commissions of Plays by BIPOC Playwrights about BIPOC Figures in History

Washington, D.C.—Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault today announced updates to the Ford’s Theatre 2020-2021 season, following a revaluation amid the national reckoning for racial justice and the impacts of COVID-19 on live performances. The fall production of Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful” is canceled. “A Christmas Carol” will be released as a radio play featuring Craig Wallace as Scrooge. The revised three-play spring season focuses on Civil Rights Icons: “My Lord, What a Night” by Deborah Brevoort and directed by Sheldon Epps; “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall; “Necessary Sacrifices” by Richard Hellesen and directed by Psalmayene 24. New commissions of plays by BIPOC playwrights about BIPOC figures in history. “Guys and Dolls” is postponed. Virtual programming continues with Cabinet Conversations, Virtual Play Readings and educational distance-learning initiatives

Sheldon Epps Joins Ford’s Theatre Society as Senior Artistic Advisor

Epps Joins Team as Theatre Reevaluates 2020-2021 Season

Washington, D.C.— Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault today announced that Sheldon Epps will join the theatre’s leadership team as Senior Artistic Advisor. Epps steps into the new role as the theatre reevaluates its 2020-2021 season amid the national reckoning for racial justice and the impacts of COVID-19 on live performances. “I am thrilled to welcome Sheldon Epps to the Ford’s Theatre family,” said Tetreault. “D.C. audiences will know Sheldon from his 2019 production of “Twelve Angry Men,” when he gave new relevance to this iconic drama and its themes of racism in America. I have known Sheldon for more than 20 years and been an admirer of his work as a director and producer. Over the last several years, I have relied on his counsel not only for the works he has (and will) direct but also on his programming ideas and direction of the company. Sheldon’s insight, leadership, talent and deep capacity for empathy will be vital to our path forward. As we revisit our 2020-2021 season, we commit to using our power to tell stories that speak to the present moment with courage, hope, inspiration, joy and healing. We rededicate ourselves to the great work that consumed Lincoln’s life, building a more just and peaceful world, through the power of our creative voices.”