Corwin's The Rivalry, About Lincoln and Douglas, Will Play Ford's Theatre; Season Announced

News   Corwin's The Rivalry, About Lincoln and Douglas, Will Play Ford's Theatre; Season Announced Ford's Theatre Society director Paul Tetreault announced the 2009-10 mainstage season at Ford's Theatre, to include a Norman Corwin play about the debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas — and the insights of Douglas' wife, Adele.

The Rivalry will be directed by Ford's director of theatre programming Mark Ramont and will feature Washinton, DC, stars Rick Foucheux and Sarah Zimmerman.

The slate includes a new production of Little Shop of Horrors, a return of A Christmas Carol and the black folk-music play, Black Pearl Sings!

In addition to the mainstage season, the Society will present political comedian Mark Russell Feb. 17-20, 2010.

Here's Ford's Theatre season at a glance:

Black Pearl Sings! by Frank Higgins, directed by Jennifer L. Nelson, Sept. 25-Oct. 18. "Susannah, a song collector for the Library of Congress, travels the country seeking little-known melodies. When she encounters Pearl in a Texas prison, she discovers dozens of musical treasures rooted in the African tradition. Pearl must decide whether to give away her ancestors' songs for a chance at her own freedom. Music unites strangers in a powerful story that illuminates America's racial divisions and the attempts of two women to bridge them. Jennifer L. Nelson returns to direct for the first time since her critically acclaimed production of Jitney." A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Michael Wilson, directed by Michael Baron, Nov. 23, 2009-Jan. 3, 2010. "Ford's Theatre presents a new production of A Christmas Carol that reinvigorates this timeless tale. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption."

The Rivalry by Norman Corwin, directed by Mark Ramont, Jan. 22-Feb. 14, 2010. "Over the course of seven debates, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas tackled the hot topics of their day: states' rights, slavery and the intent of the Constitution. The Rivalry captures the fiery rhetoric and wry humor of those debates, while adding the insights of Douglas' wife, Adele. As Lincoln and Douglas race for the chance to be U.S. Senator, Adele reexamines her own concepts of freedom."

Little Shop of Horrors by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, directed by Coy Middlebrook, March 12-May 23, 2010. "One of the most popular musicals of all time, Little Shop of Horrors tells the story of the well-meaning flower shop employee Seymour Krelborn and his wisecracking carnivorous plant, Audrey II. Seymour delights in the attention his leafy friend attracts, but when Audrey II develops a craving for human flesh, the situation spins out of control."

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Since its reopening in 1968, more than a hundred years after the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, has been one of the most visited sites in the nation's capital. Ford's Theatre's mission is "to celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and explore the American experience through theatre and education."

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.

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

For information on the National Park Service and the Ford's Theatre National Historic Site, please visit www.nps.gov/foth.