DC's Ford's Theatre Has Thornton Wilder, Carson McCullers and Big River in 2004-05

News   DC's Ford's Theatre Has Thornton Wilder, Carson McCullers and Big River in 2004-05 Ford's Theatre producing director Paul R. Tetreault announced Ford's 2004-2005 "season of Americana," to include Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding and the DeafWest staging of the musical, Big River.

Also in 2004-05 for the resident Washington, DC, theatre, A Christmas Carol returns with a new conception and physical production, followed by a Jan. 18-23, 2005 engagement of political satirist Mark Russell in Mark Russell: Comedy! Music! Bribery! & Conspiracy!

Ford's also announced the DC area's first membership program, Friends of Ford's Theatre, which provides the advantages of a subscription series, but with more flexibility and convenience.

Wilder's The Matchmaker, a comedy about embracing life fully (and the inspiration for Hello, Dolly!) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Mark Lamos will direct the Sept. 24-Oct. 24 revival. The design team includes Michael H.Yergan (set), Wade Laboissonniere (costumes) and Rui Rita (lighting).

Five-time Tony nominee Marshall W. Mason, known for his collaborations with Lanford Wilson, will stage the Southern-set coming-of-age drama, The Member of the Wedding, Feb. 4-27, 2005. The Member of the Wedding creative team also includes set designer John Lee Beatty, lighting designer Dennis Parichy and costume designer Jennifer von Mayrhauser.

Ford's co-production of Deaf West's groundbreaking, Tony nominated Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (adapted from the novel by Mark Twain) makes its Washington debut March 18-May 1, 2005, featuring deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing actors under the direction of Jeffrey Calhoun. In late 2004, the annual Dickens show at the holidays will be called A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas. Director Matt August (associate director, The Full Monty, Henry IV Broadway) helms, and Mark Bennett provides a new score for this completely new physical production. It plays Nov. 23-Jan. 2, 2005.

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According to a May 21 announcement, "In response to patrons who requested more flexibility in their theatre going experience, Ford's has replaced its subscription series with a new, more convenient 'Friends of Ford's Theatre' membership program, which is the first of its kind in the area. A $50 membership allows Friends to receive the advantages of last year's series, but without the commitment to certain nights, seats, or a full season.

"Friends receive advance notice of ticket sales that allows them to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public. Membership also includes discounted tickets for specific performances, a quarterly e-newsletter and invitations to members-only events, such as 'An Evening with the Producer,' 'Behind-the-Scenes Tours,' 'Conversations with the Artists,' and discounted coupons to certain Penn Quarter restaurants."

Ford's Theatre Society is a not-for-profit corporation created to produce live entertainment on Ford's historic stage. Paul R. Tetreault is producing director. "In tribute to President Abraham Lincoln's love of the performing arts, Ford's Theatre produces plays and musicals that underscore our country’s multiculturalism and illuminate the eclectic character of American life," according to its mission. "In the 36 seasons since reopening its doors, Ford’s has produced more than two-dozen world premieres, including Don’t Bother Me, I Can't Cope."

For more information on Ford's Theatre, please call (202) 347-4833 or visit www.fordstheatre.org.

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