Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has announced initial casting for some of the productions that will be part of its 2017–2018 season in Washington, D.C.
Tony winner Donna McKechnie will play the role of Mabel in Arena Stage's production of The Pajama Game, which will be presented October 27–December 24. Directed by Alan Paul with choreography by Parker Esse and musical direction by James Cunningham, the production will also include Britney Coleman (fresh off her Broadway debut in Sunset Boulevard) as Babe and Edward Gero (Antonin Scalia in The Originalist at Arena Stage through August 6) as Hasler.
Harriett D. Foy, who has been seen on Broadway in Amelie, Amazing Grace, and Mamma Mia!, will play singer Nina Simone in Nina Simone: Four Women, which runs November 10–December 24. Under the direction of Timothy Douglas, Christina Ham’s music-infused drama reveals how Simone helped define the sound of the Civil Rights Movement.
Kalani Queypo, whose screen credits include Jamestown, Saints & Strangers, Slow West, and The New World, will play John Ridge in Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Sovereignty, which will be seen at the D.C. venue January 12-February 18, 2018. Directed by Molly Smith, the world premiere concerns a young Cherokee lawyer fighting to restore her Nation's jurisdiction.
Following his performances in All the Way and The Mountaintop, Bowman Wright will return to the role of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Robert Schenkkan’s The Great Society. Wright will join the previously announced Jack Willis as President Lyndon Baines Johnson in the D.C. premiere, which will be directed by Kyle Donnelly and runs February 2-March 11.
Ryun Yu, who originated the role of Gordon Hirabayashi in Hold These Truths in 2007, will bring Jeanne Sakata’s drama to Arena Stage February 23-April 8. Directed by Jessica Kubzansky, the solo show tells the true story of Hirabayashi, the American son of Japanese immigrants who defied an unjust court order when America placed its own citizens in internment camps during World War II.
To purchase tickets visit ArenaStage.org or call (202) 488-3300.