President Obama and First Lady Are Honorary Chairs of Arena Stage Gala at New DC Home

By Kenneth Jones
August 6, 2010

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be the honorary chairs for Arena Stage's grand re-opening and yearlong inaugural season at the Mead Center, which includes the Opening Gala Celebration Oct. 25.

Adrian Fenty, Mayor of the District of Columbia, and his wife, Michelle Fenty, will be honorary co-chairs.

The final construction touches are being put on Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, DC. The Tony Award-winning Arena Stage was one of the major regional theatres to emerge after World War II.

The Opening Gala Celebration will be a black-tie event within the Mead Center, featuring cocktails, dinner and an exclusive one-night-only performance headlined by Tony Award-winning Broadway actor Brian Stokes Mitchell.

Additionally, the evening will be emceed by award-winning journalist and ABC7/WJLA-TV anchor Leon Harris.

The Opening Gala Celebration (a benefit) supports all of Arena Stage's programs, "including the exciting work on our stage, our investment in new play development and our wide range of community engagement activities," according to a statement. "The support of both First Couples, representing the nation and the nation's capital, further emphasizes that Arena Stage's move back into the company's home in Southwest DC is a seminal moment for the future of American theatre."

For more information regarding the Opening Gala Celebration, including further casting and how to purchase tickets, visit

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater is a national center "dedicated to the production, presentation, development and study of American theatre." Now in its sixth decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 200,000. Molly Smith is artistic director; Edgar Dobie is managing director. Visit