Ford’s Theatre goes (mostly) with the familiar in 2012-2013

Ford’s Theatre will focus on classic stories during its 2012-2013 season, the company announced last night, but will also feature Fly, a Lincoln Legacy Project production about the Tuskegee Airmen which has already played to acclaim in New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Fly, which will run from September 21 to October 21 of this year, traces the struggle of four young black men from different parts of the world who enter the Tuskegee program, endure a rigorous (and occasionally humiliating) basic training, and undertake a dangerous mission against the Nazis. “Let’s get right to the point,” Anita Gates of the New York Times said. “’Fly’ blew me away.”

Fly features some unusual techniques, including video footage and a “Tap Griot” who tells part of the story through tap dancing. “The Griot is just the kind of risky theatrical device that could go embarrassingly wrong,” Gates points out, “but in ‘Fly’ the execution is as inspired as the concept. The Griot appears throughout the play, commenting choreographically on events and emotions.”

Fly comes from the pens of Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan, who will direct.

Ford’s, a recognized historical landmark as the site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, will, for the rest of the season, feature plays which are themselves historical landmarks. From November 16 through December 30, Ford’s will reprise A Christmas Carol, with Edward Gero once again in the iconic role of Ebenezer Scrooge.  Michael Baron will direct the Michael Wilson-adapted script.

The company will start the new year with a 75th anniversary production of Our Town, Thornton Wilder’s then-unconventional examination of life in a rural New Hampshire community at the turn of the last century. Our Town famously features a “Stage Manager” who periodically addresses the audience as he takes it through the everyday life, marriage, and death of the town’s principal characters. Stephen Rayne (Parade, Sabrina Fair) directs the production, which the company said would have a “multi-ethnic cast.” It will run between January 18 and February 17 of next year.

Ford’s season will end with a co-production (with Signature Theatre ) of Hello, Dolly!, a musical in which a member of the 1% asks a professional matchmaker to find him a wife and the matchmaker decides to appoint herself to the position. This Michael Stewart/Jerry Herman collaboration also owes a debt to Wilder, as it was derived from his play The Matchmaker. Signature Artistic Director Eric Schaffer will direct this production, which will run between March 15 and May 18 of 2013.

Ford’s Theatre will also continue its performances of One Destiny and its History on Foot walking tours.

Tickets for the 2012-2013 season go on sale to the general public August 20, 2012; group sales and members of Ford’s Theatre can purchase tickets beginning August 6th. Click here for more information, or call the box office: 202 347-4833.

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