The ghosts of American history will join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Be in Ford Theatre’s 2011-2012 season which the Company announced yesterday.
Ford’s will open the season with a Jason Robert Brown musical about one of the most despicable events in American history – the trial and lynching of Leo Frank. Parade will feature the Tony Award-winning Euan Morton as Frank, a Jewish factory manager unjustly accused of murdering a teenage girl and lynched by a crowd of bigots. A hard subject for a musical, no doubt, but Newsday called the show “one of the most gratifying serious book musicals in a long time,” and it won Tony Awards for Best Book (Alfred Uhry) and Best Score. Directed by Stephen Rayne, choreographed by Karma Camp and co-produced by Theater J, Parade will run from September 23 to October 30 of this year.
On the other end of the spectrum – both temporal and emotional – Ford’s will also be producing 1776, Peter Stone’s and Sherman Edwards’ witty and Tony-winning celebration of the opening minutes of American independence. Taken principally from the point of view of that dyspeptic agitator for American independence, John Adams, (and in part from letters which he and Mrs. Adams exchanged), 1776 tracks the struggle of the Second Continental Congress to grasp the concept that the American people are free and independent, if they would declare themselves so. Directed by Peter Flynn and choreographed by Michael Bobbitt, 1776 will run from March 9 to May 12 of 2012.
In January, Ford’s will open its Center for Leadership and Education with a commissioned play by Richard Hellesen (One Destiny, Investigation: Detective McDevitt, The Road from Appomattox) in which Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass struggle with the concept of a post-emancipation America. Further details about the play, which will run from January 20 to February 12, 2012, were unavailable at press time.
Finally, Ford’s will be bringing back an old standard for the holiday season – A Christmas Carol, once again featuring Ed Gero as the miser-in-chief. Mark Ramont will restage Michael Baron’s concept of Michael Wilson’s adaptation from November 18 until the end of 2011.
Tickets go on sale for the public on August 29, 2011, and for group sales and members of Friends of Ford’s Theatre, on August 15th.