Ford’s Theatre will present two of the best-known theater stories in the English-speaking canon and two plays about outsiders in America in its 2019-2020 season, the company announced yesterday.
The estimable Craig Wallace, long familiar to Ford’s audiences, will play the tortured Troy Maxson, a onetime Negro League star who now works on a sanitation crew in Ford’s season-opening production of August Wilson’s Fences. Set in 1950’s Pittsburgh, Fences is a portrait of a man simmering in resentment, who feels betrayed by his society but who in turn betrays his wife and son. Fences won the best-play Tony in 1987. Timothy Douglas will direct the play, which also features Erika Rose. From September 27 to October 27 of this year.
Mr. Wallace will appear again, this time as the dastardly miser Ebenezer Scrooge in Michael Wilson’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In this play, Scrooge, having — oh, well, you know what happens. As he has in years past, Michael Baron directs. From November 21, 2019, to January 1, 2020.
Silent Sky, by the prolific Lauren Gunderson (whose The Book of Will, well received here in its 2017 Round House showing, won the Steinberg Prize) will open the 2020 portion of Ford’s season. This is the story of Henrietta Leavitt and her fellow female astronomers at the Harvard Observatory, who, notwithstanding that they were not permitted to use the observatory’s refracting telescope, discovered 2400 stars and a way to measure the distance between earth and other galaxies. “‘Silent Sky,’…shines with the luminous joy of re-centering women whose achievements have been too long overlooked by the telescope of history,” said Kerry Reid of the Chicago Tribune. Seema Sueko, who directed Arena’s The Heiress, will direct this play. From January 24 to February 23 of next year.
Ford’s closes its season with the raucous musical Guys and Dolls. Okay, here’s the bet: notorious gangster Nathan Detroit bets notorious gangster Skye Masterson $1,000 that he can’t get the pious missionary Sarah Brown to go to dinner with him — in Havana. (Since it’s set in the 1920s, these are all “fun” gangsters.) Based on the stories of Damon Runyon, this musical, with a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows and music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, was recommended for the Pulitzer prize but vetoed by the Trustees because of Burrows’ difficulties with the House Un-American Activities Committee. Peter Flynn directs. From March 13 to May 20, 2020.
Season tickets will be available to members on August 12, 2019 and to the public on August 28. Tickets for Fences are available here.