Ford’s Theatre will resume in-person performance with a compelling season of productions that explore Civil Rights icons including Marian Anderson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the anticipated premiere of DC composer Nolan Williams Jr.’s musical Grace, and the joyful holiday return of A Christmas Carol.
“Our artists and staff are eager to bring these important stories to life on our stage,” said Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault. “We look forward to stepping safely out of this unforgettable year into what will surely be a meaningful, thought-provoking, and joyful season at the theater. We cannot wait to reconnect with audiences this fall.”
The Ford’s Theatre 2021–2022 season begins with the previously scheduled DC premiere of My Lord, What a Night. Written by Deborah Brevoort and directed by Sheldon Epps, the play explores the real-life friendship of contralto Marian Anderson and physicist Albert Einstein during the lead-up to her history-changing concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Felicia Curry will play Anderson, Christopher Bloch will play Einstein, Michael Russotto will play Abraham Flexner, and Franchelle Stewart Dorn will play Mary Church Terrell. Performances are October 1–24, 2021. An on-demand, streaming version of the production will also be available for sale to the public during the run. My Lord, What a Night is recommended for ages 12 and older.
The must-see holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol returns to the Ford’s Theatre stage November 24 to December 27, 2021. The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption, with Craig Wallace reprising the role of Ebenezer Scrooge for his sixth year. The Washington Post proclaims the Ford’s production as “musically high-spirited” and “infectiously jolly.” The production is recommended for ages 5 and older.
Following A Christmas Carol, the Ford’s Theatre will produce The Mountaintop by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Katori Hall. The Mountaintop is a gripping reimagination of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. KenYatta Rogers will play King and Shannon Dorsey will play Camae in the production, directed by Nicole A. Watson. Performances are January 21 to February 13, 2022. The Mountaintop is recommended for ages 14 and older.
The season concludes with the world-premiere musical Grace by Nolan Williams Jr., directed and choreographed by Robert Barry Fleming. Scored with jazz, R&B, rousing up-tempos, and raise-the-roof ballads, Grace is a musical feast examining African-American culinary tradition and the challenges faced by Black-owned businesses. The story captures a day in the life of the Mintons, a Philadelphia family who gather to mourn the loss of their matriarch and deal with the future of their family restaurant in a changing neighborhood. Performances of Grace are March 18 to May 14, 2022. The production is recommended for ages 10 and older.
Free First Preview
In partnership with TodayTix, Ford’s Theatre is continuing its commitment to offer more than 1,950 free performance tickets to the company’s mainstage productions during the 2021–2022 season. All tickets to the first preview performances of My Lord, What a Night; The Mountaintop; and Grace will be offered free of charge via a ticket lottery on the TodayTix app, and at least 150 free tickets will be made available for the first preview performance of A Christmas Carol. More than 6,000 tickets have been given away since the start of the Free First Preview initiative, which seeks to remove price barriers and build audiences in a more inclusive way.
Discounts are available for groups, senior citizens, military personnel, and those younger than age 35. Ford’s Theatre also offers weekday student matinees, post-performance discussions, and tailored lessons to complement educator curriculum.
Ford’s Theatre 2021-2022 Season
My Lord, What a Night
By Deborah Brevoort | Directed by Sheldon Epps
October 1–24, 2021
Member Pre-Sale: July 26–28, 2021
Public On-Sale: July 29, 2021
After performing in Princeton, New Jersey, acclaimed contralto Marian Anderson is denied lodging at the Nassau Inn because she is Black. Physicist Albert Einstein invites her to stay at his home, and the two form a profound friendship based on their love for music and their commitment to human rights. Based on true events, My Lord, What a Night takes us into Einstein’s home and imagines the conversations and circumstances that led to Anderson’s historic concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Ford’s Senior Artistic Advisor Sheldon Epps (Twelve Angry Men) returns to direct Felicia Curry as Marian Anderson, Christopher Bloch as Albert Einstein, Michael Russotto as Abraham Flexner, and Franchelle Stewart Dorn as Mary Church Terrell in this remarkable new play about friendship, courage, justice, and our shared humanity.
A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens | Adapted and Directed by Michael Wilson
Featuring Craig Wallace as Scrooge
November 24 to December 27, 2021
Member Pre-Sale: September 27–29, 2021
Public On Sale: September 30, 2021
Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Craig Wallace reprises the role of Ebenezer Scrooge for his sixth year. The Washington Post proclaims the Ford’s production as “musically high-spirited” and “infectiously jolly.” The production is recommended for ages 5 and older.
By Katori Hall | Directed by Nicole A. Watson
January 21 to February 13, 2022
Member Pre-Sale: October 12-14, 2021
Public On-Sale: October 18, 2021
A gripping reimagination of events the night before the assassination of the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On April 3, 1968, after delivering one of his most memorable speeches, an exhausted Dr. King retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel while a storm rages outside. When a mysterious stranger arrives with some surprising news, King is forced to confront his destiny and his legacy to his people. KenYatta Rogers plays King with Shannon Dorsey as Camae.
By Nolan Williams Jr. | Directed and Choreographed by Robert Barry Fleming
March 18 to May 14, 2022
Member Pre-Sale: October 12–14, 2021
Public On-Sale: October 18, 2021
Packed with an eclectic mix of styles including jazz, R&B, rousing up-tempos and raise-the-roof ballads, Grace is an electrifying musical feast celebrating the perseverance of family and the power of traditions. This new musical by Nolan Williams Jr. captures a day in the life of the Mintons, a Philadelphia family who gather to mourn the loss of their matriarch and deal with the future of their family restaurant in a changing neighborhood. Explore the little-told history of African American culinary tradition and the challenges faced by Black-owned businesses in this timely, heartfelt and hopeful story.
Ford’s Theatre Society continues to work in collaboration with the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates (GW MFA) to develop safety protocols for all who visit Ford’s Theatre. Specific performance protocols will be announced closer to each production’s on-sale date.
The advice and expertise of the medical staff at the GW MFA, which is based on data and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has helped Ford’s strengthen safety procedures to better serve and protect patrons, artists and staff as we increase visitation at the historic site and plan for resuming productions.
Ford’s Theatre Society
One of the most visited sites in the nation’s capital, Ford’s Theatre reopened its doors in 1968, more than a hundred years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Operated through a partnership between Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service, Ford’s Theatre is the premier destination in the nation’s capital to explore and celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s life and legacy.
Ford’s Theatre Society was founded under the guidance of executive producer Frankie Hewitt, who, during her 35-year tenure, established Ford’s as a living, working theater producing performances that highlighted the diversity of the American experience. Since the arrival of Paul R. Tetreault as Director, critics and the theatergoing public have recognized Ford’s for the superior quality of its artistic programming. With works from the Tony-nominated Come From Away and the nationally acclaimed Big River, to the world premieres of Meet John Doe, The Heavens Are Hung In Black, Liberty Smith, Necessary Sacrifices, The Widow Lincoln and The Guard, Ford’s Theatre is making its mark on the American theater landscape. In the past decade, the mission of Ford’s Theatre Society expanded to include education as a central pillar. This expansion led to the creation and construction of the Center for Education and Leadership, which opened in February 2012. Under the current leadership of Board of Trustees Chairman Phebe N. Novakovic and through the lens of Lincoln’s leadership and legacy, Ford’s today endeavors to advance Lincoln’s “unfinished work” with programs and performances that cultivate empathy, encourage dialogue and bridge divides in American life.
Performances will be at Ford’s Theatre, 514 Tenth Street NW, Washington, DC. For more information on Ford’s Theatre and the Ford’s Theatre Society, visit fords.org.