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For Immediate Release: December 22, 2008; Updated January 29, 2009

Press Contact: Lauren Beyea Direct Dial: 202.434.9543 Cell Phone: 203.751.1004 LBeyea@fords.org

FORD’S THEATRE REOPENS WITH A WORLD PREMIERE OF

THE HEAVENS ARE HUNG IN BLACK
BY JAMES STILL DIRECTED BY STEPHEN RAYNE
Production features David Selby as Abraham Lincoln
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ford’s Theatre reopens following an 18-month renovation with a world premiere of a newly commissioned play The Heavens Are Hung In Black by James Still, directed by Stephen Rayne from February 3-March 8, 2009. Highlighting the five months between the death of Lincoln’s young son Willie and the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation, James Still’s brave and ambitious new play The Heavens Are Hung In Black offers a glimpse into the personal and political challenges that Lincoln faced during 1862. The production features acclaimed stage and screen actor David Selby as President Abraham Lincoln. Additional casting includes Norman Aronovic, Steven Carpenter, Jonathan Fielding, Michael Goodwin, Edward James Hyland, Beth Hylton, Michael Kramer, Robin Moseley, Hugh Nees, David Emerson Toney, Chaney Tullos, Jonathan Watkins and Scott Westerman, with James Chatham, Benjamin Cook and Benjamin Schiffbauer. Heavens paints a picture of Abraham Lincoln as a forward-thinking leader during one of the Civil War’s most critical times. Over the course of the play, Lincoln is visited in dreams by Jefferson Davis, Dread Scott and Uncle Tom at moments when their life experience might aid his decision-making about the war and the Emancipation Proclamation. “We are thrilled to reopen Ford’s Theatre with this historic world premiere,” said Paul R. Tetreault, director of Ford’s Theatre. “James Still has written a remarkable play that explores one of the most crucial years of Lincoln’s presidency. This play, along with the many special events we have planned for February, will provide a magnificent tribute to our greatest president.” “The challenge of writing The Heavens Are Hung In Black was to maintain the integrity of Lincoln’s character and the history of the Civil War while infusing the story with imagination and human elements,” said playwright James Still. “Heavens offers a glimpse into the world of one of our nation’s most important presidents and raises questions about how we might have behaved if faced with the pressures of that crucial time in our nation’s history.”

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This production is made possible by BAE Systems, Verizon, BP America, Visa Inc. and the National Endowment for the Arts. Ford’s Theatre stages are Built by The Home Depot. Chevron is a 2008-2009 season sponsor. THE PLAYWRIGHT James Still returns to Ford’s Theatre with a world premiere of The Heavens Are Hung In Black. His Looking Over the President’s Shoulder premiered at Ford’s as part of the 2003-2004 season. Still’s work has been featured in New Visions/New Voices at the Kennedy Center, developed and workshopped at Sundance and showcased on stages throughout Europe, North America and Australia. During his 10 years as artist-in-residence at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Still was a two-time recipient of the TCG/Pew Charitable Trust National Theatre Artists Residency Grant. Still also was awarded the William Inge Festival's Otis Gurnsey New Voices in American Theatre award and the Charlotte B. Chorpenning Playwright Award for Distinguished Body of Work. His television writing and producing credits include Paz for The Learning Channel and Discovery Kids, Frog and Friends for Amsterdam-based Telescreen, and Miffy. Additionally, he served as writer and story editor for Maurice Sendak's Little Bear and the Bill Cosby series Little Bill on Nickelodeon. Still has been nominated for five Emmys and a Television Critics Association Award. THE DIRECTOR Director Stephen Rayne makes his Ford’s Theatre debut with The Heavens Are Hung In Black. Rayne’s directorial credits include productions of A View from the Bridge, A Christmas Carol, Hay Fever, Closer, Equus and House and Garden at the Alley Theatre, Macbeth for the New York Arts Festival and productions of Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot in St. Louis and Chicago. Additionally, Rayne has directed productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company (The Plantagenets, Twelfth Night, Venus and Adonis, Totem, All God’s Chillun got Wings and Kiss Me, Kate!), London’s National Theatre (Peter Grimes, The Relapse, The Coast of Utopia), Hampstead Theatre and Royal Opera House, among others. THE CAST David Selby makes his Ford’s Theatre debut as Abraham Lincoln. Selby’s long stage career includes multiple productions for Broadway including The Heiress and The Eccentricities of a Nightingale and several shows Off-Broadway and at the Kennedy Center. His regional credits include performances with the Alley Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre Center, Public Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, American Shakespeare Festival, Pasadena Playhouse and others. Selby created the role of Quentin Collins on television’s Dark Shadows and Richard Channing on Falcon Crest, starred opposite Jane Alexander on HBO’s series Tell Me You Love Me and most recently guest-starred

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on CBS’ Cold Case. His many film credits include Up the Sandbox with Barbara Streisand, Night of Dark Shadows, Dying Young with Campell Scott and Julia Roberts, and White Squall. An accomplished playwright and novelist, Selby’s most recent book Lincoln’s Better Angel, reflects on the personal impact of war. In the late 1990s, Selby performed the role of Abraham Lincoln in the New York, Charleston and Washington, D.C., performances of his stage play Lincoln and James. Additionally, Selby has narrated several programs for L.A. Theatre Works, National Public Radio and the BBC. Selby received his BS and MS degrees from West Virginia University, where he was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and holds a PhD in Theatre from Southern Illinois University. The cast also includes Norman Aronovic, Steven Carpenter, Jonathan Fielding, Michael Goodwin, Edward James Hyland, Beth Hylton, Michael Kramer, Robin Moseley, Hugh Nees, David Emerson Toney, Chaney Tullos, Jonathan Watkins and Scott Westerman, with James Chatham, Benjamin Cook and Benjamin Schiffbauer. THE DESIGNERS For the production, Rayne has assembled a team of talented designers to illustrate the political and personal life of Abraham Lincoln during 1862. Obie- and Drama Desk-nominated set designer Takeshi Kata has created a White House office with walls that track off to reveal the wider world of Lincoln’s Washington. Costume Designer Wade Laboissonniere’s period designs and dark color palate reflect the mood of the characters’ inner struggles and a nation at war. The Heavens design team also includes Lighting Design by Pat Collins (Elmer Gantry, I’m Not Rappaport, A Christmas Carol), Sound Design and Original Music by Ryan Rumery (Broadway’s Thurgood with Laurence Fishburne), Video Design by Clint Allen, Hair and Wig Design by Cookie Jordan and Dialect Consulting by Lynn Watson. The production team also includes Production Stage Manager Brandon Prendergast and Assistant Stage Manager Kate Kilbane. SPECIAL PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS There will be audio-described performances of The Heavens Are Hung In Black on Tuesday, February 17, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 22, at 2:30 p.m. Sign-interpreted performances are Wednesday, February 18, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 1, at 2:30 p.m. Following the 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, February 22, and Sunday, March 1, members of the cast will take questions from the audience and discuss the artistic process. Postperformance discussions begin immediately following the performance. Individuals wishing to attend the discussion will be invited into the theatre for the discussion after the audience from the performance departs.

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FACT SHEET: The Heavens Are Hung In Black By James Still * Directed by Stephen Rayne Ford’s Theatre presents the world premiere of a newly commissioned play The Heavens Are Hung In Black by James Still, directed by Stephen Rayne, for the reopening of the renovated Ford’s Theatre space, February 3-March 8, 2009. Highlighting the five months between the death of Lincoln’s young son Willie and the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation, The Heavens Are Hung In Black offers a glimpse into the personal and political challenges Lincoln faced during 1862. The production features acclaimed stage and screen actor David Selby as President Abraham Lincoln. DATES: February 3 to March 8, 2009 Press and Opening Night: February 8, 2009 LOCATION: Ford’s Theatre is located at 511 10th St. NW, between E and F streets. TIMES: Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. (except February 10, 11, 12 and 15); matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. (except February 7, 8 and 15); matinee at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 19; matinee at noon on February 26 and March 5. TICKETS: $16-$52 with discounts available for student groups and senior citizens. ACCESSIBILITY: Ford’s Theatre is accessible to persons with disabilities, offering wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms and audio enhancement. There will be audio-described performances of The Heavens Are Hung In Black on Tuesday, February 17, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 22, at 2:30 p.m. Sign-interpreted performances are Wednesday, February 18, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 1, at 2:30 p.m. Following the 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, February 22, and Sunday, March 1, members of the cast will take questions from the audience and discuss the artistic process. Post-performance discussions begin immediately after the performance. Individuals wishing to attend the discussion will be invited into the theatre for the discussion after the audience from the performance departs. PARKING: Paid parking is available in the 24-hour QuickPark garage (Grand Hyatt Hotel) on 10th Street, Central Parking garage on 10th Street, and the Atlantic Garage below Ford’s Theatre (at 511 10th Street, NW). METRO: Metro Center station (Red, Blue and Orange Lines) is two and one half blocks north of the theatre from the Eleventh Street exit. Gallery Pl-Chinatown station (Red, Yellow and Green Lines) is two and one half blocks north of the theatre from the G Street exit. For further information, call Metro at (202) 637-7000. Tickets at TicketMaster: (202) 397-SEAT TTD: (877) 474-4833 Toll Free: (800) 899-2367 www.Fords.org Information: (202) 434-9548