By Wendy Swanson
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
A highlight of our Centennial program on May 22 promises to be our revisiting of an iconic image from the Memorial’s history – that of Marian Anderson’s performance at her 1939 Easter Sunday concert. DC-based and award-winning actress and singer Felicia Curry (see photo), a local favorite, will portray Marian Anderson for the occasion. As part of our program, she is scheduled to perform the National Anthem as well as two numbers from Anderson’s songbook from the 1939 concert, an event that that transformed the Memorial into a symbol for racial justice.
This will not be Ms. Curry’s first appearance as Marian Anderson. She recently performed the role as the famed singer in the Ford’s Theatre production of My Lord, What a Night. That play told the story of the real-life friendship that developed between Anderson and scientist Albert Einstein, the social issues of the day and the events leading to the 1939 concert. That moment at the end of the play when Curry, as Anderson, sang “America” before a backdrop of the Memorial’s Lincoln resulted in a theater moment that will be long remembered by those in the audience. Not a stranger to portraying iconic figures, she also has channeled Nina Simone in Nina Simone Four Women at the Berkshire Theatre Group.
A familiar face to theatergoers in the DC metro area, Curry serves as the current host of WETA Arts on WETA/PBS. She has hosted Theatre:Washington’s Helen Hayes Awards three times and has been awarded the honor herself on multiple occasions. Her portrayal of Celie in The Color Purple at the Virginia Reparatory Theatre also earned her a best lead actress award.
Curry has been named one of “12 DC Stage Dynamos” by The Washington Post and one of “DC’s Biggest Theatre Stars;” by Washington Magazine. She is a resident company member at Factory 449 in DC, Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, on the Advisory Board (Artistic Associate) at Ford’s Theatre and on the Washington Area Performing Arts Video Archive (WAPAVA) Board of Directors.
In the DC Metro Area, she has performed at numerous theatrical venues including Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, Rep Stage, Studio Theatre, Signature Theatre, and MetroStage. Ms. Curry is currently performing in Our Town at the Shakespeare Theatre Company and will be seen later this summer in The Color Purple at Signature Theatre.
We invite you to join us on May 22 at the Lincoln Memorial to see this event from our nation’s history come to life as part of our commemorative celebration.