Ford's Theatre Announces Lincoln Legacy Commissions

By David J. Kent

Washington D.C.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021



Ford's Theatre always seems to have Lincoln in mind when they put on new stage events. Now they've created a new artistic initiative they call The Lincoln Legacy Commissions. Ford's will "foster the writing of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) playwrights. In addition to giving opportunities to writers who have historically been missing on the stage, the program hopes to "serve as an incubator for stories about social justice and racial history." Plays will "explore the varied experiences of underrepresented characters and lesser-known historical figures and their contributions to American history."


The inaugural Commissions have been awarded to playwrights Pearl Cleage, Rickerby Hinds, Nambi E. Kelley, Dominic Taylor, and Charlayne Woodard. More information about these five playwrights is available on the Ford's website.


Part of the Lincoln Legacy Commission program will include developmental workshops, first readings, and possibly, world-premier productions. The initiative was announced by Ford's Theatre Director Paul Tetreault and will be shepherded by the Ford's artistic staff: Senior Artistic Advisor Sheldon Epps, Director of Artistic Programming Jose Carrasquillo, and the Lincoln Legacy Commissions Advisor Sydne Mahone.


As noted here a few weeks ago, Ford's has reopened the theatre and museum for visitors. Limited time tickets are currently required and the Petersen House remains closed. Keep up on the evolving post-COVID reopening schedule here.


The Lincoln Group of DC has had a long relationship with Ford's Theatre, the site of Lincoln's assassination. Our Study Forum met in the Ford's Center for Leadership and Education each month for several years until COVID forced us into a virtual format. We're hoping to revisit the idea of in-person meetings as soon as Ford's is fully open for business again.