Venue Details

Ford's Theatre
at E Street NW 511 Tenth Street NW Washington, DC 20004
Website Get directions
4.7 / 5 Rated by 64 members
Review from Eddie Eitches
Red Velvet 216 events 105 reviews

Frederick Douglas performer held a script, which was distracting as it was not explained that he was a substitute. Lincoln performer not audible at times.

reviewed Jan 29 2012 report as inappropriate
Review from GoldStar Member
Red Velvet 103 events 24 reviews

The stark stage with just a desk and a few chairs made the play even more focused and poignant. Phenomenal production with Broadway-caliber actors! Well done, Ford's Theater, well done.

reviewed Feb 14 2012 report as inappropriate
Review from Out and About
Red Velvet 25 events 12 reviews

Amazing to see that the political and social issues of yesteryear evoked dialogue and debate that finds itself familiar to the contemporary ear.
The actors were excellent,the play was well written and it was great to see the replacement for Mr....continued

reviewed Feb 01 2012 report as inappropriate
View All 41 Reviews
More Information

Quotes & Highlights

“Hellesen has seeded [the play] with colorful Civil War details and anchored it to a lively, often humorous portrait of the president. Fleshing out the portrait is David Selby, an actor who is an old pro at this particular game, having depicted Honest Abe in Ford’s The Heavens Are Hung In Black. The plays conflicts turn not so much on personalities as on big ideas: What does leadership entail? Do suffering and sacrifices have pay-offs, in religious terms or otherwise? And what kind of country is American meant to be? Obviously, many of these issues resonate – and aggravate – in our own political landscape.” —Washington Post
“Selby’s manner and disposition are engaging and nearly irresistible. It’s a masterful performance that must be seen to be believed. In perfect counterpoint is Wallace as Douglass, who ferocious countenance and booming voice could shake the mess out of misery.” --DC Theatre Scene
“A breath-taking step back in history. Craig Wallace as Frederick Douglass provides a powerful performance. He is fiery and fierce … his performance is nothing short of thrilling. Selby creates Lincoln as a real man. The humanity of Lincoln exudes from every inch of Selby’s body. Necessary Sacrifices is an exceptional masterpiece of historical reality. Any historian would be amazed, and those who wish to see history at its liveliest should attend.” —Maryland Theatre Scene (5/5 stars)


Hellesen’s previous works for Ford’s Theatre include One Destiny, Investigation: Detective McDevitt and The Road from Appomattox, three gripping and insightful explorations of critical moments in Civil War history. The world premiere of this work will coincide with the opening of the Center for Education and Leadership, which will include new galleries exploring the immediate aftermath of Lincoln’s assassination and the evolution of his legacy.

“Lincoln and Douglass: two self-made men from humble beginnings who influenced a nation. Both envisioned a world of freedom and equality, but they did not always see eye to eye on how to achieve that vision. This play explores Lincoln and his legacy from Douglass’s point of view.”  –Paul R. Tetreault, director, Ford’s Theatre

This play is recommended for ages 13 and up.

More to Explore

<em>The Sound of Music</em> <em>Outside Mullingar</em> <em>Fun Home</em> <em>The Jungle Book</em> <em>Cinco DC Mayo</em> Red, White & Brew Beer and Wine Festival