Venue Details

Ford's Theatre
at E Street NW 511 Tenth Street NW Washington, DC 20004
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4.5 / 5 Rated by 33 members
Review from Leslie Baldwin
41 events 26 reviews

Great evening of theater especially for Lincoln and Civil War history lovers. Great acting especially the Douglas character and his wife. While I've heard of the debates, I had never before heard most of the text and also enjoyed the humor and...continued

reviewed Jan 26 2010 report as inappropriate
Review from Seymour Selig
34 events 22 reviews

A terrific event--the play, casting, performances, theater ambiance, all were super. The Lincoln museum annex is outstanding. It was a wonderfully informative and thoroughly enjoyable experience.

reviewed Jan 24 2010 report as inappropriate
Review from Jessah
4 events 2 reviews

Great performances all around, but especially Sarah Zimmerman as Mrs. Douglas. Seeing this play at Ford's Theatre was an incredibly special experience. Hearing Lincoln's words with a view of the box where he was shot gave this history junkie...continued

reviewed Jan 31 2010 report as inappropriate
View All 27 Reviews
More Information


Over the course of seven debates, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas tackled the hot topics of their day: state’s rights, slavery and the intent of the Constitution. __The Rivalry captures the fiery rhetoric and wry humor of those debates, while adding the insights of Douglas’s wife, Adele. As Lincoln and Douglas race for the chance to be U.S. Senator, Adele reexamines her own concepts of freedom. Ford’s Theatre Director of Theatre Programming Mark Ramont directs Robert Parsons as Abraham Lincoln, Helen Hayes Award winner Rick Foucheux as Stephen Douglas and Sarah Zimmerman (The Matchmaker)__ as Adele. The New York Times calls the play “evocative… and stirring theatre.”

“__The Rivalry is an incredibly inspiring story,” said director Mark Ramont. “Playwright Norman Corwin pulls most of his dialogue from the actual transcripts of the Lincoln-Douglas debate, so it’s a very true story. The play speaks to the power of an idea – in this case liberty for all __men – and its ability to propel a man of humble origins to the highest office in the land.”

Media partner WAMU-FM provides promotional support throughout the run.

Ford’s Theatre Society is pleased to acknowledge Lead Production Sponsor Exxon Mobil Corporation. The Rivalry also is sponsored in part by American Express, Altria Group, Inc., and the National Endowment for the Arts. Ford’s Theatre’s 2009-2010 season sponsors are The Home Depot and Chevron.


Mark Ramont makes his Ford’s Theatre directorial debut with __The Rivalry. __Ramont is Director of Theatre Programming for the Ford’s Theatre Society. Regional directing credits include __Midwives __for Round House, multiple productions for Circle Repertory Company (where he served as Associate Artistic Director), Stages Repertory Theatre and __How I Learned to Drive __for the Alley Theatre. He is a three-time recipient of the Austin Critics Circle Award for Best Director and a three-time winner of the Austin Circle of Theatres award for Outstanding Direction. Ramont has served on the teaching staff and as Director of Theatre at Rice University; he is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at American University.


Robert Parsons makes his Ford’s Theatre debut as Abraham Lincoln. Parsons’s recent credits include the role of Abraham Lincoln in __A Civil War Christmas __at TheatreWorks. Other regional credits include performances at the American Conservatory Theatre, Alley Theatre, and the award-winning production of __I am my Own Wife __with the San Jose Stage Company. Rick Foucheux makes his Ford’s Theatre debut as Stephen Douglas. Foucheux’s regional credits include his Helen Hayes Award-winning role in Studio Theatre’s Take Me Out, the world premiere Dead Man’s Cell Phone at Woolly Mammoth and __Death of a Salesman __at Arena Stage. Additional credits include performances with the Source Theatre, Folger Theatre, Olney Theatre, Theater J, Round House Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company and others. Sarah Zimmerman returns to Ford’s Theatre to play Adele Douglas. Zimmerman made her Ford’s Theatre debut as Mrs. Irene Malloy in The Matchmaker, for which she received a Helen Hayes nomination. Broadway credits include The Rivals (Lincoln Center) and The Full Monty (also national tour). Regional credits include performances for L.A. TheatreWorks, Old Globe Theatre, Weston Playhouse, Westport County Playhouse and the Lamb Players Theatre.


The Rivalry’s design team includes Scenic Design by Robin Stapley, Costume Design by Helen Huang, Lighting Design by Matthew Richards and Original Music and Sound Design by Matthew M. Nielson.

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