Arena Stage The Mead Center for American Theater MY ACCOUNT
Event Calendar


By Jacqueline E. Lawton
Directed by Daniella Topol

February 24 — April 9, 2017
Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle

Inspired by true events, Intelligence is a fictionalized account of a covert operative who, tasked with protecting the national security of the United States post-9/11, is racing to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the unthinkable happens. With the country at war, her cover is blown and she must navigate a media frenzy, the CIA’s search for answers and her diplomat husband’s dogged pursuit of the truth. Intelligence is a political thriller that explores the cost of deception and the consequences of speaking truth to power.

Intelligence is generously sponsored by and .

The real, living people depicted in Intelligence (specifically Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson) did not authorize the writing of this play, nor did they participate in or otherwise give consent or approval of this production. Certain dramatic elements have been added to the documented facts.


NORA ACHRATI (Leyla Nazari) is thrilled to be making her Arena Stage debut with Jacqueline Lawton’s new work. Recent D.C. credits include Where Words Once Were (u/s, the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences) and Falling Out of Time (Theater J). Nora is a proud member of the artistic ensemble at Forum Theatre, where she most recently appeared in I Call My Brothers and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. She is a narrator of recorded books for the Library of Congress, and writes and performs folklore-based shows with New Moon Theater in Baltimore, MD. Nora holds an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. Her work and her love are dedicated to her husband Bradley and son Omar.

AAKHU TUAHNERA FREEMAN (Elaine) is happy to return to Arena Stage where she previously appeared as Clara in The Great White Hope, Sue in All My Sons and Della in The Royal Family. Other credits include Rose in Fences and Mrs. Coleman in The Soul Collector (Everyman Theatre); Mrs. Breedlove in The Bluest Eye and Gerthe in Insurrection: Holding History (Theater Alliance); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and four national tours (the Kennedy Center); Much Ado About Nothing and Richard III (Folger Theatre); Our Lady of 121st Street (Woolly Mammoth); Something You Did (Theater J); and Amen Corner (African Continuum Theatre). Her most recent performance was in Fresh Brewed: Tales from the Coffee Shop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

ETHAN HOVA (Dr. Malik Nazari) makes his Arena Stage debut. He is a founding member of the New York theater collective, Exit, Pursued by a Bear and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre. D.C. credits include Guards at the Taj (Woolly Mammoth). Off-Broadway credits include Metro Cards (Ensemble Studio Theatre); The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! (La MaMa); and Spinning the Times (Origin’s 1st Irish Theatre Festival, Best Actor Award Winner). Regional credits include Water by the Spoonful (Premiere Stages); Cock (Kinetic Theatre); and Tamara (Quantum Theatre). TV/film credits include The Blacklist, ER, E-Ring and Accepted. Ethan holds a B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. Instagram: @ethanethane.

LAWRENCE REDMOND (Joseph Wilson) was last seen at Arena Stage as Richard Russell in All the Way. Other Arena Stage credits include The Music Man, Ruined, Christmas Carol: 1941, Damn Yankees (Helen Hayes nominee), Passion Play: a cycle, South Pacific (Helen Hayes nominee), The Misanthrope, The Great White Hope, Guys and Dolls and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Earlier this season he was seen in Titanic (Signature Theatre) and A Prayer for Owen Meany (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park). Other D.C. credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing and The Government Inspector (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Rock ‘n’ Roll and Jerry Springer: The Opera (Studio Theatre); and The Nutcracker, The Trip to Bountiful and Permanent Collection (Round House Theatre).

HANNAH YELLAND (Valerie Plame) makes her Arena Stage debut. Recent D.C. credits include Moment (Studio Theatre), Hermione in The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare Theatre Company) and Laura Jesson in Brief Encounter (Shakespeare Theatre Company; visiting production by Kneehigh Theatre Company, Helen Hayes Award). Hannah originated the role of Laura in Brief Encounter on Broadway and received a Tony nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Play. She toured this production to A.C.T., St Ann’s Warehouse, The Guthrie and Wallis Annenberg Center. Other theater credits include Rachel in My Cousin Rachel (Gate Theatre, Dublin and Spoletto Festival); Nora in A Doll’s House (Abbey Theatre, Dublin); Kate in Nicholas Nickleby (West End and Chichester Festival, Toronto); and Vivie in Mrs. Warren’s Profession directed by Sir Peter Hall. TV/film credits include AKA, The Secret, Dalziel & Pascoe, Dinotopia and Agatha Christie’s Poirot.


JACQUELINE E. LAWTON (Playwright)’s plays include Anna K; Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful; The Devil’s Sweet Water; The Hampton Years; Love Brothers Serenade; Mad Breed; and Noms de Guerre. She has received commissions from Adventure Theatre-MTC, Discovery Theater, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of American History, Round House Theatre and Theater J. Her play Cinder Blocks was published in Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic: Art, Activism, Academia, and the Austin Project (University of Texas Press). A 2012 TCG Young Leader of Color, she is an alumna of the National New Play Network (NNPN), Arena Stage’s Playwrights’ Arena and Center Stage’s Playwrights Collective. She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow.

DANIELLA TOPOL (Director)’s area credits include Ironbound (Round House, Rattlestick/Women’s Project, Steppenwolf) and Photograph 51 and Andy and the Shadows (Theater J). Recent NY credits include When January Feels Like Summer (Ensemble Studio/P73), How the World Began (South Coast Repertory, Women’s Project), Charles Ives Take Me Home (Rattlestick), Jesus in India (Magic Theatre, Ma-Yi Theater), Lascivious Something (Women’s Project/Cherry Lane) and The Sugarhouse at the Edge of the Wilderness (Ma-Yi Theater). Daniella received her undergraduate degree in directing and master’s in arts management from Carnegie Mellon. She was associate producing director of City Theatre, new works program director at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and artistic program director of the Lark Play Development Center. A D.C. native, Daniella lives in Brooklyn with her husband and 4-year old daughter and serves as artistic director of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.

MISHA KACHMAN (Set Designer) has worked at Arena Stage, Asolo Repertory, Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Kennedy Center, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Opera Lafayette, Opera Royal Versailles, Portland Center Stage, Round House, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, Signature Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, Studio Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Theater J, Wilma Theater and Woolly Mammoth, among many other companies in the United States and abroad. He is a company member at Woolly Mammoth and an associate artist at Olney Theatre Center. Misha is a Helen Hayes Award recipient and a graduate of the St. Petersburg Theatre Arts Academy. He serves as the associate professor of scene and costume design and head of M.F.A. in design at University of Maryland.

IVANIA STACK (Costume Designer)’s regional and D.C.-area credits include Woolly Mammoth (company member), the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences, Center Stage, Everyman Theatre, The Second City, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Round House, Signature Theatre, Imagination Stage, Olney Theatre Center (associate artist), Studio Theatre, Theater J, Constellation Theatre, Pointless Theatre, Synetic Theater, Forum Theatre, Theater Alliance, Rorschach Theatre, The Karski Project, Metro Stage and Gala Hispanic Theatre. She is a Ringleader for Audience Integration and the Artistic Director for Original, Interactive Work for dog & pony dc, and has an M.F.A. in design from the University of Maryland.

KATHY A. PERKINS (Lighting Designer) has designed Off-Broadway and in New York at Manhattan Theatre Club, New Federal Theatre, Here Arts Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Carnegie Hall. Regional credits include Mark Taper Forum, Steppenwolf, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Goodman, St. Louis Black Repertory, Berkeley Repertory, American Conservatory Theater, Indiana Repertory, Seattle Repertory, Court Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Alliance Theatre, eta Creative Arts, Writers Theatre, About Face Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Geva Theatre Center and Playmakers Repertory. Internationally she has designed in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and South Africa. Kathy is the editor of six anthologies focusing on African/African Diaspora Women. She is a professor of dramatic art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of The College of Fellows of the American Theatre.

JANE SHAW (Original Music & Sound Design) makes her Arena Stage debut. Off-Broadway credits include Ironbound (directed by Daniella Topol, Women's Project/Rattlestick); Men on Boats (Clubbed Thumb/Playwrights Horizons); Yours Unfaithfully (Mint Theater); and Public Enemy (The Pearl). Regional credits include Rear Window (Hartford Stage); Steel Magnolias and The Crucible (Cleveland Play House); Lady Day… (Dorset Theater Festival); and The Price (Triad Stage). Jane last worked in D.C. on House of the Spirits at Gala Hispanic Theater; the show originated at Denver Center and traveled to Costa Rica. Her design for Hamlet at Hartford Stage was honored by the Connecticut Critics Circle. She has received a Drama Desk Award, Bessie Award, Henry Hewes Design Award, Latin ACE Award, Meet the Composer and two Lucille Lortel Award nominations. Her education began in biochemistry at Harvard and finished in sound design at Yale.

JARED MEZZOCCHI (Projection Designer) received the 2012 Princess Grace Theater Fellowship as the first projections designer to receive the honor. He is a company member at Woolly Mammoth, most recently having designed Women Laughing Alone with Salad. D.C. credits include Yellow Face (Theater J), Astro Boy and the God of Comics (Studio Theatre) and BELL (National Geographic). New York credits include Vietgone (MTC); Downtown Loop (3-Legged Dog); You Are Dead. You Are Here. (HERE Arts Center); and JET LAG 2011 (The Builders Association). Regional credits include Milwaukee Repertory, Cleveland Play House, Center Stage and The Wilma. He has designed for Big Art Group at the Vienna Festival (Europe, Canada and U.S. tour), Connect4Climate, Alcantara (Design Week, Milan) and the atrium of the World Bank in D.C. Jared teaches projection design at The University of Maryland.

LEIGH WILSON SMILEY (Dialect Coach) is a voice teacher and professional voice, dialect and text coach. Smiley has worked at Arena Stage, Center Stage, Everyman Theatre, Round House, Ford’s Theatre, the Kennedy Center and Folger Theatre. She coaches NBC on-camera anchors, Cirque du Soleil performers, lawyers, doctors and others. Leigh is the director of the School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, where she is a producing director for main stage dance and theater shows, student produced shows and she conceived the Annual Black Theatre Symposium. She developed the Visual Accent and Dialect Archive, a web resource for dialect and accent samples. She is a member of Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the Voice and Speech Trainers Association.

TREVOR A. RILEY (Stage Manager) returns to Arena Stage after having worked on Carousel, Destiny of Desire and Our War. Other D.C.-area credits include Jack and Phil, Slayers of Giants-INC, A Year with Frog and Toad and Sinbad: The Untold Tale (Imagination Stage); The Diary of Anne Frank, Bakersfield Mist, Godspell and A Christmas Carol (Olney Theatre Center); and Just The Two of Each of Us, Appropriate, Detroit and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Woolly Mammoth).

Photo Gallery


Post-Show Discussions
March 14 at 7:30 p.m.
March 15 at 12:00 p.m.
March 28 at 12:00 p.m.
March 29 at 12:00 p.m.
March 30 at 8:00 p.m.


Audio Described

Saturday, March 11 at 2:00 p.m.

Open Captioned

Wednesday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 23 at 8:00 p.m.

Intelligence runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. This production contains the use of special effects including haze and strobe effects.