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Our War

Event Calendar

Our War

A collection of American playwrights, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award and Olivier Award, creates two dynamic theatrical events reflecting on the U.S. Civil War. Through a tapestry of short monologues, a core ensemble of gifted actors, accompanied by notable Washingtonians such as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Chris Matthews, explore—through diverse perspectives—the historical memory and present-day reverberations of the Civil War. Our War, part of the National Civil War Project, uses the power of live theater to bring new understanding to one of the most significant periods of American history.

Note: There are two variations of Our War, known as "Stars" and "Stripes." For more information, please see Performance Schedules below.

Anita Maynard-Losh


“It’s a rare and special thing when a director gets to work directly with a playwright on a new work. Imagine my excitement to be working with 25 of them! The disparate pieces that the playwrights have created will fit together like a puzzle. A small ensemble of actors will play all the roles, transforming from character to character, representing new, unexpected viewpoints from the Civil War narrative that have never been heard before.”– Anita Maynard-Losh


KELLY RENEE ARMSTRONG (Ensemble) is excited to make her debut at Arena Stage. Other appearances include Monica in The Elder Statesman at Washington Stage Guild, Alma in Yellowman at Rep Stage and Ensemble in Wit at Bay Theatre Company. She has been nominated for numerous awards for her performance as Alma in Yellowman. She is a 2013 Individual Artist Award grantee for her solo performance work Testify. Kelly received her MFA in performance from Catholic University of America. She can be seen in Theatre J's upcoming production of The Call.

RICARDO FREDERICK EVANS (Ensemble) makes his Arena Stage debut with Our War. Other Washington area credits include Sterling in Two Trains Running at Round House Theatre, the Egungun in In the Red and Brown Water at Studio Theatre, Orsino in Twelfth Night with Taffety Punk, the titular character in Doorway Arts Ensemble's Hercules in Russia and multiple productions at Imagination Stage including Disney's Mulan, Ferdinand the Bull, Rumpelstiltskin and Doctor Dolittle (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Resident Musical). Ricardo can be seen in the independent film Of Dice and Men, directed by Kelley Slagle, and the final film of John Putch's trilogy Route 30,Three! TV credits include House of Cards.

JOHN LESCAULT (Ensemble) was last seen at Arena Stage in The Music Man. New York credits include Le Deserteur at Lincoln Center. John's DC credits include Defiant Requiem, Sancho Panca, Le Deserteur, From the New World (as Dvorak) at the Kennedy Center; Brother Russia, "Art," Crave, Angels in America at Signature Theatre; From Prague, Yankee Tavern at CATF; A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theatre; The Lyons, Fahrenheit 451, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Our Town, Wintertime Shakespeare, Moses and Joe Papp at Round House; The School for Scandal, A Midsummer's Night Dream, Elizabeth the Queen, Macbeth at Folger Theater; Henry V, Richard II, Tamburlaine, Edward II, The Winter's Tale, Don Carlos at Shakespeare Theatre; The Disputation, Hannah and Martin at Theatre J; and Heaven, The Psychic Life of Savages at Woolly Mammoth. International credits include Prague Spring Music Festival: Defiant Requiem. His film and TV credits include Joseph Graham's Beautiful Something, Spielberg's Lincoln, The Day Lincoln Was Shot and Unsolved Mysteries. John received a BFA from The Catholic University of America.

TUYET PHAM (Ensemble) is thrilled to return to Arena Stage this season in this production of Our War. She has been seen in over 25 local productions in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area that include roles at Centerstage, Everyman Theatre, Spooky Action Theatre, Constellation Theatre Company, Rep Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, Imagination Stage, Signature Theatre, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and Capital Fringe Festival. She has also worked with Perseverance Theatre in Alaska, The Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, The Brigit St. Brigit Theatre, The Shelterbelt Theater, and was an Allen Hugh Artistic Fellow and member of Arena Stage's Living Stage Theatre Company. She was last seen in Spooky Action Theatre's production of Kwaidan.

LYNETTE RATHNAM (Ensemble) is blessed to be making her Arena Stage debut. Other Washington area appearances include The Mute in The Fantasticks at Rep Stage, various roles in Slam Theatre 3.0 at the Atlas Intersections Festival, The Witch in Glassheart with Rorschach Theatre, Good Deeds in The Summoning of Everyman with Edge of the Universe Players and Cris in The Wings of Ikarus Jackson at The Kennedy Center. Lynette has performed in both the DC Source and Capital Fringe Festivals. She recently performed the role of Olivia in Illyria with the Virginia Shakespeare Festival and has appeared in several productions with the Maryland Shakespeare Festival including Olivia in Twelfth Night, Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Diana in All's Well That Ends Well.

SARA WAISANEN (Ensemble) is making her debut at Arena Stage with this exciting project, helmed by Anita Maynard-Losh. Regionally she has worked at Dallas Theatre Center, California Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Perseverance Theatre, where she was a company member. Favorite roles include Ahab in Moby Dick; Catherine in Proof; Maria in Up: The Man In The Flying Lawnchair; and Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Sara has an MFA in acting from Southern Methodist University. Thank you to the Board of Directors, without you none of this would be possible.

Notable Washingtonians

D.C. Councilmember, Ward 7
Councilmember Yvette Alexander has represented Ward 7 on the Council of the District of Columbia since she won a special election in 2007.
Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM

NPR International Correspondent
Deborah Amos covers the Middle East for NPR News with her reports can airing on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.
Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM
Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Chief Operating Officer, International Spy Museum
Tamara Christian joined the International Spy Museum in 2011 and has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and business development.
Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 7:30 PM

The Rev. Canon Jan Naylor CopeTHE REV. CANON JAN NAYLOR COPE
Washington National Cathedral
Canon Cope leads the continued development and growth of the Cathedral Congregation, overseeing comprehensive programs in community life, pastoral care, stewardship, hospitality and congregational worship.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Dr. John J. DegioiaDR. JOHN J. DEGIOIA
President, Georgetown University
Since graduating from Georgetown University in 1979, Dr. DeGioia has served both as a senior administrator, a faculty member and, starting in 2001, as Georgetown's 48th president.
Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Managing Director, SKDKnickerbocker
Anita Dunn is a political strategist who served as the White House Communications Director during President Obama's first term and currently a senior partner at SKDKnickerbocker, who contributes to NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Mark D. EinMARK D. EIN
Founder and CEO of Venturehouse Group, LLC
Mark D. Ein is an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is also the founder and owner of the Washington Kastles franchise.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 7:30 PM

D.C. Councilmember, Ward 2
Jack Evans is a politician, lawyer and insurance executive who has represented Ward 2 of Washington, D.C. since 1991.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Dr. Natwar GandhiDR. NATWAR GANDHI
Policy fellow at the Georgetown University business school
Natwar Gandhi is the former Chief Financial Officer for the District of Columbia. After retiring that post, he became a policy fellow at the Georgetown University business school.
Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States
Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the second woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1993.
Friday, October 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Mayor of the District of Columbia

Mayor Vincent Gray is a native Washingtonian who has served D.C. residents for more than 30 years.
Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM

D.C. Councilmember, At-Large
David Grosso was elected to the Council of the District of Columbia as an At-Large Councilmember to represent residents in all eight wards.
Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 7:30 PM

The Very Rev. Gary HallTHE VERY REV. GARY HALL
Dean, Washington National Cathedral
An ordained minister for more than 35 years, the Very Rev. Gary R. Hall assumed his duties as tenth dean of the Washington National Cathedral in 2012.
Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 8:00 PM

The Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr.THE REV. DR. H. BEECHER HICKS, JR.
Senior Servant, Metropolitan Baptist Church
Since his election in June 1977, the Reverend Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. has served as the senior servant of the historic Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., only the fifth person to hold that title in the congregation's 150-year history.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 7:30 PM
Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Assistant Director and Curator, African American Civil War Museum
Hari Jones, a retired captain of the United States Marine Corps, is one of the foremost authorities on the role of African Americans in the Civil War.
Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM
Sunday, November 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Dr. Cornelius M. KerwinDR. CORNELIUS M. KERWIN
President, American University
In addition to becoming American University's 14th president in 2007, Dr. Kerwin is the author of Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Dr. Steven KnappDR. STEVEN KNAPP
President, George Washington University
Steven Knapp, who became the 16th president of the George Washington University in 2007, is the author of three books and a specialist in Romanticism, literary theory, and the relation of literature to philosophy and religion.
Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Host of Hardball, MSNBC
A former speechwriter in the Carter administration, Chris Matthews is the host of Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 7:30 PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Executive in Residence, Department of Government, American University
and former Chief of Staff to Laura Bush
A former assistant to President George W. Bush and chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush, Anita McBride currently directs programming and national conferences on the legacies of America's first ladies and their historical influence on politics, policy and global diplomacy.
Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM
Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Congresswoman, D.C.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, now in her 12th term as the Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, is the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
Saturday, November 1 at 2:00 PM

D.C. Councilmember, At-Large
Vincent Orange was elected to the Council of the District of Columbia as an At-Large Councilmember to represent residents in all eight wards.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Archbishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr.ARCHBISHOP ALFRED A. OWENS, JR.
D.Min., Pastor, Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church
In 1966, Bishop Owens founded Christ is the Answer Chapel, which merged in 1976 with the Mt. Calvary Holy Church forming what is now known as Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 7:30 PM

The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU
Diane Rehm began her radio career with WAMU in 1973 and has hosted her talk show program The Diane Rehm Show since 1984.
Friday, November 7, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Dr. David A. RenwickDR. DAVID A. RENWICK
Senior Pastor, National Presbyterian Church
Dr. David A. Renwick has been an ordained Presbyterian Minister for over 35 years, serving diverse congregations in Newfoundland, Canada; San Antonio, TX; Lexington, KY; and Spartanburg, SC.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 7:30 PM

U.S. Navy
Rear Admiral Rich is the 88th Commandant of Naval District Washington, and the Deputy Commander of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region.
Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Andy Shallal is an artist, social entrepreneur and the founder of Busboys and Poets and Eatonville Restaurant. His businesses employ over 500 employees and have received numerous awards and recognitions as places where employees are treated fairly and earn living wages.
Tuesday, October 21 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 8 at 8:00 PM

NBC4 Reporter
Tom Sherwood is a reporter for News4 specializing in politics and the D.C. government. He joined News4 in 1989 after spending 15 years covering local and national politics for The Washington Post.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 8:00 PM
Friday, November 7, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Constantine Stavropoulos is the owner of Tryst, The Diner, Open City, The Coupe and Tryst at The Phillips. His latest venture, Open City at The National Cathedral, will be opening fall of 2014 and will be located in the Herb Cottage on the grounds of Washington's National Cathedral.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Senior Rabbi, Adas Israel Congregation
Rabbi Steinlauf joined Adas Israel Congregation as senior Rabbi in August 2008 and sits on the boards of the Washington Chapter of the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM

President a CEO, National Women's History Museum
Joan Wages leads the National Women's History Museum, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the diverse historic contributions of women.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Rev. Dr. Howard-John WesleyREV. DR. HOWARD-JOHN WESLEY
Senior Pastor, Alfred Street Baptist Church
Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley is the Senior Pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church in historic, Alexandria, Virginia, where he has served since 2008.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is the Co-Anchor and Managing Editor of the PBS NewsHour with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. She has covered politics and other news for more than three decades at CNN, NBC and PBS.
Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM

U.S. Army Veteran and previous New York Congressional candidate
Matt Zeller is a U.S. Army veteran of the Afghan War who was also the Democratic nominee for New York's 29th congressional district in 2010.
Friday, October 31, 2014 at 8:00 PM


MARÍA AGUI CARTER. A writer and director, María is a 2014 Erik Barnouw Award Winner (best historical films in America) for Rebel. This hybrid narrative/documentary premiered theatrically at the Frameline Film festival, is touring the U.S. and aired as a National PBS prime-time special ( She is a graduate of Harvard University and has won Warren, Rockefeller, George Peabody Gardner and CPB fellowships. She has served as a visiting artist/scholar at Harvard, Tulane and Brandeis universities. Maria's latest film is Motherland, a meditation on race and wealth disparities in immigration based on her own experience growing up undocumented in America.

LYDIA R. DIAMOND is currently the Arena Stage Playwright in Residence. Her Broadway debut Stick Fly (Arena Stage '10, Contemporary American Theatre Festival '08) was nominated for the 2012 Outer Circle Critics Award. Other plays include Smart People, Voyeurs de Venus, The Bluest Eye (Theatre Alliance, '06), The Gift Horse and Harriet Jacobs, and have received productions across the country. Lydia was a TCG/NEA Playwright in Residence at Steppenwolf, a Huntington Playwright Fellow, a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, a Goodman McCarter Fellow, a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists and a Sundance Institute Playwright Lab Creative Advisor. Lydia serves on the Boards of Directors at Theatre Communications Group and the Dramatist Guild's Dramatist League Defense Fund. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Pine Manor College.

ZINHLE ESSAMUAH is making her Arena Stage debut through her piece The Lord's Prayer. Her Washington appearances include a devised theatre piece at the 2014 Atlas Intersections: DC Festival, an original poetry piece at "Soundtrack of a Movement" in Lisner Auditorium and Masha in The Cradle Will Rock at GWU's Mainstage Theatre. Zinhle is a solo and ensemble vocalist whose appearances include performing at The White House. In 2016, Zinhle graduates from GWU with a dual degree in Journalism and Mass Communication (BA) and Media and Public Affairs (MA) and aspires to turn her passion for the performing arts into a career.

AMY FREED is the author of The Monster Builder; Restoration Comedy; The Beard of Avon; Freedomland; Safe in Hell; The Psychic Life of Savages; You, Nero and other plays. Her work has been produced at South Coast Repertory Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Seattle Repertory, American Conservatory Theater, Yale Rep, California Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley Rep, the Goodman, Playwrights' Horizons, Woolly Mammoth, Arena Stage and other theaters. Her playwriting awards include the Charles MacArthur Award, Kesselring Prize, LA and Bay Area Critics' Circle Awards and she is also a Pulitzer Prize Finalist (Freedomland). She currently serves as Artist-in-Residence at Stanford University.

DIANE GLANCY is professor emeritus at Macalester College. Native Voices at the Autry has produced four of her plays, Jump Kiss, Stone Heart, Salvage and The Bird House. She has published two collections of plays, War Cries and American Gypsy. Other plays are published at Diane's forthcoming books are The Fort Marion Prisoners and the Trauma of Native Education, nonfiction, Report to the Department of the Interior, poetry, and three novels, Uprising of Goats, One of Us and Ironic Witness. Among her awards are two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Her websites are and

JOY HARJO started her theater path as a performer in high school at the Institute of American Indian Arts, in one of the first all native drama and dance troupes. Her one-woman show Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light was produced by Native Voices at the Autry and premiered in Los Angeles in 2009. Harjo travels the world performing original poetry and music, solo and with her Arrow Dynamics Band. She was recently awarded a Guggenheim for creative nonfiction. The Public Theater of New York has commissioned the writing of a musical, We Were There When Jazz Was Invented.

SAMUEL D. HUNTER's plays include The Whale (Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play, GLAAD Media Award, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play), A Bright New Boise (Obie Award for Playwriting) and his newest plays, The Few, A Great Wilderness, Rest and Pocatello. He was a 2013 Resident Playwright at Arena Stage. Awards include a 2012 Whiting Writers Award, a 2013 Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, a 2008-2009 PONY Fellowship and a 2011 Sky Cooper Prize. A native of northern Idaho, Sam lives in New York City. He holds degrees in playwriting from NYU, the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and Juilliard.

NAOMI IIZUKA's plays include 36 Views, Polaroid Stories, Anon(Ymous), Language of Angels, Aloha, Say The Pretty Girls, Tattoo Girl and Skin. Her plays have been produced at theaters nationwide including Berkeley Rep, the Goodman, the Guthrie, Children's Theater Company, Actors' Theatre of Louisville and the Public. She is an alumna of New Dramatists and the recipient of a PEN/Laura Pels Award, an Alpert Award, a Joyce Foundation Award, a Whiting Writers' Award, a PEN Center USA West Award for Drama, and Princeton University's Hodder Fellowship. Naomi currently heads the MFA Playwriting program at the University of California, San Diego.

ADITI BRENNAN KAPIL is a playwright, actress and director whose work is produced around the country. Her play Agnes Under the Big Top, a tall tale was developed at Arena Stage and produced at Forum Theatre in 2013. Her most recent work, the Displaced Hindu Gods Trilogy, consists of the plays Brahman/i, a one-hijra stand-up comedy show; The Chronicles of Kalki; and Shiv. She currently has commissions with Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and South Coast Repertory Theatre, is a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center, a New Dramatists resident and the Mellon Playwright-in-Residence at Mixed Blood Theatre.

DAN LEFRANC was recently chosen by the Mellon Foundation to receive a three-year fellowship as the playwright-in-residence of Playwrights Horizons. His new play Troublemaker was commissioned by and recently produced to great acclaim at Berkeley Repertory. His last play The Big Meal premiered at ATC (Chicago), received an extended off-Broadway run at Playwrights Horizons (New York City) and made its London premiere last summer. Other plays include Sixty Miles to Silver Lake (SoHo Rep, P73, NYC), Origin Story, Bruise Easy and Night Surf. Dan has received the 2011 Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, the 2010 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award and the John C. Russell Fellowship, among others. He is currently on staff for the Showtime television drama The Affair.

DAVID LINDSAY-ABAIRE's play Good People premiered on Broadway and was awarded the NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, The Horton Foote Prize and two Tony nominations. His previous play Rabbit Hole received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, five Tony nominations and the Spirit of America Award. David also wrote the book and lyrics for Shrek the Musical, which was nominated for eight Tonys, four Oliviers, a Grammy and earned him the Ed Kleban Award as America's most promising musical theatre lyricist. Other plays include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo and Wonder of the World. David's screen credits include his film adaptation of Rabbit Hole (starring Nicole Kidman – Oscar nomination), Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians and MGM's upcoming Poltergeist reboot, among other.

KEN LUDWIG is an internationally acclaimed playwright who has had numerous hits on Broadway and throughout the world. His Tony Award-winning shows include Lend Me a Tenor, Crazy for You and many more. He has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, two Helen Hayes Awards and the Edgar Award for Best Mystery of the Year. His work has been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his plays have been performed in over 30 countries in more than 20 languages. His newest play Baskerville, will premiere at Arena Stage and McCarter Theatre this season. His book How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare is now available in paperback from Random House.

TAYLOR MAC (who uses the gender pronoun Judy) is the author of 17 full-length plays and performance works. Mac's work has been seen at New York's Lincoln Center and Public Theater, The Sydney Opera House, Stockholm's Sodra Teatern, The Spoleto Festival, The MOMA and in literally hundreds of other theaters, opera houses, clubs, museums and festivals around the globe. Judy is the recipient of many awards including an Obie, the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, the Helen Merrill playwriting award, a McKnight Fellowship and the first Ethyl Eichelberger Award. For more information go to

KEN NARASAKI is an actor/writer whose plays include the recent adaptation of No-No Boy (produced Los Angeles and off-Broadway), award-winning plays Innocent When You Dream (produced Los Angeles and presented at the Smithsonian's 2008 Day of Remembrance, winner 2007 Kumu Kahua Pacific Rim Playwriting Contest), The Mikado Project (co-written with Doris Baizley, produced in Los Angeles, winner 2009 Kuma Kuhua Pacific Rim Playwriting Contest) and Ghosts and Baggage (produced Los Angeles, third place C.Y. Lee Playwriting Contest). As an actor, he starred in Zwei Profis for German television. and appeared in Lane Nishikawa's Only the Brave. He has also appeared in nearly 60 plays, including Po Boy Tango, A Winter People and Theory of Everything in Chicago, Los Angeles, Singapore, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento and elsewhere.

LYNN NOTTAGE is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. They include By The Way, Meet Vera Stark; Ruined; Intimate Apparel; Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine; Crumbs from the Table of Joy and POOF!. She is currently developing a new play and multimedia performance installation based on two years of research and interviews conducted in Reading, PA (with Oregon Shakespeare, Arena Stage and Labyrinth Theatre Company). Lynn is the recipient of numerous honors including a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, Steinberg "Mimi" Distinguished Playwright Award, the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize, Helen Hayes Award, the Lee Reynolds Award, PEN/Laura Pels Award, Lucille Lortel Fellowship and Visiting Research Fellowship at Princeton University. She is the co-founder of the production company Market Road Films.

ROBERT O'HARA directed The Mountaintop at Arena Stage. He received the NAACP Best Director Award for his direction of Eclipsed. He received the 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play for Antebellum and an OBIE Award for his direction of the world premiere of the critically acclaimed In the Continuum. He wrote and directed the world premieres of Insurrection: Holding History and Bootycandy. He directed the world premieres of Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2) and Wild with Happy. He is currently an adjunct at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts and the Mellon Playwright in Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre.

NICHOLAS ONG makes his Arena stage debut with this production of Our War. He has made multiple appearances on the mainstage at The George Washington University including Almost, Maine and Twelfth Night. Nick is a senior at the George Washington University majoring in Theatre.

HEATHER RAFFO is an award-winning Iraqi-American playwright and actress who has spent the last decade performing off-Broadway, off-West End in regional theater and in film. She is the author and solo performer of the play 9 Parts of Desire (Lucielle Lortel and Susan Smith Blackburn awards, Drama League, OCC, Helen Hayes nominations), which The New Yorker called "an example of how art can remake the world." The play ran off-Broadway for nine months and has played across the U.S. and internationally over the last 10 years. Currently she can be seen in the newly released film Vino Veritas. Her opera libretto Fallujah, detailing the life of a U.S. Marine, was recently featured in the Kennedy Center's International Theater Festival.

CHARLES RANDOLPH-WRIGHT wrote Blue, Cuttin' Up and Love in Afghanistan and directed Ruined, Sophisticated Ladies, Guys and Dolls (both starring Maurice Hines), Senor Discretion Himself, Anthems, and Oak and Ivy at Arena Stage. Charles' directing credits include Motown The Musical (on Broadway and tour), Love/Life (starring Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lincoln Center), Porgy and Bess (75th anniversary international tour), Through the Night (with Daniel Beaty), They're Playing Our Song (in Portuguese in Brazil). He also co-wrote Just Between Friends (Bea Arthur on Broadway). For film and TV, Charles directed Preaching To The Choir, Lincoln Heights, South Of Nowhere, Live At Lincoln Center (starring Patina Miller), Bebe Winans' America, America and the European Freestyle campaign for Nike. Charles has written screenplays for HBO, Showtime, Disney, and Fox, and produced and wrote the series Linc's.

TANYA SARACHO was born in Sinaloa, México. She is a playwright, actor and TV writer (Girls, Devious Maids). Currently she is a writer and co-producer for HBO's Looking. Her plays have been produced at Steppenwolf Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theater, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theater and 16th Street Theater. Tanya's plays include Hushabye, The Tenth Muse, Song for the Disappeared, Enfrascada, El Nogalar, an adaptation of The House on Mango Street for Steppenwolf SYA, Our Lady of the Underpass, Kita y Fernanda and Quita Mitos. She has works in development with HBO, Two Rivers Theatre, Denver Theater Center, South Coast Repertory, Goodman and Steppenwolf.

BETTY SHAMIEH's plays have been translated into seven languages. Her off-Broadway premieres are The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop) and Roar (The New Group). Her European productions in translation include Again and Against (Playhouse Theater, Stockholm), The Black Eyed (Fournos Theatre, Athens) and Territories (European Union Capital of Culture Festival). Betty performed in her play of monologues Chocolate in Heat in three off-off-Broadway runs. A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama, Betty was named a 2011 UNESCO Young Artist for Intercultural Dialogue and a Playwriting Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute. She was selected as the winner of the 2012-2013 Playwrights Center McKnight National Residency and Commission.

JOHN STRAND is a winner of the Charles MacArthur Award for Playwriting and is Playwright in Residence at Arena Stage, Washington, DC, for the 2014-15 season. Among his works for the stage are The Originalist, Lincolnesque, Lovers and Executioners, Otabenga, Three Nights in Tehran, the musicals Hat! A Vaudeville (book and lyrics) and The Highest Yellow (book) and an adaptation of Musset's Lorenzaccio. His novel Commieland (2013) is published by Kiwai Media, Paris.

TAZEWELL THOMPSON, since 1988, has directed 24 productions at Arena Stage and more than 75 productions in major theaters across the country. His production of Porgy and Bess was broadcast Live from Lincoln Center and received Emmy nominations for best director and best classical production. His award winning play Constant Star has had 14 national productions. His play Mary T. & Lizzy K, commissioned by Arena Stage, is the recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award. Current commissions include Lincoln Center Theatre; South Coast Rep; and People's Light and Theatre Company. Upcoming productions include Ruined for Everyman Theatre; the American premiere of Vivaldi's 18th century opera Catone in Utica for Glimmerglass Festival; and for Washington National Opera, the newly revised Philip Glass opera Appomattox and Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars.

WILLIAM S. YELLOW ROBE, JR. serves as Artistic Director of the newly formed Inter-Tribal Playwrights' Center of Arlee. His books include Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers: and Other Untold Stories; a collection of full-length plays; and Where the Pavement Ends: New Native Drama, a collection of one-acts. His adaption of the novel Powwow Highway-a play opens in New York this October. He is a member of the Penumbra Theatre Company of St. Paul, Minnesota and The Ensemble Studio Theater of New York and an advisory board member for Red Eagle Soaring Company, Seattle, WA and for The Eagle Project, of New York, New York.

KAREN ZACARÍAS is one of the most produced Latina playwrights in the nation. She is thrilled to be back "home" at Arena Stage after the world premiere of Legacy of Light and the production of The Book Club Play, both directed by Artistic Director Molly Smith. Karen is one of the inaugural Resident Playwrights at Arena Stage and a core founder of the Latino Theatre Commons. She is the founder of Young Playwrights' Theater, an award-winning theater company that teaches playwriting in local public schools in Washington, DC. Karen lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and three children.

Creative Team

ANITA MAYNARD-LOSH (Director) leads Arena's education and outreach programs. She trained and taught at ACT in San Francisco, was on faculty at Webster University in St. Louis, headed the theater department at University of Alaska Southeast and was associate artistic director of Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, where she directed 18 mainstage productions. The Alaska Native-inspired Macbeth she conceived and directed was performed in English and Tlingit at the National Museum of the American Indian as part of the Shakespeare in Washington Festival. She was Molly Smith's associate director on Oklahoma! and The Music Man, and has directed readings of new plays at Arena Stage and the Kennedy Center. She has been dialect coach for numerous productions at Arena Stage, including last season's Camp David, and has coached dialects for the Kennedy Center, the Washington National Opera and on the Broadway revival of Ragtime.

ROBBIE HAYES (Set and Projection Designer) is happy to be making his designing debut at Arena Stage. DC area credits include Sunday in the Park with George at Signature Theatre; The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall, The History of Invulnerability and The Argument at Theater J; Birds of a Feather at The Hub Theatre; Eurydice at Round House; A Few Good Men at Keegan Theatre; HUM at Theater Alliance; Visible Impact, A Civil War Christmas, Things That GO!, The Soldier's Tale and Falla El Amor Brujo at Georgetown University Theater. Regional theater credits include Shalom Aleichem - Laughter Through Tears at the National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbien; Amadeus and Company at Porchlight Music Theatre Company.

T. TYLER STUMPF (Costume Designer) is thrilled to be working with Anita Maynard-Losh on such an exciting project as Our War! His previous design work at Arena Stage includes Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life (2013), At Home at the Zoo (2011) and Frankie and Johnny (2007). Other designs around DC include Corpus Christi at Source Theater (2002 GLAAD Media Award), The Diaries at Signature Theatre, Love's Labour's Lost at Washington Shakespeare Company, Little Shop of Horrors at Fredricksburg Theatre Company, Twelfth Night at Catholic University and Far Away at Georgetown University. He received his BFA from the University of South Dakota where he was an ACTF Region 5 Costume Design Award winner for Waiting for Godot, and his MFA in costume design from University of Cincinnati College — Conservatory of Music, where he received the USITT Peggy Ezekiel Award of Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design for The Rivals.

CATHERINE GIRARDI (Lighting Designer) is pleased to be designing her first production at Arena Stage. She was a Lighting Fellow at Arena for the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons and won the Thomas C. Fichandler Award. Washington area designs include Suessical at Imagination Stage, Sweet Charity and Shakespeare in Hollywood at Catholic University, and The Tempest at Annapolis Shakespeare Company. Other regional credits include Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (The North Pool, The Complete History of Comedy abridged), The Clarence Brown Theatre (A Christmas Carol, Tommy, Ain't Misbehavin', Intimate Apparel, All My Sons), North Carolina Stage Company (Doubt, Underneath the Lintel), and Virginia Stage Company (Goodly Creatures). Catherine holds a MFA in Theatre from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

ELISHEBA ITTOOP (Sound Designer) was last heard in Love in Afghanistan last season. In the Washington area, her designs and original music have been heard at The Kennedy Center, Woolly Mammoth, Ford's Theatre, Folger Theatre, National Gallery of Art, and Studio Theatre. Off-Broadway and regional credits include Signature Theatre, Women's Project, Center Stage, Everyman Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, Alliance Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Children's Theatre of Charlotte and the Center for Puppetry Arts. Elisheba was a resident sound designer at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center for the 2010 and 2011 National Playwrights Conferences, recipient of the Kenan Fellowship at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and winner of the 2008 USITT Rising Star Award. Elisheba earned her MFA at North Carolina School of the Arts. For Alan P.

KURT HALL (Stage Manager)'s favorite Arena credits include The Shoplifters, Smokey Joe's Café, Mother Courage and Her Children starring Kathleen Turner; Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life; Good People; Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins starring Kathleen Turner; The Normal Heart; Red; Ruined; every tongue confess starring Phylicia Rashad; Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies; Looped starring Valerie Harper; Next to Normal starring Alice Ripley; Awake and Sing!; and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?. Other regional credits at the Kennedy Center, Roundabout Theatre Company, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Signature Theatre. Thanks to his family for all their support.

JOCELYN CLARKE (Dramaturg) is the American Voices New Play Institute dramaturg at Arena Stage. He is also the theater adviser to the Arts Council of Ireland and a member of the artistic team of Sundance Institute's Theatre Lab. He has taught dramaturgy at the Kennedy Center, Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University. He is an associate artist with The Civilians and Theater Mitu in New York. He has written six adaptations for director Anne Bogart and her SITI Company —Bob, Alice's Adventures Underground, Room, Score, Antigone and Trojan Women (After Euripides). The First Cosmonaut, his new theater project about the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin for the Blue Raincoat Theatre, premiered in Sligo last October. He is currently working with the Theatre Mitu on a new collaboration Hamlet/Ur Hamlet, which will premiere in Abu Dhabi in early 2015.

In the News

October 23, 2014

Kristen Page-Kirby

At some performances of Our War, an actor or two will be put out of work, if only briefly. Arena Stage has enlisted “notable Washingtonians” to appear at certain performances and read a monologue of their choice… Read more

October 23, 2014

Kristen Page-Kirby

The “playwright” section in the program for Our War at Arena Stage is going to be pretty long. It has to be to get in the show's 25 authors. Instead of one overarching show, Our War is a series of monologues, written by acclaimed American playwrights, that collectively serve as a mediation on the Civil War and its legacy… Read more

October 23, 2014

Broadway World
BWW News Desk

In a bold undertaking as part of the company's involvement with the multi-year, multi-city National Civil War Project, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has commissioned Our War, a dynamic new theatrical event… Read more


DC Theatre Scene
Alan Katz

When I found out about Our War at Arena Stage, I was fascinated. The production is massive in scale, a conglomeration of monologues about and reacting to the Civil War, spanning more than 100 years over 25 monologues, each written by a different playwright… Read more

October 21, 2014

Lucy McCalmont

Serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg enjoys one of the most prominent platforms in the country, but on Friday the octogenarian will be taking her talents to a different stage: the theater… Read more

October 21, 2014

Tanya Pai

A century and a half after the Civil War, most Americans know the basics: Bull Run, Appomattox, the Emancipation Proclamation. But finding a personal connection is another matter… Read more

OUR WAR AT ARENA STAGEOctober 17, 2014

Washington City Paper
Jenny Rogers

She's 81, highly quotable, beloved by women and gays on social media, and has powers endowed by the highest court in the land: Ruth Bader Ginsburg has, essentially, usurped Betty White. Now RBG is infringing on White's theatrical territory, too… Read more

October 21, 2014

Broadway World
BWW News Desk

In a bold undertaking as part of the company's involvement with the multi-year, multi-city National Civil War Project, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has commissioned Our War, a dynamic new theatrical event… Read more

October 20, 2014

The Georgetowner
Gary Tischler

Almost 30 esteemed playwrights, commissioned to write monologues and vignettes. An ensemble of six local actors, joined by nearly 30 notable political, community and cultural leaders to present the results. For director Anita Maynard-Losh, Arena Stage's Director of Community Engagement, that's quite a challenge… Read more


Our War at Arena Stage

From many voices comes one American story. Don't miss Our War, a one-of-a-kind theatrical event with a surprising new take on the Civil War and its repercussions today.

65th Anniversary Season

It is awe-inspiring to think of Arena Stage's contribution to American theater over the past 64 years. And now, with our 65th season, we aim to honor that history by presenting a collection of stirring works to challenge and excite us as artists and audiences.

Behind the Scenes

Welcome to Off Book – Arena Stage's online forum featuring American artists at the top of their game, talking about what they do best. Actors, directors, writers, dramaturgs, designers – unscripted and unrehearsed.

We're participating in the National Civil War Project, and part of our contribution is taking an opportunity to investigate what's resonant or relevant about the Civil War today. What better way to do that than to ask 25 exciting, contemporary playwrights to write a monologue in reaction to the Civil War. These pieces are not necessarily set in the Civil War, in fact the majority are not. Most of them are responses to the Civil War in a contemporary setting. What's thrilling to me about the project is, as you can imagine, each of these monologues is very, very different. They are wildly varied and unique and in some cases extremely surprising. It's exciting to get a chance to explore the question, “Who controls historic narrative? Who decides what our image of an historic narrative is?” Read More

From its conception, Our War was a very ambitious project: to commission 25 playwrights from all over the country to write short monologues about the Civil War and its historical, political and socio-cultural legacies. And then to present all 25 plays on stage over two nights, which an ensemble of six actors would perform, playing a myriad of characters from different backgrounds, places and eras. Read More

It has been almost two years since we publically launched the National Civil War Project (NWCP). Thinking about the production of Our War, a commissioned piece for the project, I find myself reflecting on all that has been accomplished so far. Read More

As a play made up of 25 monologues compiled into two variations – “Stars” and “Stripes” – Our War required a unique rehearsal structure. After an initial read and table work with the whole cast, director Anita Maynard-Losh, met with the actors, one-on-one, to work through each piece. We moved on to ensemble building, staging and technical rehearsals, but in the midst of these steps, we kept returning to these individual meetings to continue to discover and deepen each monologue in the play. Read More

Performance schedules


The Truth, Revealed by John Strand
Being Wright by Charles Randolph-Wright
Moo by Aditi Kapil
That Boy by David Lindsay-Abaire
Context by Ken Narasaki
Carry Me Home by Naomi Iizuka
Convalescent Ward, Harrison's Landing 1862 by Amy Freed
A Cause for Laughter by Ken Ludwig
Questions for a Union Soldier by Dan LeFranc
Fourteen Freight Trains by María Agui Carter
Times Have Changed by Heather Raffo
Antique by Robert O'Hara
The Homesteader by Samuel D. Hunter
The Good Private by Tanya Saracho
Angels of the Battlefield by Nicholas Ong
Woods Lewis, a Civil War Soldier, and a Grapefruit by Diane Glancy
The Grey Rooster by Lynn Nottage
Addressing by Lydia Diamond

to be performed
October 19 at 8:00 PM
October 22 at 7:30 PM
October 24 at 8:00 PM
October 25 at 2:00 PM
October 26 at 2:00 PM
October 28 at 7:30 PM
October 30 at 8:00 PM
November 1 at 8:00 PM
November 2 at 7:30 PM
November 4 at 7:30 PM
November 6 at 8:00 PM
November 8 at 2:00 PM
November 9 at 7:30 PM


The Truth, Revealed by John Strand
Being Wright by Charles Randolph-Wright
Moo by Aditi Kapil
That Boy by David Lindsay-Abaire
Context by Ken Narasaki
Carry Me Home by Naomi Iizuka
Convalescent Ward, Harrison's Landing 1862 by Amy Freed
A Cause for Laughter by Ken Ludwig
Questions for a Union Soldier by Dan LeFranc
This Was Not Our War by Joy Harjo
La Adelita by Karen ZacarÍas
This is How We Do by Tazewell Thompson
An Indin' Shows a War, but not Civil by William S. Yellow Robe, Jr.
The Lord's Prayer by Zinhle Essamuah
The Dying Sentimentalist, A eulogy for Stephen Foster as performed by Walt Whitman by Taylor Mac
A Tale of Two Johns by Betty Shamieh
The Grey Rooster by Lynn Nottage
Addressing by Lydia Diamond

to be performed
October 21 at 7:30 PM
October 23 at 8:00 PM
October 25 at 8:00 PM
October 26 at 7:30 PM
October 29 at 7:30 PM
October 31 at 8:00 PM
November 1 at 2:00 PM
November 2 at 2:00 PM
November 5 at 7:30 PM
November 7 at 8:00 PM
November 8 at 8:00 PM
November 9 at 2:00 PM

Subject to change.


Post-Show Discussion

October 30 at 8:00 p.m.

Monologue Contest Winners

In June, Arena Stage announced a national contest for three-minute monologues held in conjunction with the world-premiere of Our War. More than 150 entries from around the world were submitted and the winners are:

Dave LankfordTree
Dave Lankford is the Executive Director of The Shelter, an ensemble off-Broadway theater company dedicated to the development of emerging artists and new works, where he often contributes as a writer, actor and director. Dave's plays have been performed throughout New York, including Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Workshop Theatre Company Main Stage, Under St. Marks, Gene Frankel Theatre, Gloria Maddox Theater and the historic Cherry Lane Theatre. Dave is an alumnus of T. Schreiber Studio and The American University. He currently serves as VP of Product for Dr. Oz Digital, part of the Emmy Award-winning program The Dr. Oz Show.

Sarah PitardMary/Marcus
Sarah Pitard is an actress and writer, originally from Champaign, IL, who holds an MA in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she currently resides. Her radio play Plus One was the recent winner of The UK Actors' Guild's Write Bites competition and will be recorded in association with Wireless Theatre Company this fall. Her plays The Inappropriateness of Love and Freedom, Books, Flowers, and the Moon have been performed in London, and her short film Not Love goes into production in the New Year.

Lisa SillawayThe Peacock's War
Lisa Sillaway is a new playwright from Kansas. She has been "a writer" since the second grade when she won her first essay contest. Lisa earned a Master in Education degree and has worked as a journalist, PR exec, advertising creative, entertainment feature writer and college English instructor. It has only been within the past year that she has returned to her other love, theater, as a playwright. She has written four plays thus far and is preparing to workshop her script based on the life and music of the late Chris LeDoux in October.

The monologues will debut at a public reading November 6, 2014 following the 8:00 p.m. performance. The winners will also receive a session with American Voices New Play Institute Dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke, a listing in the Our War program and an award certificate. The finished monologues along with video clips of the performed monologues will be posted on Arena Stage's website and shared via social media.


Audio Described

November 1, 2014 – 2:00pm

Open Captioned

November 4, 2014 – 7:30pm

For complete information on Accessibility Programs at Arena Stage, click here.

All performers and performance dates subject to change.

Our War runs approximately 95 minutes, with no intermission.