The Lincoln Legacy Project at Ford’s Theatre

Photo courtesy of
‘Rehearsal, Ford’s Theatre’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

With Republican debates underway and the growth of both Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Occupy Wall Street, it appears most of America is angry, frustrated, or confused. And we’re all pretty much broke.

What better time, then, to look back on the legacy of a president who saw the country through its most traumatic era?

This month, Ford’s Theatre launches the Lincoln Legacy Project, a 5-year effort to create dialogue around the issues of tolerance, equality, and acceptance.

You read that right: it’s a 5-year project. And yes, they know that 5 years in DC time is about 2.5 generations of staffers moving in and out. By the time they’re finished, we’ll be entering primary debates again.

“Lincoln’s legacy is vast—far more than can be explored even in a 5-year initiative. For that reason, we are focusing The Lincoln Legacy Project on the foundation of his legacy: equality,” says Paul Tetreault, director of Ford’s Theatre. “We seek to present work that is both meaningful and motivational; to showcase the courageous men and women who pursued equality against extraordinary odds, as well as investigate moments in our nation’s history when we failed to live up to our ideals.”

Each year, Ford’s Theatre will present one centerpiece show around which they hope to start a dialogue. The theater will host special events to highlight the centerpiece show, including post-performance discussions and panel presentations.

The project’s first year also coincides with the February 2012 grand opening of the Center for Education and Leadership, a renovated campus for the theater’s educational programs.

We Love DC’s Rachel Levitin reviewed Parade – this year’s centerpiece production – back in September. Parade tells the true story of Leo Frank, who was wrongfully accused and ultimately lynched by a mob in early 20th-century Atlanta. It runs through October 30.

Related panel discussions end next Monday, October 24 at 7pm with the event “And the Young Shall Lead Us: A Conversation with Operation Understanding DC.” Tickets are free and available at the box office. Arrive early for the best seats.

Joanna moved to DC in 2010 knowing she’d love it, and as usual she was right. She enjoys eating fried things, drinking scotch and smoking cigars, and makes up for the damage done by snacking on organic oats and barley and walking long distances to wherever with her dog Henry. Joanna now lives with her husband and said dog in Los Angeles, and they all miss DC terribly. Follow her on Twitter or contact her at

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