by Aaron Posner
Originally produced at Arena Stage, Washington, DC
March 1, 2019 to April 14, 2019
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: Complicated, passionate and difficult, John Quincy Adams was a brilliant diplomat, ineffectual one-term President and congressman known for his eloquence, arrogance and integrity. This unique, highly-theatrical play by award-winning playwright Aaron Posner (Stupid F**king Bird) imagines key confrontations between JQA and some of America’s most dynamic figures: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, his own father, John Adams and more. At once provocative, haunting and hilarious, this power play challenges the way we think of our country, our government and ourselves.
Artistic Statement: “People are politically active in a way that I haven’t experienced in my lifetime. Through all the chaos in the world, we have a hunger to hear explosive stories, to understand what we’re doing as human beings – and to see what happens when we join together to make a better world. I am eager to work with Aaron on the artistic vision and direction of JQA, as well as with Arena’s Resident Dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke who will help shape the course of the play. This is an exciting new play—Shavian in its language and contemporary in tone- and could only be written by Aaron Posner.” –Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith
Grant Statement: Initially a regular four-week rehearsal period was planned for JQA, with 6 days of preview rehearsals budgeted. However, Arena Stage hoped to schedule an additional week of preview performances and rehearsals to give the play ample time to develop in front of audiences prior to opening night. This extra rehearsal time is especially helpful for the creative team to execute a balanced blend between its historical projections and modern set. We are grateful that the Edgerton Foundation funded daytime rehearsals that will take place in that additional week. Funding from the Foundation also helps offset the housing and production costs for designers, cast and crew who will all be on-site during previews.
Additional funders: David Bruce Smith Foundation, Sue Henry and Carter Phillips, Susan and Steven Bralove