John Strand’s critically acclaimed political drama The Originalist, based on the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is set to return to Arena Stage under the direction of artistic director Molly Smith. A co-production with Asolo Repertory Theatre and the Pasadena Playhouse, where it ran earlier in 2017, performances will run July 7-30 in the Kreeger Theater. An engagement at Chicago’s Court Theatre will follow the D.C. mounting.
Edward Gero reprises his role as Justice Scalia, which he performed in the play's Arena Stage world premiere in 2015. He is joined by Jade Wheeler as Cat, the young, liberal law clerk who becomes a sparring partner for the conservative Justice; and Brett Mack as Brad, an eager Scalia devotee.
The creative team includes set designer Misha Kachman, costume designer Joseph P. Salasovich, lighting designer Colin K. Bills, and sound designer Eric Shimelonis.
The story is described as follows: "When a bright, liberal, Harvard Law School graduate embarks on a nerve-wracking clerkship with the conservative Justice, she discovers him to be both an infuriating sparring partner and an unexpected mentor. How will their relationship affect one of the most incendiary cases ever to reach the nation’s highest court?"
The Originalist received its world premiere at Arena Stage in 2015, where it was extended twice, and was subsequently produced for the screen by Stage17, broadcast on PBS, and recorded by L.A. Theatre Works as a radio play. The play was commissioned as part of Power Plays, an initiative from Arena Stage to commission and develop 25 new plays over the course of the next 10 years, focused on stories of politics and power.