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The City of Conversation Makes DC Premiere

The new play begins its run this evening at Arena Stage.

Margaret Colin as Hester Ferris in The City of Conversation at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater.
(© Tony Powell)

The City of Conversation starts performances tonight at Arena Stage.

Hester Ferris has hosted elite people of all political persuasions in her Georgetown home, inviting them to lay down their arms and raise a glass. However, this peace is disrupted when her son's formidable and conservative wife arrives. Suddenly, entrenched posturing and ultimatums threaten not only to upset the parlor pleasantries Hester has come to know in D.C. but to unravel her entire family. From the end of Carter's presidency, through the Reagan era, and to Obama's historic election, the Ferris family provides a close look at the theater of politics and the politics of conversation.

Tony Award winner Doug Hughes directs Anthony Giardina's smash hit. The cast features Margaret Colin as Hester Ferris, Michael Simpson as Colin Ferris and Ethan Ferris, Caroline Hewitt as Anna Fitzgerald, Ann McDonough as Jean Swift, Tom Wiggin as Chandler Harris, Freddie Bennett as Donald Logan, Todd Scofield as George Mallonee, Jjana Valentiner as Carolyn Mallonee, and Tyler Smallwood as Young Ethan Ferris, with Caedan White as understudy for Young Ethan.

"Ever since some of the Washington figures who are offstage characters in the play — people like Sally Quinn and Ralph Neas — began making the trek up to Lincoln Center, I knew we had to bring the play to D.C.," says Giardina. "There's nothing more thrilling for a playwright than to have a conversation with the people who actually made the history he's tried to imagine his way into."

The creative team includes John Lee Beatty (set design), Catherine Zuber (costumer design), Tyler Micoleau (lighting design), and Mark Bennett (original music and sound design).

Performances will run through March 6.

For tickets and more information, click here.