Everyone involved with Camp David is an award winner. The historic drama about the meeting of three Nobel Prize world leaders was written by a Pulitzer Prize winning author and stars Emmy and Tony Award winners.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Lawrence Wright’s drama takes place over the 13 days at the presidential retreat in Catoctin Mountain Park when President Jimmy Carter (portrayed by Emmy winner Richard Thomas) and his wife Rosalynn (Tony Award nominee Hallie Foote) hosted Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (portrayed by Tony winner Ron Rifkin) and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (Egyptian actor and activist Khaled Nabawy).
This meeting to pursue the impossible dream of creating peace in the Middle East would result in a treaty between Egypt and Israel, signed in Washington, DC, on March 26th, 1979.
For the first time in history Egypt, a prominent Arab state and Israel’s most powerful enemy, recognized Israel’s legitimacy. Israel accepted principles for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict and withdrew its armed forces and civilians from the rest of the Sinai Peninsula which had been captured during the Six-Day War in 1967. The agreement also included free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal.
The play pivots on the moments when this possible peace is at stake.
While hailed as a watershed moment in Middle Eastern history, the Camp David Accords would not win either Sadat or Begin unanimous accolades. Begin’s most devout radical followers and Sadat’s Arab allies were severe critics.
But for many in the world, the two men had risen above their national politics to be be true leaders. They would share the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978. Jimmy Carter would be awarded the Nobel in 2002.
Emmy Award-winning TV and movie producer Gerald Rafshoon, who served as White House communications director during the momentous summit at Camp David brought the idea of this project to Molly Smith, who directed the production.
WHAT: Camp David by Lawrence Wright and directed by Artistic Director Molly Smith
WHERE: Kreeger Theater
WHEN: MARCH 23 – MAY 4, 2014
TICKETS: Tickets for Camp David are $55-$110, subject to change and based on availability, plus applicable fees. For information on savings programs such as student discounts, Southwest Nights, Pay-Your-Age tickets and Hero’s Discounts, visit arenastage.org/shows-tickets/single-tickets/savings-programs/. Tickets may be purchased online at arenastage.org, by phone at 202-488-3300, or at the Sales Office at 1101 6th St SW.
SOUTHWEST NIGHT: Sunday, April 20th, at 6:00 p.m.
COST: Southwest D.C. residents may buy discounted tickets for specially designated performances of each production. Tickets are $35 for musicals and $25 for non-musicals, plus fees. Proof of Southwest DC residency or employment for each member of the party must be presented at the time of purchase. Tickets are limited to four per person and are based on availability. Sales Office at 1101 6th St SW.
SPECIAL EVENT: President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter will serve as Honorary Chairs of the Camp David Red Carpet Premiere on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014, the official opening night for the world-premiere historical drama. The VIP event starts with a pre-show cocktail reception, three-course seated dinner in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle, opening night performance, and post-show dessert reception with the cast. Individual tickets and corporate sponsorship opportunities for range from $250 to $50,000. Further information and to secure tickets, contact Maria Corso at 202-600-4176 or via email at rsvp@arenastage.org. For additional details, you may visit arenastage.org/donate/special-events/camp-david-premiere/.
We know so much has happened since that meeting. To go back in time and re-visit the events that presented the possibility of hope through leaders working together, that is the gift that theater can give. Arena continues with post-show conversations and discussions with guest panelists focused on the historical and modern influences of the Camp David Accords, Middle East peace talks then and now, and the art of staging historical stories.
By: Sheila Wickouski

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