An actor portraying Abraham Lincoln holds an actor portraying his young son and kisses his forehead.
David Selby as Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Cook as Tad Lincoln in the Ford’s Theatre production of The Heavens Are Hung In Black, by James Still. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

The Heavens are Hung in Black

To celebrate our grand reopening and the bicentennial of President Lincoln’s birth, Ford’s Theatre has commissioned a new play, The Heavens Are Hung In Black by award-winning playwright James Still. Heavens will be the first play offered in the newly renovated Ford’s Theatre.

date February 3, 2009 — March 8, 2009

Highlighting the five months between the death of Lincoln’s son Willie and the delivery of the Emancipation Proclamation, Heavens will offer audiences a glimpse into the person who was Abraham Lincoln. Faced with unbearable personal, political and historical pressures, Lincoln copes with the world around him and eventually, through an amazing transformation of thinking, conquers it. Don’t miss this exciting world premiere perfect to reopen the historic Ford’s Theatre.

Artistic Team

Written by James Still
Director Stephen Rayne
Scenic Design Takeshi Kata
Costume Design Wade Laboissonniere
Lighting Design Pat Collins
Sound Design and Original Music Ryan Rumery
Video Design Clint Allen
Wig and Make-up Design Cookie Jordan
Production Stage Manager Brandon Prendergast
Assistant Stage Manager Kate Kilbane
New York Casting Jim Carnahan, C.S.A; Stephen Kopel

Cast

Silhouette of a human head on black.

David Selby

Abraham Lincoln

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Benjamin Cook

Tad Lincoln

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Jonathan Fielding

John Hay, Lincoln's personal secretary

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Scott Westerman

Ward Lamon, Marshal/Billy Brown

Silhouette of a human head on black.

David Emerson Toney

Dred Scott/Uncle Tom/Butler/Solider

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Michael Goodwin

Walt Whitman

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Steven Carpenter

Union Major/Exeter

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Norman Aronovic

John Brown/Canterbury

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Robin Mosley

Mary Todd Lincoln

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Hugh Nees

Stephen Douglas and Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Edward James Hyland

Secretary of State William Seward/Jefferson Davis

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Beth Hylton

Mrs. Winston/Young Woman

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Chaney Tullos

Thomas Haley

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Benjamin Schiffbauer

Young Solider

Silhouette of a human head on black.

James Chatham

Willie Lincoln/Newsboy

Silhouette of a human head on black.

Jonathan Watkins

Bates

From the Gallery

An actor portraying Abraham Lincoln holds an actor portraying his young son and kisses his forehead.

David Selby as Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Cook as Tad Lincoln in the Ford’s Theatre production of “The Heavens Are Hung In Black,” by James Still and directed by Stephen Rayne. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

An actor portraying Tad Lincoln sits on the shoulders of an actor portraying Abraham Lincoln as he walks through an office. Both are smiling broadly.

David Selby as Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Cook as Tad Lincoln in the Ford’s Theatre production of “The Heavens Are Hung In Black,” by James Still and directed by Stephen Rayne. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

An actor portraying Abraham Lincoln leans forward onto a stool with his fingers intertwined and speaks.

David Selby as Abraham Lincoln in the Ford’s Theatre production of “The Heavens Are Hung In Black,” by James Still and directed by Stephen Rayne. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

An actor portraying Abraham Lincoln leans forward on a large desk with one hand on his forehead and his eyes closed.

David Selby as Abraham Lincoln in the Ford’s Theatre production of “The Heavens Are Hung In Black,” by James Still and directed by Stephen Rayne. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.