Actors playing Harry Ford and Harry Hawk wear 1860s costumes including top hats. They stand in front of the Ford’s Theatre Presidential Box.
Photo of Jonathan Atkinson and Joe Mallon by Carolina Dulcey. Background photo by Gary Erskine.

One Destiny

A one-act play about the Lincoln assassination at Ford’s Theatre.

duration 40 minutes with no intermission.
rating Recommended for ages 8 and older.
accessibility Accessible

Performances resume March 28, 2023

Learn about President Lincoln’s assassination from two men who were there. Actor Harry Hawk and Ford’s Theatre co-owner Harry Ford revisit the events of April 14, 1865. As they reconstruct the sequence of events, they grapple with the question: Could John Wilkes Booth have been stopped?

This 40-minute performance explores the key facts of the assassination while capturing the emotions of that fateful night. The production also has been featured in local schools and at the White House.

In-person performances of One Destiny will be offered Tuesdays-Saturdays beginning March 28, as part of historic site entries at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Our 2023 cast will feature Jonathan Atkinson and Joe Mallon.

On Demand recorded performance now available

Ford’s Theatre presents One Destiny: On Demand, available to stream from your home or your classroom, now through the end of 2023. Learn more about how to reserve tickets to view the recorded version of this Ford’s Theatre tradition, featuring Michael Bunce and Stephen F. Schmidt.


Richard Hellesen


Mark Ramont

Support Ford’s Theatre

Give Today

Ford’s Theatre is able to offer our productions through the generosity of our donors. Please consider a gift to support our theatre, education and history programs today!

Watch the Trailer

From The Gallery


"Powerful performance, definitely recommend this experience as an introduction to visiting @fordstheatre #FordsDestiny"
– @bluelikechagall
"Even more than the museum, we enjoyed a one act play, 'One Destiny,' where actors who portrayed the co-owner of the theater and an actor of the theater at the time, discuss whether they could have changed the course of history. It was an interesting view of events surrounding the assassination of A
– Fae G., TripAdvisor
"One Destiny has levity but it also beautifully captures the pain that Booth caused so many, outside of just Lincoln. #FordsDestiny"
– Twitter User @beccagrawl
"Again @fordstheatre does an incredible respectful awaking of history. Highly recommend you include One Destiny in your DCtrip #FordsDestiny"
– Twitter User @DarrenMilligan