Ford’s Newest Radio Play Explores A Pair of Encounters Between Douglass and Lincoln

Credit: Library of America

After the success of A Christmas Carol, Ford’s Theatre is set to release another radio play in partnership with WPFW 89.3 FM. This latest, an adaptation of Richard Hellesen’s Necessary Sacrifices, features acclaimed Washington actors Craig Wallace as Frederick Douglass and Paul Morella as Abraham Lincoln, and Psalmayene 24 is making his Ford’s directorial debut.

Necessary Sacrifices explores the two documented encounters between Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln during a period of national crisis. During the summers of 1863 and 1864, Douglass challenged Lincoln to use his power as president to bring truth to America’s founding ideal that “all men are created equal.”

“Frederick Douglass respected Abraham Lincoln but was highly critical of Lincoln’s slowness on taking key actions toward equality and emancipation,” said Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault.  “Lincoln, though morally opposed to slavery, was unsure how to legally end it and what to do once it was ended. The play shows how these two men came together and debated, disagreed, and ultimately found common ground. As our nation confronts deep political divisions, and we rise to answer calls for equity and justice for Black Americans, I hope this play inspires audiences to listen as Lincoln did and to agitate for change like Douglass.”

Necessary Sacrifices includes Original Music, Sound Design, and Audio Production by John Gromada. The radio play will be made available to Ford’s Theatre Members on April 6 and then to the public on April 12, via the Ford’s Theatre website. WPFW 89.3FM will broadcast the play on April 15 at 7:00 p.m. (the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death), and April 23 at 3:00 p.m.

Add Comment