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  Jefferson's Garden at Ford's Theatre

Jefferson's Garden

Ford's Theatre
511 Tenth Street, N.W. Washington

What did our founding fathers mean when they wrote all those high-minded words about freedom? In playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker's Jefferson's Garden, two characters straddle the line between the founders' good intentions and reality. During the tumultuous founding of the United States, Christian, a Quaker, is desperate to join the revolution and fight for freedom despite his pacifist beliefs. Susannah, a slave, is tempted to fight for the British, who have promised to set her free after the war. When the two cross paths, the contradictions inherent in "a nation conceived in liberty" are brought into harsh light. As Christian and Susannah meet figures like Thomas Jefferson, George Mason and Sally Hemings, they uncover the compromises our founders made, compromises that still echo today. Jefferson's Garden is a timely meditation on the realities of freedom of America at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Thru - Feb 11, 2018

Tuesdays: 7:30pm
Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sundays: 2:00pm

Box Office: 202-347-4833

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  Jefferson's Garden Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Washington Post - Somewhat Recommended

"...The spare staging gets plenty of atmosphere from Laura Mroczkowski's careful lighting design, yet it feels like a show with holes in its fabric. Wertenbaker has woven a sizable tapestry, and it gains aura by being framed at Ford's. The history is terribly alive, but the fiction doesn't always connect."
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Nelson Pressley

BroadwayWorld - Somewhat Recommended

"...The great conundrum of our American experience has always been how the Founding Fathers could advocate for liberty while holding others in personal bondage. And if there was ever a theatre where this enigma should be explored, where better than Ford's Theatre? This is, after all, where the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln's life was taken and it remains a living monument to his memory and ideals. Which makes it the perfect venue for Jefferson's Garden, a play that attempts to provoke serious thought but falls far short."
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Benjamin Tomchik

DC Metro Theater Arts - Somewhat Recommended

"...The Fordís Theatre production of Jeffersonís Garden (by Timberlake Wertenbaker), which had its American premiere on January 24, tries to balance the oft-tread narrative of Thomas Jeffersonís role in shaping America with a Greek chorus that flits between vignettes from 1760 to 1795. The result is a weighty, uneven production that nevertheless features some standout scenes and performers."
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Elizabeth Ballou

MD Theatre Guide - Recommended

"...Directed by Nataki Garrett, this thought-provoking play is about a young Quaker shoemaker named Christian who splits from his family to join the Revolution. Having made a pair of boots for his hero Thomas Jefferson, Christian travels to Virginia to nobly offer his services to aid in the battle against the British. In order to do this, Christian must lay down his sewing needle in place of a rifle. Having fallen in love with a black slave, Susannah, Christian's dreams of liberty for all is put to the test in this multifaceted drama."
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Mark Beachy

DCTheatreScene - Recommended

"...The outstanding cast includes metro favorites. Maggie Wilder is touching as Imogen, a Quaker woman with a name known from Shakespeare, and interestingly the name of a play going on right now. Kathryn Tkel, character actors Christopher Bloch and Thomas Keegan are all excellent to watch in their various roles. Michael Kevin Darnall plays the slave James Hemmings who has an oratory gift of recitation from perfect memory, an art form that sustained humanity for ages and fun to witness. The always wonderful Kimberly Gilbert plays a humble Quaker wife with the same aplomb that she does a southern belle. "
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Debbie Minter Jackson

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