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americanr epertorytheater.org 2013/14 SEASON

The 4th Graders

We launch our 2013/14 Season with a dynamic new play by Pulitzer Prizewinning playwright Robert Schenkkan. All The Way is Schenkkan’s imagining of Lyndon B. Johnson’s first year in office, and his determined struggle to pass the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Three-time Emmy Award-winner Bryan Cranston (AMC’s “Breaking Bad”) joins an all-star cast as LBJ. Diane Paulus, Artistic Director The production is led by Bill Rauch, Artistic Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, who directed his very first show in the Loeb Ex when he was an undergrad at Harvard (class of ’84). I am thrilled to welcome these exceptional artists to the A.R.T. to stage a production that is sure to catalyze discussion on current American politics, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s recent invalidation of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. I am also thrilled to welcome back Sean Graney, the director of last season’s hit Pirates of Penzance. Sean will be a fellow this year at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, where he will be developing an epic, original adaptation of all thirty-two Greek tragedies with our graduate students at the A.R.T. Institute. In October, Sean’s poignant exploration of school bullying, The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Love-Suicide, will be staged by director Marcus Stern, featuring a cast of our Institute students. It’s an exciting start to the 2013/14 Season. Read on in this Guide for more details on both of these events; then flip the Guide over to learn about our winter family productions— The Heart of Robin Hood and The Light Princess. As always, thank you for joining the experience at the A.R.T.!

All the Way

welcome to FALL 2013 AT THE A.R.T.

Cover photo: AFP/AFP/Getty Imag es

A.R.T. BOARDS Board of Trustees Steve Johnson, Chairman Laurie Burt Paul Buttenwieser Kevin Cole Costin Mike Dreese Zita Ezpeleta Michael Feinstein Provost Alan M. Garber Lori Gross Ann Gund Sarah Hancock Jonathan Hulbert Alan Jones Fumi Matsumoto Thomas B. McGrath Rebecca Milikowsky Ward Mooney Robert Murchison Diane Paulus James Rhee Mike Sheehan

Diana Sorensen Lisbeth Tarlow Donald Ware Board of Advisors Rachael Goldfarb, Co-Chair Ann Gund, Co-Chair Frances Shtull Adams Yuriko Jane Anton Joseph Auerbach* Robert Bowie, Jr. Philip Burling* Greg Carr Antonia Handler Chayes* Bernard Chiu Lizabeth Cohen Kathleen Connor Rohit Deshpande Susan EdgmanLevitan

Jill Fopiano Erin Gilligan Candy Kosow Gold Barbara Grossman Horace H. Irvine II Ethan W. Lasser Dan Mathieu Travis McCready Ellen Gordon Reeves Linda U. Sanger Maggie Seelig Dina Selkoe John A. Shane Michael Shinagel Sarasina Tuchen Alfred Wojciechowski Stephen H. Zinner, M.D. *Emeriti

Founding Director Robert Brustein

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All the Way

all the way SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 – OCTOBER 12, 2013

By Robert Schenkkan | Directed by Bill Rauch 1963. An assassin’s bullet catapults Lyndon B. Johnson into the presidency. A Shakespearean figure of towering ambition and appetite, this charismatic, conflicted Texan hurls himself into the Civil Rights Act, a tinderbox issue emblematic of a divided America. In the Pulitzer Prizeout on the precipice of modern America. An overwhelming success during its premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2012, this searing new play is an enthralling exploration of the morality of power. With support from: THE BLANCHE AND IRVING LAURIE FOUNDATION and

The 4th Graders

winning playwright’s vivid dramatization of LBJ’s first year in office, means versus ends plays

Building the Great Society A.R.T. Dramaturg Ryan McKittrick interviews playwright Robert Schenkkan Ryan McKittrick: What inspired you to turn your attention to the 1960s and the Civil Rights Act? Robert Schenkkan: I was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as part of their American Revolutions program, but I had been thinking about LBJ for a long time. I grew up in Austin, Texas, and my family knew LBJ casually. My father had been hired by the University of Texas to set up the first public television and radio station in Texas. That meant he had to go to then Senator Johnson and get his permission to open, what would have been, a station that was in competition with Johnson’s own television and radio empire, which was the heart of his somewhat controversial fortune. I’m pleased to say that Senator Johnson not only gave his blessing and his support, but that he also, during his presidency, signed into law the bill that created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. So there was that odd little family connection, rife with an apocryphal visit to the LBJ ranch where my family’s car supposedly got stuck in the mud and Senator Johnson came out to help pull it out himself.

ROBERT SCHENKKAN

RM: What was Johnson like in person? RS: I was too young to remember this, but my older brother said that the only time he saw our father with LBJ was also the first time and only time he ever saw our continued >

The Civil Rights Movement Timeline

Compiled by Leslie Gehring

1783 Massachusetts abolishes slavery.

1863 President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation.

1865 The ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment abolishes slavery in the United States. continued >

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those same tactics with Vietnam or with getting himself father cowed. By anybody. He was extremely respectful re-elected, we begin to feel a little uncomfortable. around Senator Johnson. On a more personal level, I For me, his first term, November 1963 to November remember both the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy and the 1964 1964, is seminal. A pivotal point in America. So much LBJ-Goldwater elections. The 1964 election is especially happens that will go on to shape the country and the vivid in my mind. It was the first time I was really politically political debates that we continue to have to this day. engaged. I had “All the Way with LBJ” stickers on my This was the end of the famous Democratic school books, wore my LBJ/Humphrey button, dominance in the South and the emergence and was convinced that if Goldwater won of the modern Republican Party with their there would be a nuclear apocalypse. “If you look at the arguments Southern strategy. This year saw the first major civil rights bill since Abraham Lincoln. It’s the RM: How old were you? over social beginning of the Great Society. Medicare and programs that Medicaid. Poverty Bills. Job Bills. Urban renewal. RS: Twelve. And I remember the elation over we’re having Environmental laws. Consumer Protection the size of his historic, landmark victory. laws. The NEA. Head Start. Freedom of And then, within three years, with two older today, they Information Act. Just an incredible legislative brothers facing the draft and 200,000 are the same accomplishment. But it is also the beginning soldiers in Vietnam, I had a very different arguments of the fracturing of the Civil Rights Movement, feeling about LBJ. Then move forward 15 that they were which was never monolithic to begin with, of years: I’m married with children; I’m an artist; course, but in this year, you can begin to see I’m trying to make a living in this country and having in the younger generation bristle against the becoming aware of how many aspects of 1964.” notion of non-violence and out of that will the social network on which I depend were eventually come Black Nationalism. And finally created during the Great Society, and I have Vietnam—the Gulf of Tonkin incident and subsequent a different feeling yet again about LBJ. So I have had a Resolution, on the basis of which all action in Vietnam very complicated relationship with the man. was eventually justified. It’s an extraordinary year. You can really do a before-and-after for the United States RM: Why is Johnson such a compelling character to you with that year. as a dramatist? RS: Because he was a figure of Shakespearean size in both his appetite and his ambition. Because he accomplished so much progressive legislation on the domestic front. Because of Vietnam. And finally because it was such a tumultuous period, out of which modern political America was violently birthed. What especially interested me about Johnson was the whole notion of power and morality. We want our presidents to be aggressive. We want them to take action. We want them to achieve. It’s fascinating to watch LBJ as he labors to bring the 1964 Civil Rights Act into being. As audience members we relish all of his tactics—most of which are fairly distasteful. I think that’s what Bismarck referred to as the “the sausage-making of politics.” But we cheer him on and we take pleasure in it because we believe in what he is doing. Yet when he uses

RM: Absolutely. The first time I read your play I couldn’t stop thinking about how this moment explains so much about where we are politically in this country today. RS: If you look at the arguments over social programs that we’re having today, they are the same arguments that they were having in 1964. And then look at the recent Supreme Court decision on voting rights. What an extraordinarily sad chapter in the struggle for voting rights and equality in this country. We tend to forget how bad it was and what had to be overcome and not so long ago. Fifty years is not a long time. I think this play will feel very contemporary for Boston audiences because of its current political relevance and because it touches on a time about which many people have acutely personal memories of their own.

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1866 The first Civil Rights Act is passed, granting former slaves U.S. citizenship.

1870 The Fifteenth Amendment is ratified, giving black males the right to vote.

1868 The Fourteenth Amendment is ratified, reaffirming citizenship for blacks and stating that all citizens have equal protection under the law.

1896 The Supreme Court rules that “separate but equal” treatment of races is allowed in Plessy v. Ferguson.

July 26, 1948 President Harry S. Truman issues an executive order calling for the desegregation of the U.S. military. 1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded.

May 17, 1954 The U.S. Supreme Court rules against school segregation in Brown v.

Board of Education, overturning Plessy v. Ferguson. December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks is jailed for refusing to move to the back of a Montgomery, Alabama public bus.

photos: Library of Congress; AP/ Montgomery County Sheriff’s office

Civil Rights Movement Timeline


americanr epertorytheater.org 2013/14 SEASON

All the Way

Erica Sullivan, Peter Frechette, and Jack Willis in All the Way at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2012

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Photo: Jenny Graham

History through my Eyes Members of our A.R.T. community shared with us their personal stories from 1963/1964, the time in which All the Way is set. Visit our website to explore these stories and add your own online #mystoryATW. americanrepertorytheater.org/mystory

RM: Do you think the past five decades have seen a gradual chipping away at Johnson’s Great Society?

Photos: WILL COUNTS / ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT/ AP; AP

RS: There’s no question about it. That became true immediately after Nixon was elected. But the Great Society was under assault from the very beginning; those legislative achievements were hard won. The Great Society included a number of very different kinds of social programs, basically predicated on the notion that one of the primary responsibilities of the federal government is to improve the life, health, and welfare of all of its citizens. Now, there were definitely problems with some of those bills. Some programs were not fully thought through, and all of them, at least in the beginning, were underfunded. But, by and large, the

January 10, 1957 Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Southern black clergy members create the southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). August 29, 1957 The Civil Rights Act of 1957 passes, creating a Civil Rights division in the Justice Department.

September 4, 1957 Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus orders the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Little Rock Central High School.

country took an enormous leap forward. For example, you can look at the change in poverty pre-LBJ and postLBJ, and there’s a significant reduction—something on the order of a ten percent drop nationwide. Then you look at the health consequences. And the number of students who went on to college. One can make a very compelling argument that it did what it was supposed to do. RM: Has President Obama slowed that assault on the Great Society? RS: He certainly comes out of a tradition that believes the federal government has this responsibility. And Obamacare is an attempt to fill in some of the gaps of Medicare and Medicaid, and to that extent it is a very laudable achievement. Not perfect, but, as Lyndon would say, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I think it’s a good step forward, and I think it will continue to be revised and honed over time. I just wish Obama would channel his inner LBJ a bit more.

September 24, 1957 President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends 1,000 paratroopers to Little Rock Central High School to enforce a federal court order integrating the school.

continued >

February 1, 1960 Four black college students stage a sit-in at the lunch counter of a Woolworth department store in Greensboro, North Carolina. April 17, 1960 The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

is created in Raleigh, North Carolina. continued >

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RM: How so?

RM: But some lines in the play are taken directly from historical documents?

RS: Well, just recently—shockingly and appallingly—the Senate stripped food stamps out of the agricultural bill. This was a bipartisan tradition, dating back sixty years. The GOP killed food stamps entirely. The cruelty of that is really shocking. What are these people supposed to do? How are they going to feed their children? LBJ would be banging the bully pulpit like a drum. He would be going into those states and challenging those senators to defend their actions. He would call it cruel. He would call it callous. I’d love to see that now. But in fairness the political landscape has changed dramatically since 1964. Back then both parties had three wings: a strong liberal wing, a conservative wing, and a very broad moderate base and it was perfectly okay to cross the aisle and make a deal. Now the strategy seems to be no deal, no crossing the aisle, no compromise whatsoever. It makes it very tough to legislate, and very tough for the President, who is now considerably more constrained than he was in 1964. In some ways that’s a good thing, but in some ways we might not wish it were so much like that. RM: What are the greatest challenges for you as a playwright when you’re dramatizing historical events? RS: One of the traps is trying to tell the entire story and winding up buried in not very interesting detail. It’s very important to remember that I’m not a historian or a documentarian. I’m a dramatist and I play by a different set of rules. I have a very particular point of view and that’s what I bring to bear as I examine historical events and characters. I don’t make any bones about the fact that on occasion I play fast and loose with the historical record, change the chronology, or combine characters, invent dialogue and create scenes out of whole cloth. You have to give yourself that freedom as a dramatist. For me, the question is always, what is the story I’m trying to tell? Where is the drama? What is the conflict? And most important of all, what is the theme? What ideas am I interested in exploring by focusing on these events and these people?

RS: Absolutely. And most of these are generally very obvious—famous speeches and quotations of the day. But there are also some things from the historical record, less well known, that are just so wickedly delicious I couldn’t resist. For example, some of the comments about race that were uttered on the Senate floor during the civil rights debate are just appalling. And I think it is useful to remind us all that this is how many people in this country felt. RM: One of the many things I admire about All The Way is its structure. The play has such incredible momentum. Was the structure something that developed over time or did you have a sense of how to shape this play from the beginning of the process? RS: I knew the overall structure early on—where it would begin, where it would end, where the act break would be. And LBJ is of course our engine in the play. The man was such a tornado of energy, such a ferocious force of nature. He was described that way by everybody, without exception. So putting him at the center of the play creates a dramatic momentum that is inescapable. Then there’s the sense of the ticking clock—both the clock of this very narrow window in which it might be possible to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and then the bigger clock of his re-election, which was so desperately important to LBJ, given that he felt he had only inherited the presidency—not really won it. So what you have are these two great ticking clocks, putting this tremendous pressure on all of the characters in the play. It’s a life and death struggle for everyone. Having embraced these givens naturally generated a certain kind of style—short, tense, confrontational scenes that blend seamlessly into one another as we watch the repercussions of LBJ’s machinations reverberate throughout the political environment. Ryan McKittrick is the Director of Artistic Programs and Dramaturg at the American Repertory Theater.

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May 6, 1960 A Civil Rights Act is signed into law; it aimed at helping register black voters.

May 4, 1961 A summer of “Freedom Rides” on buses across the South begins.

November 8, 1960 John F. Kennedy is elected President; Lyndon Baines Johnson becomes Vice President.

May 1961 Freedom Riders are attacked. SNCC takes over the leadership of the Freedom Rides,

January 1962 FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover writes to Robert Kennedy, accusing MLK, Jr. of having ties to the Communist Party.

and JFK sends federal marshals to protect the Riders.

September 30, 1962 Over the protests of Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett, JFK sends hundreds of federal marshals to the University of Mississippi so that law student James Meredith, the school’s first black student, can attend. continued >

PHOTOS : AP; AP/Horac e Cort; Library of Congress

Civil Rights Movement Timeline


americanr epertorytheater.org 2013/14 SEASON

HARVARD SQUARE

All the Way

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September 27 -29 NEW ENGLAND AMERICANA FESTIVAL

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All the Way

An Accidental President Shifts the Political Paradigm

photo: AP

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By Leslie Gehring

Lyndon B. Johnson stands with John F. Kennedy in 1960

Big, bold, and brash, Lyndon Baines Johnson always made a strong impression. Though he drew criticism for his decisions about Vietnam and his cruder moments (such as holding meetings while he was seated on the toilet), his fight for civil rights changed the landscape of American politics for decades. Johnson spent his life angling for power, determined to become president. But when his dream came true, it was a nightmare. Johnson faced a nearly impossible job in the wake of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Thanks to the advent of television, news of Kennedy’s murder exploded across the country. By the time the new president landed in Washington, D.C., almost the entire nation knew what had happened. Johnson needed to reassure the country immediately. Not only was a popular president dead, but Cold War tensions

were growing, Congress was gridlocked, and civil rights leaders were losing patience. To further complicate matters, the next presidential election was less than a year away. Johnson had to prove himself, and quickly. Born in 1908 in rural Texas, Johnson grew up surrounded by politics and poverty. His father served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives, and Johnson often accompanied him on door-to-door campaigning days or on trips to the state capital. Young Johnson learned the power of persuasion, honing a skill he would use throughout his political career. When he was thirteen, Johnson announced to his classmates at recess: “Someday, I’m going to be President of the United States.” Johnson’s first political job came in 1930 when he began working on the congressional campaign

Civil Rights Movement Timeline

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MLK, Jr. is arrested, the police chief uses dogs and fire hoses on peaceful demonstrators, and thousands of protestors are jailed.

June 11, 1963 Black students Vivian Malone and James Hood enter the University of Alabama, despite the objections of Governor George Wallace. June 12, 1963 NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers is

assassinated at his home in Jackson, Mississippi. August 28, 1963 MLK, Jr. delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech to a crowd of 250,000 at the Lincoln Memorial.

photos: AP; AP; Reuters

April – May 1963 MLK, Jr. and other civil rights leaders campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama.


americanr epertorytheater.org 2013/14 SEASON

The 4th Graders

Civil Rights Act disappointed activists again. Johnson retained the support of the southern Democrats, but lost the trust of liberals in the North, and with it, the Democratic nomination, which went to John F. Kennedy. Kennedy invited Johnson to be his running mate, and Johnson accepted. The two won the 1960 Presidential election, defeating Richard Nixon by a small margin. Kennedy had campaigned on the slogan “Let’s get this country moving again”; however, his plans for domestic progress were hampered by the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, growing tension with the Soviet Union, and the escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. At home, the civil rights movement was gaining strength, momentum, and visibility. Freedom Riders took off on a bus tour of the South in the summer of 1961 in an attempt to desegregate rest areas; they were met with assault and a firebombing. President Kennedy sent in federal “During his first marshals to protect them, but the twenty years next month, Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General, met with civil in Congress, rights leaders to try to persuade Johnson them to quit the Freedom Rides and voted against focus on voting instead. every piece The assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas rocked of civil rights the country, but Johnson was legislation determined to maintain a sense introduced.” of continuity by following through on Kennedy’s plans. In his State of the Union address in January of 1964, Johnson called for Congress to pass the civil rights legislation introduced by Kennedy the year before. It was not an easy sell. Southern lawmakers staunchly opposed the bill, which strengthened voting rights, prohibited discrimination in most public accommodation, and desegregated public schools. The House approved the bill, but only after defeating over one hundred amendments aimed at gutting it. Once the bill moved to the Senate, southern Democrats filibustered it for seventy-five days before supporters finally gathered the votes necessary to bring the bill to a vote. It passed, and on July 2, Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. Its passage granted muchneeded legal rights to minorities, but it also delivered the South to Republicans through to the present day.

All the Way

of Texas Democrat Richard Kleberg. After Kleberg’s victory, Johnson followed him to Washington to serve as his legislative assistant. Over the next several years, Johnson focused on learning the secrets of politics in Washington: he discovered who had power and how they got it. He befriended doormen and offered to complete menial tasks in an effort to get closer to the powerful and study how they worked. His efforts paid off. In 1937, Johnson mounted a successful campaign for a seat in the House of Representatives. Instrumental to his victory was his wife, Claudia “Lady Bird,” whom he had married in 1934. A 1941 bid for a Senate seat was unsuccessful, but Johnson remained in the House and tried again in the 1948 Senate race. The election was close, and there were accusations of wrongdoing on both sides of the campaign, but in the end, Johnson won by a margin of only eighty-seven votes. He progressed quickly through the ranks of the Senate, becoming minority leader in 1953 and majority leader in 1955. At age forty-six, he was the youngest majority leader in the history of the Senate. During his first twenty years in Congress, Johnson voted against every piece of civil rights legislation introduced. That changed in 1957, when he worked to pass the first civil rights bill since Reconstruction. This shift in position likely came about from a combination of Johnson’s desire to win the support of northern Democrats in advance of a presidential campaign and a genuine concern for the poor and disenfranchised. Additionally, the Civil Rights Movement had been gaining strength throughout the 1950s, and it was becoming difficult to ignore the need for real change throughout the country, and especially in the South. Though the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was historic, by the time it made it through the House and the Senate, it was nearly toothless. It protected voting rights, but the means of enforcing it were weak. Sections banning segregation in housing, restaurants, and other public venues had been cut from the bill. In facilitating the compromise, Johnson angered both southern Democrats, for daring to pass civil rights legislation, and northern liberals, for watering it down. In an effort to drum up liberal support in advance of the 1960 Democratic Convention, Johnson again took up the issue of civil rights in the Senate. But the 1960

continued >

October 10, 1963 Robert Kennedy grants the FBI permission to wiretap the home telephone of MLK, Jr.

January 8, 1964 In his State of the Union address, LBJ urges the passing of civil rights legislation.

November 22, 1963 JFK is assassinated in Dallas, Texas; LBJ becomes President.

April 26, 1964 SNCC organizes the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP).

Summer 1964 Several civil rights groups work together to organize the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, which brought volunteers into the state to help register voters.

June 21, 1964 Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman—both white New Yorkers—and James Chaney—a black student from Mississippi—are murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi. continued >

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Buoyed by the victory of the Civil Rights Act, Johnson garnered the support of black voters and won the 1964 election by a landslide, defeating Barry Goldwater. He went on to sign the Voting Rights Act in August of 1965, which banned literacy tests and gave the Justice Department the authority to supervise federal elections in certain southern states. The Voting Rights Act, though early in his second term, would be one of Johnson’s last political victories. Johnson wanted to establish a “Great Society” through a collection of social programs and legislation designed to improve the lives of the poor and disadvantaged. Though much of this legislation vastly improved the lives of many through the establishment of the Head Start preschool program, Medicare, the Job Corps, and the expansion of Social Security, these accomplishments were overshadowed by the growing turmoil of the 1960s. Johnson’s second term saw an increase in race riots, protests against the war in Vietnam, and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. By March of 1968, Senator Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy had both announced their intent to challenge Johnson for the Democratic nomination. Johnson responded by announcing on national television that he would not campaign for or accept the nomination. He knew that a win would be nearly impossible, and the thought of defeat was unbearable. At the end of his term, he retired to his ranch in Texas, where he died of a heart attack in 1973. Leslie Gehring is a second-year dramaturgy student at the A.R.T./Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.

E E H O US

EN H C T I K d LBJ’s s W H IT

Fin e food iy a f vor arvard H in re. Squa

A Presidential breakfast at Henrietta’s Table Order: Cream Chipped Beef on Buttermilk Biscuits, Seasonal Melon, and Fresh Orange Juice Why: LBJ got a taste for chipped beef on toast during his Navy days and enjoyed melon and orange juice for breakfast.

Tex-Mex for special occasions at Harvest Order: Huevos Rancheros Why: LBJ loved Mexican dishes, and reserved tacos, chalupas, and nachos for parties and special events.

LBJ on a diet at Toscano Order: Grilled Salmon Why: LBJ enjoyed grilled fish (especially when he was on a diet). Lady Bird watched over what he

Find out more about these restaurants and discounts for A.R.T. ticket holders at americanrepertorytheater.org/restaurants ate carefully. In All the Way, LBJ says, “Bird has me on a diet… weighing my plate ‘fore every meal.”

A quick salad at Tory Row Order: Chopped Salad Why: The White House Family Cookbook says LBJ “preferred his salad chopped so fine that he could eat it with a spoon.”

Tea time with LBJ at UpStairs on the Square Order: Tea and MilkChocolate Dipped Praline Turtles Why: LBJ enjoyed drinking tea for breakfast and liked any type of sweet dessert.

The State Dish of Texas at Grafton Street Order: PT Farms Beef Chili Why: LBJ liked chili; it was said that he believed that a week without chili was a “week wasted.”

Lady Bird makes him eat his veggies at Grendel’s Den Order: Spinach and Cheese Grits Frittata Why: One of LBJ’s favorite vegetables was spinach.

Steak (on anything) at Cambridge, 1 Order: Grilled Steak Pizza Why: The President’s Cookbook says, “With the Johnsons steak of all foods, reigns supreme”

Southern Sweets at The Sinclair Order: Pecan Pie Why: Lady Bird handed out her special recipe for pecan pie everywhere she went on the campaign trail—LBJ and the American people loved it!

LBJ’s night out at Sandrine’s Order: Cutty Sark Scotch and Daily Trio of Cheeses Why: LBJ’s favorite drink was Cutty Sark and he preferred “rat cheese” (American cheddar) with soda crackers.

July 2, 1964 LBJ signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing discrimination in most public accommodations and employment.

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August 22-26, 1964 Delegates of the MFDP attend the Democratic National Convention and demand to be seated in place of the all-white Democratic delegation. LBJ proposes a compromise, but the MFDP rejects it.

November 3, 1964 LBJ wins the Presidential election by a large margin, defeating Barry Goldwater.

December 10, 1964 MLK, Jr. receives the Nobel Peace Prize. February 21, 1965 Malcolm X is assassinated in New York City.

continued >

Photos: AP; Michael Ochs Archives/ Getty Imag es

Civil Rights Movement Timeline


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Shakespeare in the Oval Office A.R.T. Institute Dramaturgy student Leslie Gehring interviews All The Way director Bill Rauch (Harvard class of ’84)

The 4th Graders

Leslie Gehring: All the Way premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where you are the Artistic Director. Could you talk about how this project began? Bill Rauch: Robert Schenkkan was one of the first writers we reached out to when we conceived of our American Revolutions project to commission new plays that look at moments of change in United States history. Robert and I go way back. The first production I directed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was his play Handler, in 2002. It was so dynamic and theatrical and moving, and I had such a profound experience directing it. And then I did another play of his called By the Waters of Babylon. So we had all that shared history, and Robert has written on historical themes throughout his career. It just felt very clear that he needed to be part of the American Revolutions project. And he was immediately clear that he wanted to write about LBJ. LG: What makes Robert’s writing stand out to you? BR: Robert creates an epic canvas. I’m attracted to the big themes that he writes about. I’m attracted to how political his writing is. He’s got a great sense of humor and a great heart as a writer. The relevance of the work— how it reflects who we are today and why we are who we are—is very powerful. LG: How familiar were you with this time period before working on the play? Was there anything that you were surprised to learn about the time period or the people involved? BR: I knew some of the history, but I was born in 1962, so I was too young to have a lot of memories of LBJ as president. So a lot of it was education for me. I was constantly surprised by how different the political landscape was at that time and that many people blocking civil rights legislation were southern Democrats. Just that very fact was a huge mind shift for me.

bill rauch

LG: You and others have referred to All the Way as a “Shakespearean” play. Could you describe what you mean? BR: I think “Shakespearean” comes up a lot because there’s a large cast of characters, and because the central figure of LBJ has the passions, ambitions, and contradictions of a great Shakespearean character. LBJ himself was a Shakespearean character in real life, and certainly as portrayed by Robert that’s very true. The life force and energy that are embodied in the character through his language feel very Shakespearean to me. LG: What are the challenges of directing a show with such a large cast? BR: Any large-scale project can be challenging, but the cast size does not intimidate me. I love it. I love being able to populate a stage with this many characters. To be able to experience the language of the play with a cast of this size is too rare. I think it’s quite wonderful and magical for a contemporary audience because they don’t get the chance to see it that often. LG: How do the onstage witnesses Robert Schenkkan has included in the play help tell the story?

Civil Rights Movement Timeline

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March 7, 1965 On what became known as “Bloody Sunday,” State Troopers attack civil rights

March 16-25, 1965 With a court order and under federal protection, MLK, Jr. leads a voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, ending with a rally of 50,000 people at the state capitol.

August 6, 1965 LBJ signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965, outlawing literacy tests and authorizing the Justice Department to supervise federal elections in certain states.

May 16, 1966 Stokely Carmichael becomes chairman of SNCC. October 15, 1966 Huey Newton and Bobby Seale create the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in Oakland, California.

photos: AP; AP; AP

demonstrators outside Selma, Alabama, with clubs and tear gas.


americanr epertorytheater.org 2013/14 SEASON

LG: How do you balance consulting historical sources with taking artistic liberty to create a dramatic work on stage?

February 25, 1967 MLK, Jr. delivers a speech against the Vietnam War, straining relations with LBJ and drawing criticism from the NAACP. July 1967 Riots in Newark, New Jersey and Detroit, Michigan,

BR: I cannot tell you how meaningful to me it is to come back and direct at the A.R.T. I directed my first full-length play in the Loeb Ex. I directed two shows on the main stage. I directed twentysix shows as an undergraduate, so I really became a director at Harvard. It completely shaped my life. I met my partner in life of 29 years, my husband Christopher Liam Moore, at Harvard. And he’s actually in the cast of All the Way. So it’s a huge homecoming for the two of us to come back. It’s very, very meaningful for me to be back on campus sharing this play with the Harvard community and the greater Boston community. Leslie Gehring is a second-year dramaturgy student at the A.R.T./Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.

leave dozens dead and hundreds wounded. March 31, 1968 LBJ makes a surprise announcement that he will not seek a second term as President of the United States.

April 4, 1968 MLK, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee; riots break out in over a hundred cities in response. April 11, 1968 LBJ signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, outlawing racial discrimination

September 23 4:00PM, Loeb Drama Center

All the Way: The Civil Rights Act From 1964 to Today A collaboration with the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research; this discussion will be moderated by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and panelists will include:

The 4th Graders

BR: That’s why I so enjoy working on this play, because I love theater where you see transformation happen in front of your eyes. LBJ was a runaway freight train. His energy and his spirit and his ambition for getting things accomplished were larger than life. And the play has to capture that if we’re going to do justice to his story and spirit.

LG: You graduated from Harvard in 1984. How did your experience at Harvard shape your interest in theater?

In addition to our regularly scheduled talkbacks with the cast, the A.R.T. will also host special panel discussions with Harvard scholars and members of the A.R.T. community. For more information about these and other discussions, please visit our website.

LG: The scenes of this play unfold almost on top of each other. In staging the play, how do you maintain that frenetic pace?

BR: Well, you have to find the balance. Robert has conflated characters, conflated events, and moved things around in terms of time for dramatic effect. Sometimes I’d say, “I don’t know, Robert, if that line is quite natural enough,” and he’d say, “Well, you know, that line is actually from historical records, exactly what was said.” So there were those great moments. Robert quite brilliantly, quite seamlessly, weaves together all these historical events into a work of fiction. It’s not a documentary about this era, it’s a work of art that interprets the era. Historical accuracy was obviously very important to us, but theatrical power, and communicating the emotional content of what the scene is about was always the most important thing.

All the Way

BR: The witnessing was Robert’s impulse. It was embedded in a very early draft of the script. Right away he knew that witnessing was important. And I was attracted to it because I liked the theatricality, but I didn’t get it on a really deep thematic level until I started directing the play. The witnessing and the doubling, all of it is extremely important. As characters jockey for power, and as the central issues of the day are grappled with in terms of social justice and in terms of economic opportunity, the metaphor of becoming somebody of the other party becomes to me a theatrical metaphor for what it requires to empathize with somebody who’s not in our skin. So I think it’s very powerful. Also, this was the beginning of the political era of television shaping events. There were things that were seen on TV that completely changed the course of history. Having those witnesses silently observing really foregrounds the tension between the public and the private.

Peter Jay Fernandez Plays Roy Wilkins in All the Way Peniel Joseph Professor of History at Tufts University and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy Timothy McCarthy Director of the Sexuality, Gender, and Human Rights Program at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Lecturer on History and Literature and on Public Policy Patricia Sullivan Professor of History at the University of South Carolina

September 29 Loeb Drama Center Following the matinee performance, the A.R.T. will participate in “Towards E Pluribus Unum”—An Initiative of the National Center for Race Amity (NCRA) at Wheelock College. This discussion will be hosted by Dr. William Smith, Founding Executive Director of the NCRA.

in the rental, sale, or financing of housing.

January 20, 1969 Richard Nixon is inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States. Lyndon B. Johnson retires to his ranch in Stonewall, Texas.

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The 4th Graders

All the Way

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Stokely Carmichael

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

6/29/1941 – 11/15/1998 Trinidadian-American activist. In 1964, just out of college, he became a field organizer for SNCC in Alabama and was elected national chairman of SNCC in 1966. He moved in a more radical direction, rejecting white members and dropping his allegiance to nonviolent resistance, and left SNCC in 1967.

1/15/1929 – 4/4/1968

Roy Wilkins 8/30/1901 – 9/8/1981 Civil rights activist and a leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The Assembled Parties of All the Way

Lady Bird Johnson 12/22/1912 – 7/11/2007 Born Claudia Alta Taylor, she funded her husband’s first political campaign, later operating a successful radio and TV company. She was the first First Lady to do a whistle stop campaign—for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Lyndon Baines Johnson (D) 8/27/1908 – 1/22/1973 36th President of the United States. Vice President under John F. Kennedy, he assumed the presidency when JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Elected to a full term in 1964, he implemented The Great Society, a group of domestic welfare programs that aimed to eliminate poverty and racial injustice.

white house

federal bureau of investigation J. Edgar Hoover

Sen. Hubert Humphrey (D) 5/27/1911 – 1/13/1978 Mayor of Minneapolis 1945-48, U.S. Senator 1949-64, then Vice President under Johnson 1965-69. He was the 1968 Democratic Presidential nominee, but lost to Richard Nixon. He returned to the U.S. Senate from 1971 until 1978.

1/1/1895 – 5/2/1972 Joined the Justice Department in 1917, Director of the FBI from 1924 until 1972.

Gov. George Wallace (D/I) 8/25/1919 – 9/13/1998 Governor of Alabama (196367, 1971-79, and 1983-87), he ran for president four times, challenging LBJ in the 1964 Democratic primary. He was a segregationist, as well as a Southern populist.

presidential opponent

southern coalition Strom Thurmond (D/R) 12/5/1902 – 6/26/2003 Governor of South Carolina 1947-51, U.S. Senator 1954-2003. Switched from Democratic to Republican party in 1964, due to his opposition to the liberalism of the Democratic party on the national level, including its support for civil rights.

Sen. Richard Russell, Jr. (D) 11/2/1897 – 1/21/1971 Governor of Georgia 1931-33, U.S. Senator 1933 until his death.

The 4th Graders

First President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

Field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a civil rights group involved in sitins, freedom rides, and voter registration drives in the South. As director of SNCC’s Mississippi Project, he faced violence and police intimidation while registering black voters.

bob Moses, St eve Schapiro, Blackstar; MLK, Howard Sochurek, Life Magazine; Stokely Carmichael: Marc Vignes, Time and Life Pictures/Getty Imag es ; roy Wilkins, Fabian Bachrach; LBJ All the Wa y Button, LBJ Campaign 1964; J. Edgar Hoover, Library of Congress; Sen. Hubert Humphrey, Biographical Directory of the United St ates Congress; Strom Thurmond, Associated Press Lady Bird Johnson, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum; Sen. Russell, Biographical Directory of the United St ates Congress; Gov. Wallac e, COR BIS

1/23/1935 –

All the Way

Civil Rights Leadership

Bob Moses

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The 4th Graders Present An Unnamed Love-Suicide October 11-19, 2013

By Sean Graney | Directed by Marcus Stern Johnny wrote a play before he shot himself. He was in the fourth grade. In Sean Graney’s The 4th Graders Present An Unnamed Love-Suicide, members of the fourth grade class take up Johnny’s script and act out their own struggles with childhood bullying, body image, and the loss of innocence. The tragedy of Johnny’s death and his poetically troubling wishes for revenge make this provocative play a poignant perspective on growing up, peer pressure, and self-worth.

A.R.T. Institute dramaturgy student Brenna Nicely interviews Sean Graney, writer of The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Love-Suicide Brenna Nicely: Could you tell me about your experience directing Pirates of Penzance at the A.R.T. last season? Sean Graney: I’m from the Boston area, and I used to go see shows at the A.R.T. in college and dream of working here. So, I was thrilled that Pirates of Penzance was invited to be a part of last season. We had been doing the show for more than three years, but we had never had such a successful and rewarding run. Every night the show changed depending on the audience’s mood and temperature, and the staging helped us develop a different tool set for working with how the audience moves. BN: The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Love-Suicide is different from what we saw in Pirates of Penzance. Can you tell me about your inspiration for the play? SG: I saw a production of To Kill A Mockingbird with child actors, who were not very technically skilled, but they were fascinating to watch. I started thinking about doing a play that brought a huge sense of tragedy for child actors, and I originally started adapting Hamlet. When

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that became too complicated, I thought of the story lines and basic themes of Chikamatsu Monzaemon, the eighteenthcentury Japanese playwright. He wrote hundreds of love suicides that helped my storyline fall into place more easily. BN: What exactly are “love suicides” and how did they inspire The 4th Graders? SG: Romeo and Juliet is a love suicide, and Chikamatsu’s are similar: two lovers are doomed to fail from the beginning and they end up taking their own lives. Through the actions of the play and through their


BN: And was there any reason for choosing 4th graders in particular? SG: I don’t think so. Maybe subconsciously there’s something about that age just before changes start happening to children. It’s just before the dawning of the things that bring you into the teenage years. 4th grade is on the threshold of losing a sense of purity. I don’t know if that’s actually right, but it’s like the last days of pure childhood.

Juliet is a love suicide..., We’ve seen a hundred plays like that but only Chikamatsu calls them ‘love suicides.’”

Cinema Now

. D AR RV HA . ILM F ARCHIVE .

_

(Director's cut)*

SHINSUKE OGAWA documentaries

_

autumn 2013...

THE ACT OF KILLING

_

A Tribute to CHRIS MARKER

ANG LEE Retrospective*

*(Director in person.)

The 4th Graders

SG: While I was writing it, I intended it to be acted by children aged nine to twelve. But after I wrote it and showed it to a few people, it became clear that no parent would ever let “Romeo and their child do this.

.

NUOVE VISIONI: Italian

BN: Did you originally intend for the play to be performed by child actors?

.

All the Way

trying to stay together, society drives them to take their own lives. We’ve seen a hundred plays like that but only Chikamatsu calls them “love suicides.” I thought it would be fascinating to bring this sense of tragedy to a child actor’s innocent skill set.

_

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24 Quincy St. in61Cambr i700 dge 7 . 4 95. 4 hcl.harvard.edu/hfa

BN: You will be a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study this year. What will you be doing while you’re here at Harvard? SG: I am working on a twelve hour-long theatrical adaptation of all thirty-two extant Greek tragedies called All Our Tragic. I’ve been developing that for about a year and a half and I’m going to be at Radcliffe from September to May to put the final touches on the script with actors from the A.R.T. Institute. Brenna Nicely is a first-year dramaturgy student at the A.R.T./Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.

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A.R.T. Guide: Fall 2013  

Read on for articles, interviews, historical features and more on "All the Way" and "The Fourth Graders Present an Unnamed Love-Suicide."

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