The Washington Post announces that Ford’s Theatre Society is the 2011 recipient of The Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community. Since its reopening in 2009, Ford’s Theatre has not only presented exceptional work during its regular season but it has brought history to life for audiences of all ages through its original daytime programming.

“Ford’s Theatre is making history more accessible through compelling storytelling both on and off the stage,” said Steve Hills, President and General Manager of The Washington Post. “We are pleased to recognize their commitment to unique programs that educate as well as entertain.”

The theatre’s daytime programs and performances let visitors experience Civil War Washington and learn about Lincoln’s presidency and assassination. History is relived through original performances produced by the theatre, like One Destiny and Papa Day, which focus on the perspectives of different historical figures from that time. For a more interactive experience, the theatre offers “History on Foot” walking tours of downtown D.C. which are led by an actor in costume who plays a character that lived in Washington during Lincoln’s presidency. Visitors can also take an audio tour that explores Lincoln’s presidency and discusses the impact his death had on the country.

Ford’s Theatre also places teaching artists throughout D.C.-area classrooms to demonstrate oratory skills and integrate performance of speeches and letters into Social Studies and English classes, strengthening historical understanding and reading comprehension.

“Ford’s “History on Foot” and “History on Stage” programming began four years ago to creatively engage visitors with our mission to use theatre as a catalyst to understanding history,” said Ford’s Theatre Society Director Paul Tetreault. “Playwrights Richard Hellesen and Jennifer L. Nelson were charged with bringing to life some of our country’s most compelling stories, and their works have quickly become some of Ford’s most popular attractions. Through these unique programs we have strived to illuminate Washington’s rich historical landscape and we are grateful for this special recognition from The Washington Post and the support of the local theatre community.”

The Washington Post Award, which began in 1986, celebrates members of the local theatre community who are playing a key role in the growth and development of this important cultural pastime. Recent recipients include: theatre and arts activist Andy Shallal, Helen Hayes Awards Founder Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, and the alliance of Arena Stage, the Crystal City BID, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, Marriott and Arlington County Economic Development.

To learn more about The Washington Post’s involvement in the community, visit: www.washingtonpost.com/community.

About The Washington Post ( www.washingtonpost.com)

The Washington Post, a multiplatform news source covering the politics, policies, personalities and institutions that make Washington, D.C. the world’s seat of power, supports D.C.-area organizations and programs that promote achievement in the arts and education and that strive to make a difference. The Washington Post is owned by The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO), a diversified education and media company.

Copyright Business Wire 2010