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Ford’s Theatre Will Reopen on Wednesday

The company can return to its National Historic Site thanks to a $25,000 donation from Ronald Perelman.

Ford’s Theatre reopens Wednesday thanks to a donation from Ronald Perelman. Photograph by Flickr user ttarasiuk.

Ford’s Theatre, whose production of acclaimed documentary theater work
The Laramie Project fell victim to the government

when the company was booted from its performance space, will be
allowed to return
to the Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site starting tomorrow.
The agreement is thanks
to a $25,000 donation from billionaire businessman
Ronald Perelman.

Although Ford’s Theatre Society is a privately funded nonprofit institution, it shares
the use of the Ford’s Theatre site with the National Park Service. The theater is
designated as a National Historic Site because President Lincoln was shot there by
actor John Wilkes Booth in 1865. During the last government shutdown Ford’s was able
to continue hosting performances at the site, but the company was informed that the
space would be closed on the day
The Laramie Project was supposed to have its opening-night performance.

The company hosted a performance for press in the Woolly Mammoth Theatre rehearsal
space and a handful of subsequent shows at the First Congregational United Church
of Christ. Reports estimated that the move would cost Ford’s Theatre around $100,000
a week in lost ticket revenue. The show was devised by
Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project in 2000, and delves into the murder of gay college
student Matthew Shepard and how it affected the small town of Laramie, Wyoming.

Paul Tetreault, the director of Ford’s Theatre Society, met with officials from the National Park
Service this weekend and discussed whether the society might be able to use the Ford’s
Theatre space if it paid for the operation of the site itself. Similar maneuvers have
been made by states to allow national parks to open in Utah, Colorado, New York, and

Perelman, who is estimated by
Forbes to be America’s 26th richest individual, is chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes
Holdings, as well as founding sponsor of Ford’s Theatre’s Lincoln Legacy Project,
an initiative that aims to foster tolerance and civil communication. His personal
wealth is estimated at upward of $12 billion.

Ford’s Theatre will present
The Laramie Project through October 27. Tickets for
all performances are $25. Read our review of the