Ford's Theatre charts new course

Ford's has a marketing edge on other Washington theatres:

Because it's the theater where Lincoln was shot, Ford’s is able to fill seats with people happy to sit through a show simply to gaze upon the eerily festooned box from which the assassin John Wilkes Booth leapt after shooting the president.

But now, with a new (gay) producing director the bill of fare is about to change:

“Our gay audience is not particularly strong here,” Tetreault says. “The quality level hasn’t been as it should or can be. Gay people will not go to see bad theater unless the actors are naked. It’s true. And since we won’t have that here, we have no option but to produce high-quality, clothed theater."

The new director is not promising a gay schedule as such, but he says the place is not going to be entirely family friendly in the future.

What is interesting about this, to me, is that Ford's struggles, year after year, to be an ordinary working theatre. Ford's could rake in the tourist dollars on autopilot. It is anomalous (and perhaps noble) that Our American Cousin is not staged endlessly; that Lincoln and Booth actors do not re-enact the assasination; that the animatronics that conquered the Lincoln Library and Museum have not been deployed here.

All that is inevitable. Commercial logic could not be denied at the Lincoln Library, it cannot be denied here for very long. So enjoy your "high-quality, clothed theater" for now.