Arena Stage plans to honor Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, D-Ohio, on Thursday with a multi-tiered shindig featuring a VIP cocktail hour, seated dinner, opening night performance and post-play dessert reception.
The local theater (1101 Sixth St. SW) plans to bestow its annual American Voice Award upon the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus in recognition of her unwavering support for the arts. Politicos who have previously received the award include: Sens. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt.; Virginia Democratic Rep. James P. Moran; ex-Reps. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., and Tom Davis, R-Va.; Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and late lawmakers Robert Matsui, D-Calif., and Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii.
According to an Arena Stage aide, Fudge — who also happens to live in the neighborhood — is being commemorated for her contributions to the Arts and Rock and Roll caucuses, as well as her support for the Congressional Art Competition. And while she does not spend too much time in the actual theater (“Congresswoman Fudge does not regularly attend performances at Arena Stage,” our tipster said), the organization is looking forward to welcoming politically connected well-wishers to the party.
Per theater staff, Arena Stage regular and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is expected to be on hand for the festivities, as are Fudge's Democratic House colleagues Corinne Brown of Florida, Steven Horsford of Nevada, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, John Lewis of Georgia, Donna Christensen of the Virgin Islands, Donald M. Payne Jr. of New Jersey, Robin Kelly of Illinois and G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina and Moran.
Actress Kathleen Turner, who is starring in Bertolt Brecht's “Mother Courage and Her Children” this season at Arena Stage, will also be honored that evening; she’ll be receiving the American Artist Award.