Arena Stage to Honor Congressman Chris Van Hollen at Oliver! Opening

Oct 7, 2015

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will present the American Voice Award to Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) on Thursday, November 12, 2015 as part of the opening night celebration for the Tony Award-winning musical OLIVER!

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the evening will include a cocktail reception in the Bank of America Lower Lobby, seated dinner in the Molly Smith Study, the 8:00 p.m. opening night performance of OLIVER! in the Fichandler Stage and post-show dessert reception in the Grand Lobby. The seated dinner will feature the presentation of the American Voice Award to Congressman Van Hollen.

The American Voice Award honors elected officials recognized for their extraordinary support of and advocacy for American arts and arts education. Past recipients include Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio), Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Representative Norman D. Dicks (D-WA), former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts Dana Gioia, Representative Bob Matsui (D-CA), Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Representative Tom Davis (R-VA), Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA).

Artistic Director Molly Smith directs a gritty and relevant take on OLIVER!, blending 19th-century Victorian London with 2015 London and infusing a modern edge to the classic musical about an innocent orphan thrown into the dark world of double-dealing thieves and conmen. The 25-member cast features Broadway veterans Jeff McCarthy (Urinetown) as Fagin, Kyle Coffman (Newsies) as Artful Dodger, Ian Lassiter (War Horse) as Bill Sykes and Paul Vogt (three seasons on MADtv) as Mr. Bumble, along with Eleasha Gamble (Arena Stage's Oklahoma!) as Nancy and nine-year-old Jake Heston Miller as OLIVER. The production runs October 30, 2015-January 3, 2016.

For table purchase (tables begin at $5,000 for a half-table), contact Maria Corso at 202-600-4025 or email Table sponsorships benefit Arena Stage's artistic and educational programs.

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Producer Edgar Dobie, is a national center dedicated to American voices and artists. Arena Stage produces plays of all that is passionate, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays through the American Voices New Play Institute. Arena Stage impacts the lives of over 10,000 students annually through its work in community engagement. Now in its seventh decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000. For more, visit