Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

When I first arrived in Washington, D.C. many years ago as fresh-faced lad freshly graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, one of the first places I was able to feed myself was at Arena Stage reading scripts at $10 a pop for Lloyd Rose and Jerry Manning. Arena Stage is one of the best professional regional theatres in the world — they were one of the first theatres to employ an acting core on a full time basis — and Zelda Fichandler created Arena Stage out of nothing and ran it for 40 years from 1950 to 1990 until she moved to New York University in 1987 to run the graduate school acting program.

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