Last night, we were privileged to witness one of the most extraordinary events in American theater, the world premiere at Arena Stage of a play about a US president who was there, with his wife, watching along with us.
At the end of Camp David, when President and Mrs. Carter came on stage in tears, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. The 90-minute play, which is funnier and more fascinating than anyone could have imagined, tells the story of 13 days in 1978 when Jimmy Carter risked his presidency by inviting Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin to Camp David to try to forge a Middle East peace agreement. Here, Rosalynn Carter and President Jimmy Carter with the actors who portray them, Hallie Foote and Richard Thomas.
We also snapped them surrounded by Arena Honorary Board members Joan and David Maxwell; at right, one of the many Carter White House alums who were there, Faith Collins, and Benchmarks’ Tom Scanlong.
We snapped Senator Lisa Murkowski bookended by Smith-Free Group CEO Jim Free and Alaskan commercial fisher Jenny Dwyer. At the VIP reception before dinner and the show, guests enjoyed an open bar and a variety of appetizers. We loved the shrimp with Thai peanut sauce.
Former Carter aide Gerald Rafshoon tells us he tried for 30 years to get the Carters to agree to do this play, which he produced. Here, his proud family and friends: Teneo Strategy’s Jaclyn Rothenberg, US District Court’s Bailey Heaps, Georgia student Ariel Rothenberg, Bottomline Techs’ Skip Heaps and his wife Susan, “Camp Carter survivor” Janet Rafshoon, Gwinnett College’s Ellen Rafshoon, and McKenna Long’s Scott Rafshoon.
EG Reinsch Companies’ Lola Reinsch, CapitalOne’s George Swygert, Russin & Vecchi’s Tom Mansbach, and Lori Jenkins.