If you’re interested in the Mueller report but just don’t want to read it, you’re in luck. On July 11, Arena Stage will present an 11-hour marathon reading of the report’s Volume 2, the same day the solo show “Ann,” about the late Texas governor Ann Richards, begins its run at the theater. Guest readers will tag-team, following the model of a 24-hour reading in New York of the full report.
Actor and activist Jjana Valentiner, who was in Arena’s 2016 production of the inside-the-Beltway drama “The City of Conversation,” called Arena Artistic Director Molly Smith roughly a week ago to ask about doing a similar reading. Smith agreed, and the Arena team began recruiting volunteers.
Readers who have stepped forward include such local political figures as D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and D.C. council members David Grosso and Charles Allen, as well as artistic directors Maria Manuela Goyanes of Woolly Mammoth, David Muse of Studio Theatre and Michael Kahn of the Shakespeare Theatre Company.
“It’s a story about our city,” Smith said. “We’re in the run-up now to the election. The ideas in the Mueller report will be talked about a lot by politicians of both parties. This is an opportunity for the smartest audience in the country to really sink into it, listen and make up their own minds.”
The Arena project focuses on Volume 2 of the report, contending that the public is less familiar with that material. (That’s the obstruction of justice part, not the “collusion” part.)
The free event, which will be live-streamed, starts at noon on July 11 in Arena’s Molly Smith Study.