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Eisenhower Theater

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The Eisenhower Theater seats 1,100, and is the smallest of the theaters on the Center's main level. It primarily hosts plays and musicals, operas, ballet and contemporary dance. Its namesake, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, signed into law the National Cultural Center Act in 1958, the first time in history that our government backed and helped finance a structure dedicated to the performing arts. The theater contains an orchestra pit for 40 musicians that is convertible to a forestage or additional seating space. The walls are of East Indian laurel wood. The red and black stage curtain of hand-woven wool is a gift from the people of Canada.

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Now performing in the Eisenhower Theater :

Image for The Kennedy Center production of <i>Little Dancer</i>

The Kennedy Center production of Little Dancer


"You know it as the sculptural quintessence of grit, grace, and love of ballet.
--The Washington Post
Little Dancer
Part fact, part fiction, and set in the harsh backstage world of the Paris Opera Ballet, this world premiere Kennedy Center musical is inspired by the story of Marie van Goethem, a young ballerina who posed for Edgar Degas and became, inadvertently, the most famous dancer in the world. Torn by her family's poverty, her debt to the artist, and the lure of wealthy men, she struggles to keep her place in the corps de ballet--a girl on the verge of womanhood, caught between the conflicting demands of life and art.
Degas's sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen continues to captivate as one of the National Gallery of Art's most popular sculptures--and now the Kennedy Center brings its fascinating story to life in what is unquestionably the landmark event of the new D.C. theater season. Starring four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines (Gypsy, The Heidi Chronicles) as Edgar Degas, three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker (Mary Poppins, The Music Man) as adult Marie, and New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Tiler Peck as young Marie, the musical is being penned by the Tony Award–winning team of book and lyrics writer Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Rocky), with direction and choreography by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers, Oklahoma!). Additional casting includes Polly Baird, Wendi Bergamini, Lauren Blackman, Sophia Anne Caruso, Janet Dickinson, Juliet Doherty, Nina Goldman, Kyle Harris, Seán Martin Hingston, Jolina Javier, Michael X. Martin, Michael McCormick, James A. Pierce III, Jenny Powers, Katelyn Prominski, Michele Ragusa, John Riddle, Amy Ruggiero, Joseph J. Simeone, Justin Urso, Lyrica Woodruff, and Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba.
Recommended for age 9 and up.

Performance Timing: Act I - 78 min.; Intermission - 15 min.; Act II - 56 min. Total: 2-1/2 hours. 

Exhibition at the National Gallery of Art (6th and Constitution Ave., NW)
Degas's Little Dancer
October 5, 2014–January 11, 2015
The sculpture "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" will be presented with 13 additional objects from the Gallery's collection, including the monumental pastel Ballet Scene (c. 1907), monotypes, and smaller original statuettes by Degas that explore the theme of ballet. The exhibition also includes the oil painting The Dance Class (c. 1873) and the pastel The Ballet (c. 1880), both from the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington