Arena Stage The Mead Center for American Theater MY ACCOUNT
Event Calendar


Written and Directed by Aaron Posner

March 1 — April 14, 2019
Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle

Complicated, passionate and difficult, John Quincy Adams was a brilliant diplomat, ineffectual one-term President and congressman known for his eloquence, arrogance and integrity. This unique, highly-theatrical play by award-winning playwright Aaron Posner (Stupid F**king Bird) imagines key confrontations between JQA and some of America’s most dynamic figures: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, his own father, John Adams and more. At once provocative, haunting and hilarious, this Power Play challenges the way we think of our country, our government and ourselves.



AARON POSNER (Playwright/Director) is an award-winning playwright, director, teacher and former artistic director of two LORT theaters. His Helen Hayes Award-winning play, Stupid Fucking Bird, was one of the 10 most produced plays in the country in 2015. Other plays include Life Sucks and No Sisters (both re-inventions of Chekhov), District Merchants (inspired by The Merchant of Venice), Who Am I This Time? & Other Conundrums of Love (adapted from Kurt Vonnegut), The Chosen and My Name Is Asher Lev (adapted from Chaim Potok), Sometimes a Great Notion (adapted from Ken Kesey) and several more. He has directed more than 150 productions at major regional theaters across the country, including Arena Stage, and currently lives outside of D.C. with his wife, actress Erin Weaver, and his amazing daughter, Maisie.

JESSE BELSKY (Lighting Designer) previously designed The Year of Magical Thinking at Arena Stage. Other collaborations with Mr. Posner include the world-premiere of No Sisters (Studio Theatre), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Ford’s Theatre), The Winter’s Tale and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Folger Theatre) and Everything is Illuminated (Theater J). Other D.C. designs include The Mystery of Love & Sex (Signature Theatre), Sense & Sensibility (Folger Theatre), The Effect, Three Sisters and ANIMAL (Studio Theatre), The Book of Will and Handbagged (Round House) and The Magic Play (Olney). Regional credits include productions at Yale Repertory, Playmakers Repertory, Actor’s Theatre Louisville and Portland Center Stage. Mr. Belsky holds a BA from Duke, an MFA from Yale School of Drama and has taught lighting design at Connecticut College and UNC Greensboro.


Audio Described

Saturday, April 13, 2019 – 2:00 p.m.

Open Captioned

Wednesday, March 30, 2019 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 4, 2019 – 8:00 p.m.