Dear Arena,

Happy Birthday! Has it really been over 70 years since Zelda Fichandler, Thomas Fichandler, and Edward Mangum founded the first modern professional theater in Washington, D.C., helping start the regional theater movement? 

And think of all you’ve done in that time! 

  • You became the first regional theater to send a show to Broadway, with The Great White Hope
  • You won the first Tony Award for theatrical excellence as a theater outside of New York…
  • And you created a beautiful home in the Mead Center for us to collectively explore the best of American theater. 

Can’t wait to see what happens in the next 70+ years!



P.S. Want to see more of the amazing things you’ve done over the past seven decades? Click here for a fun walk down memory lane!


Gabrielle Dominique (Constance Blackwood), Shinah Hey (Ocean O’Connell Rosenberg), Ashlyn Maddox (Jane Doe), Eli Mayer (Mischa Bachinski), and Nick Martinez (Noel Gruber) in Ride the Cyclone. Photo by Margot Schulman.