1st Stage

1524 SPRING HILL ROAD | TYSONS, VA 22102 | (703) 854-1856

The Farnsworth Invention

February 15- March 11, 2018

Directed by Alex Levy, Written by Aaron Sorkin

It’s 1929. Two ambitious visionaries race against each other to invent a device called “television.” Separated by two thousand miles, each knows that if he stops working, even for a moment, the other will gain the edge. Who will unlock the key to the greatest innovation of the 20th century: the ruthless media mogul, or the self-taught Idaho farm boy? The answer comes to compelling life in the regional premiere of this “firecracker of a play” (Chicago Sun-Times) by Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing, The Newsroom, and The Social Network.

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Captioned Performances

1st Stage offers closed captioning at select performances. Stay tuned for more information.

Audio-Described Performance

1st Stage offers audio description at select performances. Stay tuned for more information.

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Community Conversations

Connecting the community through artwork, stories, and conversation. Join us for discussions surrounding the themes of our plays and the impact of these stories on the community beyond our walls.

Note: All Community Conversations are offered free of charge. To attend a performance you must purchase a ticket or a subscription.


The pre-show discussion series illuminates facets of each 1st Stage production that shape your adventure with the play from the beginning. Learn from community leaders and 1st Stage artists and head into each show with a new framework for your experience.


The classic and beloved Community Conversations series connects the community through artwork, stories, and conversation. Join us for discussions surrounding the themes of our plays and the impact of these stories on the community beyond our walls.

MEET THE DESIGN TEAM: A conversation with the artists of The Farnsworth Invention
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Following the 2pm performance
Members of the design team will join us to discuss building the world of 1st Stage’s unique production of this expansive tale.
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MEET THE CAST: A conversation with the cast of The Farnsworth Invention
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Following the 2pm performance
Hear the cast discuss the process of bringing Aaron Sorkin’s many characters to life.
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FRANK BRITTON (Harlan Honn/Eddie Simmsis thrilled to return to 1st Stage after appearing in Jesus Hopped The A’ Train (2017 Broadway World Regional Award winner for Best Actor in a Play—Small Professional Theatre), When The Rain Stops Falling, and Floyd Collins. He has appeared with many area theatres over the past 16 years, most recently in Wig Out! (Studio Theatre); King Lear (WSC Avant Bard-Acting Company Member); Back To Methuselah: As Far As Thought Can Reach (Washington Stage Guild); The Freshest Snow Whyte (Imagination Stage); and Black Nativity (Theater Alliance). Other area credits include Two Trains Running and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Round House Theatre); Passion Play: A Cycle; The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot (Forum Theatre); Kafka’s Metamorphosis (Synetic Theater), The Balcony, Mother Courage and Her Children (SCENA Theatre); and Orpheus Descending (Arena Stage). Upcoming: Judy Moody & Stink…(Adventure Theatre). Many, many thanks to Alex, Allison, Jane, the cast and crew, and the 1st Stage family.

EDWARD CHRISTIAN (Justin Tolman/Mr. Gardneris happy to be back at 1st Stage having previously appeared in Well. Other credits include Love and Information, Passion Play, Agnes Under the Big Top, The Language Archive (Forum Theatre); Falling Out of Time, The Sisters Rosensweig, The Hampton Years (Theater J); The Diary of Anne Frank (Olney Theatre Center); carried away on the crest of a wave (Hub Theatre), The Love of the Nightingale (Constellation Theatre), Taming of the Shrew, Henry V (Folger Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing, The Laramie Project (Perseverance Theatre). edwardchristian.com

KATRINA CLARK (Atkins, Betty, Mary Pickford, Mina Edisonis delighted to be returning to 1st Stage after having appeared in Proof. Other credits include: Dante’s Inferno, Beauty and the Beast, A Trip to the Moon (Synetic Theater); Exit, Pursued by a Bear (Barabbas Theatre); The Last Burlesque (Pinky Swear Productions); Sign Language (Source Festival); Coffee and Prejudice (MerciMax with The Shakespeare Theatre Company); As You Like It (HalfMad Theatre). Understudy credits: Belleville, Chimerica (Studio Theatre); Twist Your Dickens (The Second City at The Kennedy Center). Film and new media credits: House of Cards (Netflix); Manager of the Year (Awarehouse Productions); What To Do After Day Drinking (BlueJacket Brewery). Education: Gallaudet University and St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy in Russia.

MICHAEL CROWLEY (Crocker, Harbordis delighted to be making his 1st Stage debut. Other credits include LOCAL: Julius Caesar, Richard III (Chesapeake Shakespeare); Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Cloud 9, Choir Boy, Tribes u/s roles (Studio Theatre); As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet (Prince George’s County Shakespeare in the Parks); Macbeth (Annapolis Shakespeare Company); Protest (Ambassador Theater). Education: MFA, Academy for Classical Acting; Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory.

GARY DUBREUIL (Cliff, Howard) is happy to make his 1st Stage debut. LOCAL: Much Ado About Nothing (NextStop Theatre); As You Like It (Prince George’s Shakespeare in the Parks); The Ugly One (Nu Sass Productions); Tis Pity She’s a Whore, A King and No King, The Maid’s Tragedy (Brave Spirits Theatre); Fear Eats the Soul (Scena Theatre); War of the Worlds (Scena Theatre and Prague Fringe Festival); As You Like It (Annapolis Shakespeare Company). NATIONAL TOUR: A Christmas Carol (Papermill Theatre). Education: Saint Michael’s College, VT; British American Drama Academy, London. www.garydubreuil.com

AMANDA FORSTROM (Pem Farnsworth and movement coordinator) is thrilled to be returning to 1st Stage after having previously appeared in Trevor. NYC Credits Off-Broadway: Julius Caesar, Color Between The Lines (Irondale Ensemble). DC Credits: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Round House Theatre); Timon of Athens, Sense and Sensibility (Winner of four Helen Hayes Awards including Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Production), Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night (Folger Theatre); Tartuffe (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Top Girls, Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Keegan Theatre); The Tempest, Titus Andronicus, Bloody Poetry, Charm (Taffety Punk Theatre Company); Very Still & Hard To See (Helen Hayes Award Nomination, Outstanding Production) (Rorschach Theatre). REGIONAL: Hamlet, Cymbeline (Virginia Shakespeare Festival), The Lost Colony (Waterside Theatre). TELEVISION: Bennie’s (with Ed Asner), NewsWatch. FILM: Redemption, UNION. www.amandaforstrom.net

JEREMY KEITH HUNTER (Wachtel/Judge/Doctoris one of the dopest artists you’ll ever meet. Hailing out of the DMV; previous credits include Rabbit Summer (Ally Theatre Company); Word Becomes Flesh (u/s) (Theatre Alliance); Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies, Milk Like Sugar, When January Feels Like Summer (Mosaic Theatre Company); Arabian Nights (Constellation Theatre); and Chimerica (u/s), The Effect (u/s) (Studio Theatre). Jeremy attended the College of Southern Maryland and has performed with academic institutions including Howard University, Bowie State University, and Georgetown University. Jeremy is a phenomenal lyricist, writer, and graphic designer. His work can be found here: www.iammercury.com

SAM LUDWIG (Philo T. Farnsworth)* CREDITS: Proof (1st Stage); Me…Jane, Snow White, Rose Red and Fred (Kennedy Center TYA); A Little Night Music, Jesus Christ Superstar, Midwestern Gothic, Titanic (Helen Hayes Nomination), The Hollow, Sweeney Todd, Show Boat, Partial Eclipse, Les Misérables, Saturday Night in concert (Signature Theatre); How to Succeed in Business… (Helen Hayes Award), Avenue Q, Big River, 1776 (Olney Theatre Center); 1776 (Ford’s Theatre); Jacques Brel is Alive…, Glimpses of the Moon (MetroStage); Speech and Debate (Rep Stage); Sons of the Prophet, The Playdoh Golem (Theatre J); Big Nate (Adventure Theatre); The King of Pizza, Monsters of the Villa Diodati (Helen Hayes Nomination)(Creative Cauldron); Titanic, La Cage Aux Folles (Toby’s Dinner Theatre).

Liz Mamana (Lizette/Gorrell/Pem’s Mother)* is delighted to be returning to 1st Stage after having previously appeared as Ruth in Blithe Spirit. Other credits include–NEW YORK: The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (Transport Group, Off Broadway). LOCAL: Spring Awakening, Lend Me a Tenor (Olney Theatre Center); The Religion Thing, Oh, the Innocents (Theater J); Fahrenheit 451 (Round House Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing (Folger Theatre). LOS ANGELES: Shadow Hour (Stella Adler Theatre); Dracula (The Globe Playhouse). TV/FILM: VEEP, Sally Pacholok, Blood & Circumstance, Twenty Questions (pilot), America’s Most Wanted, The Burning Zone, Listen Buddy. CO-PRODUCER/CO-FOUNDER: The Actors Salon www.dcactorssalon.com.

TENDO NSUBUGA (Stan/Ridleyis pleased to return to 1st Stage after appearing in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Other credits include—A Little Night Music (Signature Theatre); Looking for Roberto Clemente (Imagination Stage); Heathers: The Musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Red Branch Theatre Company); In His Own Words: A Tribute to Walter Dean Myers (The Kennedy Center). Education: BA in Theatre, University of Maryland; Overtures: The Musical Theatre Institute (Signature Theatre).

MATTHEW SPARACINO (Gifford/Fairbanks/Zworykin) is very excited to be back at 1st Stage, having previously played the role of Bill in Lobby Hero. Select DC CREDITS include: Six Degrees of Separation (Keegan Theatre); Hugo Ball, .d0t:: a RotoPlastic Ballet, Doctor Caligari, A Very Pointless Holiday Spectacular (Pointless Theatre, with whom he is an artistic associate); Never Never (Barabbas Theatre); The Campsite Rule (Washington Rogues); Richard II, Dracula, The Merchant of Venice (Chesapeake Shakespeare); and Fever/Dream (Woolly Mammoth). EDUCATION: BA in Theatre, University of Maryland. UPCOMING: The Winter’s Tale (Folger Theatre). www.matthewsparacino.com

JONATHAN LEE TAYLOR (David Sarnoff)* is excited to be returning to 1st Stage! Jonathan was seen as Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey and was part of the wonderful cast of Almost, Maine. Other credits include- Shear Madness (Kennedy Center 1500+ performances); Much Ado About Nothing (NextStop Theatre); Fire and Rain (Constellation Theatre); Another Day on Willow Street (Compass Rose Theater); Trials of Repopulating the Earth (Cohen Productions-NYC); Becoming Calvin (Reformed Institute DC/NYC); Stop Kiss (No Rules Theatre Company); Two Gentlemen of Verona (Brave Spirits); Hamlet (Folger Theatre); Merchant of Venice (Maryland Shakespeare Festival); 1776 (Olney Theatre); Twelfth Night (Baltimore Shakespeare Festival); Amadeus, Tartuffe (Monomoy Theatre); Metamorphoses (u/s) (Hartford Stage); Cabaret, Anything Goes (Naples Dinner Theatre). Training: The Hartt School.

CAROLINE WOLFSON (Agnes, Lennox, Lippincott) is making her 1st Stage Debut! Previous credits include Squirelle in Elephant and Piggie’s We Are in a Play! (Kennedy Center TYA National Tour); swing in Me…Jane (Kennedy Center); Sheila in Hair, Nancy in Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight, Ensemble in Parade (Keegan Theatre); Tess in The Sisters Rosensweig (Theater J); Danielle in The Fix, swing in Cabaret (Signature Theatre); Missis in 101 Dalmatians (Imagination Stage); Dani in Dani Girl (Unexpected Stage). UPCOMING: Miriam in Fly by Night (1st Stage). EDUCATION: BFA Musical Theatre, Syracuse University. She would like to thank her family, especially her mom, for all of their love and support.

JACOB YEH (Everson/James/Solomon/Doctor/Lawyer) is thrilled to be returning to 1st Stage (where he is an Artistic Associate) after previously appearing in Trevor, Shakespeare’s R&J, The Game of Love and Chance, Fuddy Meers, and Take Me Out. Other credits include: Chimerica, Edgar and Annabel (Studio Theatre); Yellow Face (Theater J); The Late Wedding (Hub Theatre); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Folger Theatre); Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Theatre Company); A Christmas Carol (Ford’s Theatre); Journey to the West (Constellation Theatre); Beertown, Courage (dog & pony dc); Back To Methuselah (Washington Stage Guild); The Carolina Layaway Grail (The Welders); Bondage, Be Here Now (Pinky Swear Productions); Kwaidan (Spooky Action Theater); Anime Momotaro, P.NOKIO, Cinderella: The Remix, and Wake Up, Brother Bear! (Imagination Stage); Five Little Monkeys, Jumanji, Holes, Just a Dream (Adventure Theatre-MTC); Blossom’s Rainbow, Adventures with Mr. Bear (Arts on the Horizon). UPCOMING: Vietgone (Studio Theatre, April 2018); Wizard of Oz (Synetic Theatre, June 2018).

*Member of Actor’s Equity Association

Special Events

Dinner: 6:00
Party: 7:30
Start your evening at an exclusive dinner party hosted by 1st Stage supporters. Then don your Go-go boots and tie-dye and head to the groovy 1st Stage cocktail party. Join 1st Stage artists and patrons for an evening filled with music, dancing, signature cocktails, and special guest performances in support of 1st Stage’s 10th Anniversary Season.

Season 2017-2018