A man and woman sit and hold hands in a room in an art museum. The man wears a security guard's uniform and looks at the woman with concern. The woman holds a water bottle and looks away.
Josh Sticklin as Dodger and Kathryn Tkel as Madeline in the world-premiere of The Guard, by Jessica Dickey. Production plays at Ford’s Theatre Sept. 25 to Oct. 18, 2015. Photo by Scott Suchman.

The Guard Awarded 2015 Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award

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Playwright Jessica Dickey and her world-premiere play, The Guard, are recipients of the National Theatre Conference’s 2015 Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award—an annual award celebrating outstanding emerging playwrights. The Award will be presented at the National Theatre Conference’s December meeting in New York City.

The Guard was commissioned by Ford’s Theatre Society as part of the Washington region’s Women’s Voices Theater Festival. The story begins in a modern-day art museum where we meet two museum guards and a young art copyist who all decide to touch a famous Rembrandt painting. What follows is a close encounter with Rembrandt himself, the Greek poet Homer, and a moving exploration of creative expression and the sacrifices we make in the pursuit of love and beauty.

The Guard is now in rehearsals here in D.C. It plays at Ford’s from September 25 to October 18, 2015. Award-wining director Sharon Ott directs The Guard.

Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault comments, “Jessica Dickey has created a resonant piece with characters dealing with love, grief and legacy. We are thrilled with the response that her play has already received in the arts community and look forward to welcoming audiences to experience it for themselves at Ford’s this fall.”

The Guard is a story that speaks to the permanence of art and the impermanence of life,” says Jessica Dickey. “Being commissioned for Ford’s Theatre and to be part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival is an amazing opportunity. The festival is a bold and necessary contribution to the national dialogue about gender parity in the theatre, and I’m honored to be counted among a group of smart, talented writers.”

About the Playwright Jessica Dickey makes her Ford’s Theatre debut with The Guard. Her work includes the one-woman show, The Amish Project, in which she starred at New York’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, receiving great acclaim from audiences and critics. Other plays include Charles Ives Take Me Home and Row After Row — a dark comedy about Civil War reenactors. She has been commissioned by Rising Phoenix Repertory, Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Sloan Foundation. The New York Times recently called her a “talent to watch.” Dickey also is an actor, most recently appearing in a new Sam Hunter play, Pocatello, at Playwrights Horizons.