Necessary Sacrifices

David Selby as Lincoln and Craig Wallace as Frederick Douglass in the Ford's Theatre production of "Necessary Sacrifices." T. Charles Erickson
Performance Dates
In his fourth commission for Ford’s Theatre, playwright Richard Hellesen explores the two documented encounters between Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln during a period of national crisis. As Lincoln searches for a way to end slavery in the summers of 1863 and 1864, Douglass’s rhetoric and conviction challenges the president to envision a post-emancipation world. Together, the men imagine not only a unified nation but a society that brings truth to the Declaration of Independence assertion that “all men are created equal.”

Production Information

Approximate Running Time
120 minutes


Frederick Douglass
Abraham Lincoln
George Stearns

Creative Team

Set Designer
Costume Designer
Sound Designer
Lighting Designer