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Ford’s Theater hands reins to Houston vet

Tetreault will program 2004-05 season

WASHINGTON — Ford’s Theater Society has tapped Paul Tetreault, 41-year-old managing director of Houston’s Alley Theater, its producing director. He succeeds Frankie Hewitt, who died last year.

Tetreault will handle programming as well as overseeing the theater’s administration. He will start March 1 and will program the Ford’s 2004-05 season.

During Tetreault’s decade as m.d., the Alley has staged world premieres by Horton Foote, Eve Ensler and Keith Reddin. The theater co-presented the world preem of Tennessee Williams’ lost play “Not About Nightingales,” which went to Broadway in 1998.

“Washington is a city that has a reputation for consistently supporting and appreciating live performance, and the credit goes to people like Frankie Hewitt for earning that support and patronage,” Tetreault said.

He succeeds a Washington icon who single-handedly revived the historic Ford’s Theater and turned it into a vibrant cultural venue, where she produced more than 150 shows.

Hewitt, who died in February of cancer at 71, also was a master fundraiser who regularly got the U.S. president to attend the annual Ford’s Theater gala, which is broadcast on ABC.

Ford’s successes include an 18-month run of “Godspell” in 1972-73, “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and James Whitmore’s “Will Rogers USA.”

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