Phylicia Rashad will open Arena Stage's new Mead Center for American Theater this fall, starring in one of the inaugural productions.
Also, E. Faye Butler will star as Aunt Eller in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" It will run Oct. 22 to Dec. 26.
Later, Anna Deavere Smith will star in the one-woman play "Let Me Down Easy," running Dec. 31 to Feb. 13.
The initial casting was announced Tuesday.
This year marks the inaugural reopening of Arena Stage after its extensive renovations since 2008. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will be honorary chairs of the season.
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