Civil Liberties and ACLU-NCA in the Spotlight

December 19, 2013

Join the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital for two upcoming theatrical productions, Our Suburb and Arguendo, in which civil liberties take center stage. ACLU staff and board members will participate in panel discussions following select performances of each play.

Our SuburbThe world premiere of Our Suburb by Darrah Cloud invites audiences to suburban Illinois in 1977, when the Nazis threatened to rally in Skokie. As two families prepare for Christmas and Hanukkah, two teenagers fall into an interfaith romance, and find themselves absorbed in a growing menace that turns to heartbreak, headlines, and then, magically, new hope, in this whimsical, innovative update of an American classic. The play runs from December 19, 2013 to January 12, 2014 at Theater J.

ACLU-NCA staff and board members will be participating in two post-show panel discussions. Following the December 22, 2013 performance, ACLU-NCA Board Member Sarah Bardos, a lawyer and former resident of the Chicago suburbs, will participate in the discussion, “Living Skokie/Staging Skokie.”

Following the Sunday, January 5, 2014 performance, Arthur Spitzer, ACLU-NCA Legal Director, and Philippa Strum, ACLU-NCA Board Member and author of “When the Nazis Came to Skokie: Freedom for the Speech We Hate,” will participate in a panel discussion entitled “Free Speech or Hate Speech: A Legal and Historical Perspective.”

ACLU-NCA members can get a $10 discount off tickets to Our Suburb with the code ‘SUBURB10.’ Tickets can be bought online at or by calling (800) 494-8497 and mentioning the discount code over the phone.

In March 2014, the Woolly Mammoth Theater will premier Arguendo, bringing a playful physicality and incisive wit to the Supreme Court and the 1991 First Amendment case Barnes vs. Glen Theatre, in which a group of go-go dancers challenged a state ban on public nudity.

Using verbatim oral arguments and breathtaking projections by celebrated visual artist Ben Rubin, Arguendo introduces us to the Justices — who try to get to the bottom of this First Amendment puzzle — and the attorneys on both sides who gamely try to keep up. One of the attorneys portrayed in the play, Bruce J. Ennis, was a former National Legal Director of the ACLU who argued the case before the Supreme Court on behalf of Glen Theatre. Read more about Arguendo in the New York Times review section.

The play will run March 31, 2014 to April 20, 2014. Following the Friday, April 11 performance, ACLU-NCA Legal Director Arthur Spitzer will participate in a discussion moderated by a member of the theater staff, with an opportunity for questions from the audience.

Tickets can be purchased online at members can get discounted tickets for the April 11 performance of Arguendo with the promotional code 'ACLU.' The discounted rate is $40 per seat, anywhere in the house. Regularly priced tickets range from $59.00 to $71.50. To take advantage of this promotion, after selecting the April 11 performance date, purchasers will see a box labeled “Promo Code” in the upper right corner of the screen. The code must be entered before selecting seats in the house in order for the discount pricing to correctly applied. Tickets can also be purchased from the Box Office by calling 202-393-3939 or by visiting Woolly’s Box Office in person at 641 D Street NW, Washington DC, 20004. Once purchased, tickets will be held under the individual purchaser’s name, and will be available for pick up at the Box Office on the day of the performance.