Obamas become chairs of Washington theatre

image captionThe Obamas are expected to attend the theatre complex's reopening

President Obama and his wife Michelle have been made honorary chairs of a Washington DC theatre about to reopen following extensive renovations.

The Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will reopen with a black-tie gala on 25 October and the Obamas are expected to attend.

The season will continue with revivals of Oklahoma! and a stage adaptation of the John Grisham novel A Time to Kill.

Washington mayor Adrian Fenty and his wife have also been made co-chairs.

Founded in 1950, the non-profit regional theatre complex - formerly known as the Arena Center - now has three theatres as well as restaurants and rehearsal rooms.

One of its recent successes was rock musical Next to Normal, which went on to win three Tonys and the Pulitzer Prize for drama after a pre-Broadway run at the Arena Stage.

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