- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 10, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) - Phylicia Rashad will open Arena Stage’s new Mead Center for American Theater this fall in Washington, starring in one of the inaugural productions.

Rashad stars in the premiere of “Every Tongue Confess” from playwright Marcus Gardley. It will run Nov. 9 through Jan. 2. Rashad is best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the TV series “The Cosby Show.”

Also, E. Faye Butler will star as Aunt Eller in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” It will run from Oct. 22 to Dec. 26.

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.