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The True Story of a JRK’s Whirlwind Romance in WWII Charleston Comes to Life at the Dock Street Theatre



Press Release

Julian Wiles’s JFK and Inga Binga tells the incredible true story of young Ensign John F. Kennedy and his WWII affair with Inga Arvad, a former Miss Denmark and suspected Nazi spy. Drawn from the secret files of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and set in the Francis Marion Hotel, with FBI agents listening in from the room next door, this farcical retelling of the youthful exploits of the man who would be President brought down the house at the Dock Street Theatre when it world-premiered in 2012 and now returns for an encore engagement. 

“Following that first production, I’ve made some additional revisions to the play, including a new ending,” stated Playwright and Director Julian Wiles. In the end I’m sure many will ask, ‘How much of the play is true?’ First, let me state upfront that JFK and Inga Binga is a work of fiction. That being said, the basic story is completely true. Inga Arvad, a former Miss Denmark, was introduced to Ensign Jack Kennedy by Jack’s sister, Kathleen, in Washington in 1941. Soon after, a passionate love affair was underway including three passionate weekends in wartime Charleston. Under orders from J. Edgar Hoover, Inga’s and Jack’s hotel rooms in Charleston were bugged, their phones were tapped, and the FBI even slipped into Inga’s Washington apartment and went through her files. With all these comings and goings of FBI agents, lovers, reporters, maids, bellhops and more, this obviously had the making of a farce which is in fact what this comedy has become. So, in the end, what’s true and what’s fiction? Well let’s just say, the play contains many true incidents that did happen and a lot of other incidents that might have happened. Hopefully the two will give audiences insights into this long ago love affair and a window into WWII Charleston.”

Featured: JFK and Inga Binga, 2012. (Front) New York Guest Actors Gardner Reed as Inga Arvad and Phil Mills as Ensign Jack Kennedy. (Back) Victor Clark as Hank and Charleston Stage Resident Actor Josh Harris as Skip.

This collaborative cast features Resident Actors Raymond Cronley as Ensign Jack Kennedy (A Christmas Carol – Fred and The Play That Goes Wrong – Jonathan/Charles Haversham), Eliza Knode as Inga Arvad Fejos (The Addams Family – A New Musical – Morticia Addams and A Christmas Carol – Ensemble), Cedar Valdez as Lemoyne “Lem” Billings (The Addams Family – A New Musical – Gomez Addams and The Play That Goes Wrong – Trevor), and K’nique Eichelberger as Freddy (A Christmas Carol – Young Scrooge and The Play That Goes Wrong –  Dennis/Perkins). Acting Ensemble Company members include Michael Locklair as Hank Hamilton, Anthony T. Matrejek as Skip Rollins, Liz Duren as Betty Rollins, Chad Estel as Josephine/J Edgar Hoover, joined by local actor Luke Shaw as Bud.

Charleston Stage’s JFK and Inga Binga features the direction of Founder and Producing Artistic Director Julian Wiles, who takes the credit for writing this original script as well. Set design inspired by the Francis Marion Hotel are by Resident Scenic Designer and Scenic Charge Cody Tellis Rutledge, costume design by Associate Costume Designer and Construction Coordinator Hayley O’Brien, properties design by Properties Supervisor Aline Toloto, lighting design by Resident Lighting Designer Caleb S. Garner, sound design by Resident Sound Designer and Audio Engineer Luke Walchuk, and stage management by Resident Stage Manager Ravyn T. Meador.

Performances of JFK and Inga Binga run February 8 – 26 at the Historic Dock Street Theatre. Ticket sales are available online at

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