Nightly News | April 04, 2014
>>> finally here tonight, a new play opened in washington d.c. with just four characters. three heads of state and one first lady. it's called camp david . it's all about former president jimmy carter who devoted two weeks of his presidency and a substantial chunk of his leadership to forging a peace in the middle east . and no pressure on the playwright, the former president and first lady were sitting right there in the audience last night along with nbc's andrea mitchell .
>> reporter: before the moment of victory, the first arab peace treaty there was a struggle. 13 days , two enemies and an american president arguing and pleading with them to make peace.
>> i would say those 13 days were among the most dramatic of my life.
>> reporter: the carters were back in washington for the opening of camp david the play. with richard thomas , once john boy on the waltons and fbi supervisor on "the americans".
>> the challenge of playing a living president who was really in the audience last night.
>> it would have been a good night for an understudy.
>> reporter: history focuses on carter.
>> gentlemen, please.
>> reporter: but lawrence wright realized there should be another pivotal character, the first lady.
>> how's the peacemaking coming along?
>> reporter: i realized the character of rosalyn carter was taking peace among the peacemakers.
>> she had emotional access to the characters the way jimmy did not.
>> reporter: the talks almost fail.
>> it was a crazy idea. completely insane. ask them to make peace? what was i thinking.
>> reliving the emotion of it all the carters cried and embraced the actors that brought it back to life.
>> he had been crying.
>> he handed rosalyn a tissue. she was crying too.
>> she took my hand and said you were a wonderful jimmy. that was about the best thing anybody could have said.
>> reporter: the middle east is still torn by war but the camp david treaty remains unbroken. andrea mitchell nbc news washington.