Photo Flash: Kushner & Eustis Talk HOMOSEXUAL'S GUIDE & More at Public Forum
The Public Theater hostd the final Public Forum evening of the season, "Tony Kushner and Oskar Eustis in Conversation," last night, May 8. In his new play, The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, Kushner writes movingly about politics and family in America today-plus unions, real estate and love. Kushner and Eustis discussed these topics and more, with an introduction by special guest host Cynthia Nixon.
The Public Forum is a high-profile new series of lectures, debates, and conversations. Curated by Jeremy McCarter, the Forum features leading voices in politics, media, and the arts. Alec Baldwin, Sam Waterston, and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman have hosted programs in its inaugural season, which have featured the insights of Stephen Sondheim, Jay McInerney, Arianna Huffington, Richard Foreman, Hendrik Hertzberg, and young veterans of the war in Afghanistan -- plus performances by Anne Hathaway and Michael Cerveris, among others.
OSKAR EUSTIS is the Artistic Director of The Public Theater and has worked as a director, dramaturg, and artistic director for theaters around the country. From 1981 through 1986 he was resident director and dramaturg at the Eureka Theatre Company in San Francisco, and Artistic Director until 1989, when he moved to the L.A.'s Mark Taper Forum as Associate Artistic Director until 1994. Mr. Eustis then served as Artistic Director at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island for 11 years. In 2005 he took the helm at New York's Public Theater. Throughout his career, Mr. Eustis has been dedicated to the development of new plays as both a director and a producer. At The Public he directed the New York premiere of Rinne Groff's Compulsion and The Ruby Sunrise, Larry Wright's The Human Scale and Hamlet for Shakespeare in the Park. At Trinity Rep, he directed the world premiere of Paula Vogel's The Long Christmas Ride Home (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production); Homebody/Kabul (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production). He has directed the world premiere of Rinne Groff's The Ruby Sunrise and Compulsion; Angels in America, Part I: Millennium Approaches (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director); Angels in America, Part II: Perestroika; as well as world premieres of plays by Philip Kan Gotanda, David Henry Hwang, Emily Mann, Suzan-Lori Parks, Ellen McLaughlin, and Eduardo Machado. He commissioned Tony Kushner's Angels in America at the Eureka Theatre Company in San Francisco and directed its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum. He was a professor of Theatre, Speech and Dance at Brown University, where he founded and chaired the Trinity Rep/Brown University Consortium for professional theater training. He received an honorary doctorate from Rhode Island College in 1999 and Brown in 2001 and has held professorships at Brown, UCLA and NYU. He currently serves as Professor of Dramatic Writing and Arts and Public Policy at New York University. Eustis was the lead producer on the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice on Broadway.
TONY KUSHNER is the playwright of The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scripture, opening at The Public on May 5. His other plays include A Bright Room Called Day; Angels in America, Parts One and Two; Slavs!; Homebody/Kabul; and Caroline, or Change, a musical with composer Jeanine Tesori. He has adapted and translated Pierre Corneille's The Illusion, S.Y. Ansky's The Dybbuk, Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Sezuan and Mother Courage and Her Children; and the English-language libretto for the opera Brundibár by Hans Krasa. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols' film of Angels In America, and Steven Spielberg's Munich. His books include Brundibar, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; The Art of Maurice Sendak, 1980 to the Present; and Wrestling With Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon. Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award and an Oscar nomination, among other honors. In 2008, he was the first recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award.
CYNTHIA NIXON is a Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award-winning actress. For six seasons, Nixon starred as Miranda Hobbes in HBO's much celebrated series, "Sex and the City," a role that garnered her an Emmy Award in 2004 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, two other Emmy nominations, and four consecutive Golden Globe nominations. Nixon has a long history with The Public Theater and Tony Kushner having appeared as Juliet in The Public's Romeo and Juliet, Harper Pitt in Angels in America on Broadway and The Illusion Off-Broadway. Nixon was most recently seen onstage in Lisa Loomer's Distracted, for which she received a Drama League nomination. Prior to that, she performed the title role of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. In 2006, she completed a successful run in David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress, as well as earned a Drama League nomination and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination. She also performed on Broadway as Mary Haines in The Roundabout's revival of The Women, which was broadcast on PBS' Stage to Screen series. Nixon won a Theatre World Award at 14 for her stage debut as in Ellis Rabb's production of The Philadelphia Story. At 15, she was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Louis Malle in the title role of John Guare's Lydie Breeze. Most remarkably, at age 18, she appeared simultaneously in two Broadway productions, David Rabe's Hurlyburly and Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, both directed by Mike Nichols. Nixon began her film career at age 12 with Ronald F. Maxwell's Little Darlings and went on to appear in Milos Forman's Amadeus, Marshall Brickman's The Manhattan Project, The Pelican Brief, John Hughes' Baby's Day Out, Marvin's Room, and Advice from a Caterpillar, based on the play by Douglas Carter Beane. She has most recently appeared on network television in a guest role on "Law & Order: SVU," a role which earned her an Emmy Award for Guest Actress in a Drama Series. In 2009, Nixon was awarded a Spoken Word Grammy for her recording of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Nixon will be seen this May in HBO's "Too Big to Fail." Following that she will appear in the film Rampart, with Anne Heche and Woody Harrelson, as well as reprise her role in Season Two of Showtime's critically acclaimed hit "The Big C."
THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Joey Parnes, Interim Executive Director) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation's preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals and productions of classics at its downtown home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, more than 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe's Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater's productions have won 42 Tony Awards, 151 Obies, 41 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. Fifty-four Public Theater productions have moved to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls...; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of HAIR; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice.
For more information, visit www.publictheater.org.
Photo Credit: Steve and Anita Shevett