Rachel Maddow, Elizabeth Marvel & More Set for PUBLIC FORUM Series This Fall
The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) will kick off the fourth season ofPUBLIC FORUM with the new series Drama Club, a book club for plays that will feature one-night-only readings and discussions of works by Kia Corthron, Tony Kushner, and Thornton Wilder at Joe's Pub. Curated by Jeremy McCarter, the popular PUBLIC FORUM series presents the theater of ideas: conversations and performances with leading voices in politics, media, and the arts.
In PUBLIC FORUM Drama Club, authors, musicians, journalists, scholars, and actors will come together to give onstage readings of one-act plays that have some special resonance in our lives today. Each reading will conclude with a discussion of the hard questions that the play raises about our politics, our culture, and the way we live now.
"Public Forum continually seeks new ways to bring the most insightful people in American life into contact with the great works of dramatic literature," said Public Forum Director Jeremy McCarter. "With Drama Club, we're knocking down whatever remains of the wall that divides them, inviting intellectuals to take part in the public reading of a play, and asking theater artists to contribute to the ensuing conversation about why the play speaks to the most urgent questions of our times."
On Sunday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m., Kia Corthron's 1995 play, Life by Asphyxiation, will be read and discussed by Wendell Pierce (The Wire),Kirk Bloodsworth, the first man exonerated from death row based on DNA evidence, and others. Corthron's play tells the story of Jojo, a black man on death row for raping and murdering a white girl decades earlier. He is visited by her ghost, and Nat Turner is locked up in the cell next door. After reading the play, the cast will tackle the hard questions it raises about race, justice, mercy, friendship, and the death penalty.
The next Drama Club reading and discussion will be Tony Kushner's Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy on Sunday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m., featuring Rachel Maddow and Elizabeth Marvel. In this timely, provocative 2003 play, First Lady Laura Bush reads a passage from Dostoyevsky to Iraqi children who were killed in American air strikes. Afterwards, the cast will discuss the morality of U.S. foreign policy and the extent to which we share responsibility for our leaders' actions.
The final Drama Club program, just in time for the holiday season, features Thornton Wilder's classic 1931 one-act The Long Christmas Dinner onTuesday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m. It will be read and discussed by actor/playwright Lisa Kron; media theorist Douglas Rushkoff; Thornton Wilder's nephew and literary executor, Tappan Wilder; Anne-Marie Slaughter, the president and CEO of the New America Foundation and author of the recent cover story in The Atlantic about trying to have it all; her son, Edward Moravcsik; and more. Wilder's ingenious, heartbreaking play traces 90 years in the life of an American family, and will spark a discussion about family and storytelling in a society that's rapidly accelerating.
Public Theater Member tickets for the fall PUBLIC FORUM Drama Club series at Joe's Pub are on sale now. Single tickets, starting at $40, go on saleMonday, September 23 and can be purchased at (212) 967-7555, www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street. The Library at The Public is open nightly for food and drink, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
PUBLIC FORUM, now in its fourth year, presents the theater of ideas. Curated by Jeremy McCarter, this series of conversations and performances features leading voices in politics, media, and the arts. Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, Cynthia Nixon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Sam Waterston, and former NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman have hosted its programs, which have featured the insights of Kurt Andersen, Carl Bernstein, David Brooks, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Nathan Englander, Hendrik Hertzberg, Arianna Huffington, Bill Irwin, Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, Francine Prose, Reihan Salam, Michael Sandel, David Simon, Anna Deavere Smith, Ben Smith, Stephen Sondheim, Damian Woetzel, the culture writers of New YorkMagazine, and young veterans of the war in Afghanistan - plus performances by Alan Alda, Christine Baranski, Michael Cerveris, Matt Damon, Michael Friedman, Gabriel Kahane, and Vanessa Redgrave, among others.