Richard Thomas, S. Epatha Merkerson, et al. Set for Public Theatre's NEW WORKS NOW


The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, Interim Executive Director Joey Parnes) announces casting for the second week of the popular reading series, NEW WORK NOW!, running thru Sunday, September 18 in The Public's Martinson Theater (425 Lafayette Street). Casting for the free readings includes Donald Moffat, Richard Thomas, Michael Cristofer, Veanne Cox, Peter Francis James, Bill Heck, and S. Epatha Merkerson. All readings are free and open to the public and may be reserved by contacting the box office at (212) 967-7555.

This year's 11 playwrights are Christina Anderson, Daniel Berrigan, Colman Domingo, Danai Gurira, Dawn Jamieson, Lisa Kron, Itamar Moses, Tanya Saracho, S.M. Shephard-Massat, Julian Sheppard, and Alena Smith.

Previous NEW WORK NOW! series have included the world premieres of Urge for Going by Mona Mansour; In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney; The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson; Paris Commune by Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman; The Poor Itch by John Belluso; In Darfur by Winter Miller; Durango by Julia Cho; Measure for Pleasure by David Grimm; Satellites by Diana Son; Well by Lisa Kron; Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori; and the Pulitzer Prize-winning plays Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz and Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks.

2011 NEW WORK NOW! Schedule

Monday, September 12 at 7 PM
By Danai Gurira
Directed by Emily Mann

Cast includes Christoph Abeil, Saidah Arrika Ekulona, William Jackson Harper, Zainab Jah,
Russell G. Jones, and Kevin Mambo
Set amid the scramble for sovereignty in southern Africa (now Zimbabwe) in 1895, The Convert tells the tale of a young girl who escapes a forced marriage with the help of a stalwart black African catechist. Indebted to this new Christian god, she shuns her culture to become his protégé, but when an anti-colonial uprising erupts she must decide where her heart truly belongs. This searing new play about an explosive clash of cultures is by the co-author of In the Continuum who also appeared in this summer's Shakespeare in the Park production of Measure for Measure. The Convert was commissioned by Center Theater Group and will receive its world premiere this season in a co-production between McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton, NJ), Goodman Theatre (Chicago, IL), and Center Theater Group (Los Angeles, CA).

Tuesday, September 13 at 7 PM
By Daniel Berrigan, text prepared by Saul Levitt
Directed by Gordon Davidson

Cast includes Gwen Arner, Veanne Cox, Michael Cristofer, Quincy Dunn-Baker, Kevin Geer, Bill Heck, Korey Jackson, Peter Francis James, Joanna Merlin, Donald Moffat, Matt Servitto, and Richard Thomas

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