Cheatom, Doman & Marvel Lead Suzan-Lori Park's THE BOOK OF GRACE at The Public, Thru 4/4

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Cheatom, Doman & Marvel Lead Suzan-Lori Park's THE BOOK OF GRACE at The Public, Thru 4/4

The Public Theater announced complete casting for the world premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks' THE BOOK OF GRACE, directed by James MacDonald. The complete cast will feature Amari Cheatom as Buddy, John Doman as Vet, and the previously announced Elizabeth Marvel as Grace. THE BOOK OF GRACE began previews on Tuesday, March 2 and will run through Sunday, April 4 with an official press opening on Tuesday, March 16. All evening performances for THE BOOK OF GRACE will be at 7:30 PM, except for Saturdays at 8 PM.

Treasured for her groundbreaking poetic and inventive language, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog) has drawn a family portrait shattered by issues of rage, revenge, power and betrayal. When a young man returns home to South Texas to confront his father, everyday life erupts into a battle for personal survival. At once fiercely intimate and explosive, THE BOOK OF GRACE weaves the story of three people bound together by love and longing, passion and ambition. Currently, Parks is the Master Writer Chair at The Public Theater.

""This is a superb cast of actors. Under the leadership of James MacDonald, The Book of Grace is in good hands," said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis.

Amari Cheatom (Buddy) recently appeared at the Signature Theater Company in the title role of Charles Fuller's Zooman and the Sign. His other credits include Origin Story and When January Feels Like Summer at the Sundance Theater Festival and a lead role in the film Giver Taker Heartbreaker, written and directed by Christopher Arcella. He will co-star with Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington in Tanya Hamilton's upcoming film Night Catches Us. He is a recent graduate of Juilliard, where he played such roles as Leontes (The Winters Tale), Bynum Walker (Joe Turner's Come and Gone), Edmund The Bastard (King Lear), Sean (Beau Willimon's War Story) and Banner (Bryan Tucker's ST. James Infirmary).

John Doman (Vet) was last seen off-Broadway in Lyle Kessler's Robbers at the American Place Theatre. He is most familiar to TV audiences from his performance as Acting Commissioner William A. Rawls on all five seasons of HBO's critically acclaimed series "The Wire." His other television credits include recurring roles on "E.R.," "Oz," "CSI," and "Damages" and a total of nine different roles on "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: SVU." His numerous film credits include Mystic River, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Cop Land, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, Mercury Rising, City by the Sea, and Lonely Hearts.

Elizabeth Marvel (Grace) last appeared at The Public in Doug Hughes's production of Henry V at Shakespeare in the Park. Her other Public credits include Troilus and Cressida, King Lear, and Silence, Cunning, Exile. She has appeared on Broadway in Top Girls, An American Daughter, Taking Sides, and The Seagull. Her Off-Broadway credits include Terrorism (New Group); A Secondhand Memory (Atlantic Theater Company); Hedda Gabler (Obie Award); Lydie Breeze, Alice in Bed, A Streetcar Named Desire (Obie Award), Shopping and Fucking, Play Yourself (NYTW); Meshugah (Naked Angels); Therese Raquin (Obie Award, CSC); Misalliance (Obie Award, Roundabout); Arts & Leisure (Playwrights Horizons); She has performed regionally at the McCarter Theatre, Guthrie Theater, American Repertory Theatre, Stratford Theatre Festival, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Suzan-Lori Parks (Playwright) is a playwright, screenwriter and novelist whose plays include 365 Days/365 Plays (produced simultaneously in over 700 theatres worldwide, creating one of the largest collaborations in theatre history), Topdog/Underdog (Public Theater), Fucking A (Public Theater), Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (1990 Obie Award for Best New American Play), The America Play (Public Theater), Venus (Public Theater, 1996 Obie Award), The Death Of The Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, and In The Blood (Public Theater, 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist), among others. Her Father Comes Homes From The Wars (Parts 1, 8 & 9) premiered at the Public's Public LAB last season. Her work is the subject of the PBS Film "The Topdog/Underdog Diaries." She is the current Master Writer Chair at The Public Theater and an alumnae of New Dramatists, and has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She was also the recipient of a Lila-Wallace Reader's Digest Award, a CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts (Drama) for 1996 and a Guggenheim Foundation Grant. Her work for film and television includes Girl 6 (directed by Spike Lee) and the adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, for Oprah Winfrey Presents, which premiered in 2005 on ABC. Her first novel, Getting Mother's Body, is published by Random House. She is currently writing the book for the Ray Charles musical (for the film producers of Ray). A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Award, Parks received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Topdog/Underdog.

James MacDonald (Director) most recently directed Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? at The Public Theater and Top Girls at Manhattan Theater Club. His other New York credits include Christopher Shinn's Dying City at Lincoln Center; and Caryl Churchill's A Number at New York Theater Workshop. His recent London credits include The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other at the National; the West End revival of Glengarry GLen Ross (with Jonathan Pryce); and Drunk Enough To Say I Love You? at the Royal Court. From 1992 to 2006, Macdonald was associate director of the Royal Court, where he was known for focusing on new work, including the plays of Sarah Kane (4:48 Psychosis). Macdonald recently directed the film version of Caryl Churchill's A Number, featuring Tom Wilkinson and Rhys Ifans, for HBO.

The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Andrew D. Hamingson, 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 and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day onstage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, over 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 has won 42 Tony Awards, 149 Obies, 40 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. The Public has brought 52 shows to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk; On the Town; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Well; Passing Strange; and, most recently, the current Tony Award-winning revival of Hair. www.publictheater.org.

Tickets for THE BOOK OF GRACE start at $60. Single tickets are on-sale now at (212) 967-7555, www.publictheater.org, or in person at The Public Theater box office.

THE BOOK OF GRACE will run through April 4 with an official press opening on Tuesday, March 16. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. There will be no performance on Saturday, March 5 at 2 p.m. and a special 7 p.m. curtain on Tuesday, March 16.

Photo Credit: Peter James Zielinski

 

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