Cynthia Nixon, Alison Bechdel, F. Murray Abraham & More Set for Public Theater's 2014 Fall Forum Series

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Cynthia Nixon, Alison Bechdel, F. Murray Abraham & More Set for Public Theater's 2014 Fall Forum Series

The Public Theater announced the 2014 Fall Public Forum season, featuring an exciting line-up of one-night-only readings and discussions that connect dramatic literature to society. Celebrating its fifth year, the popular Public Forum series presents the theater of ideas: conversations and performances with leading voices in politics, media, and the arts.

"Great plays give us new ways to make sense of politics, religion, family, literature," said Public Forum Director Jeremy McCarter. "I couldn't be more thrilled with the artists and thinkers who will be with us for that exploration this fall."

Public Theater Member tickets for the Fall Public Forums are on sale now. Single tickets for the Public Forum Drama Clubs, priced at $50, and single tickets for the Public Forum Duet, priced at $40, go on sale Tuesday, August 19 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. (There is no food or drink minimum for the Public Forum Drama Club series in Joe's Pub.)

How do we balance the rules of faith with the realities of our messy lives? Public Forum kicks off on Monday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m. in Joe's Pub with DRAMA CLUB: THE GOOD BOOK, featuring excerpts from a new play-in-progress by Denis O'Hare ("True Blood," "American Horror Story") and Lisa Peterson (An Iliad). The Good Book skips back and forth between the centuries when the Bible stories were compiled and the lives of people trying to make sense of them in our own time. Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham, historian of Ancient Christianity Margaret Mitchell, author Bruce Feiler, O'Hare, and Peterson lead the cast.

The season continues with DRAMA CLUB: SEAGULLS, a reading and discussion of a rarely seen one-act play by Caryl Churchill on Sunday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m. in Joe's Pub. When Valery uses her telekinetic powers to thwart a shoplifter, she becomes a global celebrity. But where did her powers come from, and what happens if they fade? In Seagulls, one of our greatest living playwrights explores the power and the danger of extraordinary abilities. Cynthia Nixon will lead the cast which includes playwright Rinne Groff.

This fall marks the return of the celebrated Public Forum Duet series of one-on-one conversations. On Monday October 27 at 7:00 p.m., authors Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, Are You My Mother?) and Jonathan Lethem (The Fortress of Solitude, Dissident Gardens) will talk about storytelling, graphic novels, and what it's like to see their lives turned into a musical. This evening in The Public's Newman Theater will feature performances of songs from The Public's acclaimed productions of Fun Home and the upcoming world premiere musical, The Fortress of Solitude, running at The Public in the fall.

Marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Public Forum will present DRAMA CLUB: PROTEST by Vaclav Havel on Sunday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m. in Joe's Pub. A dissident writer (based on Havel himself) asks a friend to sign a petition. What do intellectuals owe to their societies-and to each other? Author Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses, Joseph Anton), playwright-actor Wallace Shawn (The Designated Mourner, Grasses of a Thousand Colors) and David Remnick (editor of The New Yorker) will read Havel's play, then talk about his political and literary legacy.

PUBLIC FORUM, now in its fifth season, presents the theater of ideas: performances and conversations that explore dramatic literature as a way to understand society. Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, Cynthia Nixon, Sam Waterston, and former NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman have hosted its programs, which have featured the insights of Kurt Andersen, David Brooks, David Byrne, Tony Kushner, Rachel Maddow, Wynton Marsalis, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Suzan-Lori Parks, Salman Rushdie, David Simon, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephen Sondheim, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, young veterans of the war in Afghanistan - plus performances and readings by Christine Baranski, Annette Bening, Jessica Chastain, Billy Collins, Matt Damon, E.L. Doctorow, Holly Hunter, James Earl Jones, Audra McDonald, and Vanessa Redgrave, among others.

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