Alec Baldwin to Host 9/11 Forum at the Public Theater, 9/8

By: Jul. 26, 2011

The Public Theater announced the first Public Forum of the 2011-2012 season, "The 9/11 Decade: New York and America After the Towers." Moderated by Alec Baldwin, the discussion will immediately follow the 7:30 p.m. performance of Richard Nelson's Sweet and Sad at The Public Theater on Thursday, September 8. Additional guests to be announced at a later date.

Curated by Jeremy McCarter, The Public Forum is an exciting series of lectures, debates and conversations that showcase leading voices in the arts, politics and the media. Member tickets to this special event on Thursday, September 8, which includes the 7:30 p.m. performance of Sweet and Sad and The Public Forum immediately following, are $20 and go on sale on Tuesday, July 26. Single tickets, priced at $25, go on sale on Thursday, August 4.

In his new play Sweet and Sad, Richard Nelson poses hard questions about the way we remember the September 11 attacks. On Thursday, September 8, The Public Forum begins its second season with a special performance of the play and a discussion hosted by Alec Baldwin. Following the curtain call, leading voices in politics and the media will consider how 9/11 continues to affect New York and the country. What has changed since that day? What did we suffer? What did we learn?

With Sweet and Sad, Tony Award-winner Richard Nelson (Conversations in Tusculum, James Joyce's The Dead) continues his series of plays exploring the immediate present and the ever-changing state of the nation through the story of the liberal Apples. The critically acclaimed ensemble cast first introduced to Public Lab audiences in last season's That Hopey Changey Thing returns, featuring Jon Devries (Benjamin Apple), Shuler Hensley (Tim Andrews), Maryann Plunkett (Barbara Apple), Laila Robins (Marian Apple Platt), Jay O. Sanders (Richard Apple) and J. Smith-Cameron (Jane Apple Halls).

The Public Forum is a high-profile 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, Cynthia Nixon and young veterans of the war in Afghanistan -- plus performances by Anne Hathaway and Michael Cerveris, among others.
Alec Baldwin is a graduate of New York University (BFA-Tisch, 94) and was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from NYU in 2010. He last appeared on stage in the 2010 Guild Hall (East Hampton) production of Peter Shaffer's Equus, directed by Tony Walton. Other stage credits include the Roundabout Theatre Company's 2006 production of Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr. Sloane, directed by Scott Ellis. Loot (Broadway-1986; Theatre World Award), Caryl Churchill's Serious Money (Broadway-1988), Prelude to a Kiss (Circle Rep.- 1990; Obie Award), A Streetcar Named Desire (Broadway-1992; Tony nomination), Macbeth (The Public-1998), Twentieth Century (Roundabout-2004). (Also The Hartman in Stamford, Williamstown, Bay Street). Baldwin has appeared in over 40 films, including Beetlejuice, Working Girl, Miami Blues, The Hunt for Red October, Glengarry Glen Ross, Malice, The Juror, The Edge, Ghosts of Mississippi, State and Main, The Cat in the Hat, The Cooler (National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor, Oscar nomination), The Aviator, The Departed, and It's Complicated, among many others. On television Baldwin currently stars with Tina Fey on NBC's "30 Rock," winner of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series. Baldwin has received five SAG Awards, three Golden Globes, the Television Critics Award and two Emmy awards as Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance on the show. In 2011, Baldwin received his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His company, El Dorado Pictures, has produced several projects including "Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial" for TNT television (Emmy nomination), "The Confession" for Showtime (WGA award for best adapted screenplay) and David Mamet's film, State and Maine. Baldwin is also a dedicated supporter of numerous causes related to public policy and the arts. He serves on the boards of People For The American Way, The Hamptons International Film Festival and Guild Hall of East Hampton. He is an active supporter of The Radiation and Public Health Project, East Hampton Day Care Center, The Actors Fund, The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, The Roundabout Theatre, People for the Ethical treatment of Animals and The Water Keeper Alliance, among many others. Baldwin's book, A Promise to Ourselves (St. Martin's Press) was published in paperback in the Fall of 2009.
Richard Nelson is the playwright and director of Sweet and Sad. His other plays include That Hopey Changey Thing, Conversations in Tusculum (The Public), Goodnight Children Everywhere (Olivier Award, Best Play), Two Shakespearean Actors (Tony Nomination, Best Play), Some Americans Abroad (Olivier Nominations, Best Comedy), Madame Melville, New England, Frank's Home, Rodney's Wife, Franny's Way, The General From America, The Vienna Notes (Obie Award), and others. His musicals include James Joyce's The Dead with Shaun Davey (Tony Nomination for Best Book of a Musical), My Life with Albertine with Ricky Ian Gordon, Paradise Found with Ellen Fitzhugh and Jonathan Tunick, and Unfinished Piece for a Player Piano with Peter Golub. His films include Hyde Park-on-Hudson (Roger Michell, director), Ethan Frome (John Madden director), and Sensibility and Sense (David Jones, director). He is the recipient of the PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is an Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, which has produced ten of his plays.

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 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, 158 Obies, 42 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.

Member tickets for the The Public Forum on Thursday, September 8, are $20 and include the evening performance of Sweet and Sad and the Forum immediately following. Single tickets, priced at $25, go on sale on Thursday, August 4. Member tickets are available by calling (212) 967-8650 , visiting, or in person at The Public Theater Box Office. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street and the regular box office number is (212) 967-7555 .



Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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