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Chip Zien, Ron Rifkin and More to Star in THE TWENTY-SEVENTH MAN at Public Theater


The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Patrick Willingham) announced complete casting today for the world premiere of THE TWENTY-SEVENTH MAN by Nathan Englander. Directed by Barry Edelstein, THE TWENTY-SEVENTH MAN begins previews on Wednesday, November 7 in The Public's Martinson Theater and will run through Sunday, December 9. The official press opening, originally scheduled for Monday, November 19, will now take place on Sunday, November 18. Single tickets, beginning at $75, are on sale now.
The complete cast of THE TWENTY-SEVENTH MAN features Happy Anderson (Guard), Byron Jennings (The Agent in Charge), Daniel Oreskes (Moishe Bretzky), Ron Rifkin (Yevgeny Zunser), Noah Robbins (Pinchas Pelovits), and Chip Zien (Vasily Korinsky).

Best-selling author Nathan Englander (What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank) adapts this warm and deeply moving new play from his acclaimed short story of the same name. In a Soviet prison in 1952, Stalin's secret police have rounded up twenty-six writers, the giants of Yiddish literature in Russia. As judgment looms, a twenty-seventh suddenly appears: Pinchas Pelovits, unpublished and unknown. Baffled by his arrest, he and his cellmates wrestle with the mysteries of party loyalty and politics, culture and identity, and what it means to write in troubled times. When they discover why the twenty-seventh man is among them, the writers come to realize that even in the face of tyranny, stories still have the power to transcend.

THE TWENTY-SEVENTH MAN features scenic design by Michael McGarty, costume design by Katherine Roth, lighting design by Russell H. Champa, and sound design by Darron L West.

Nathan Englander (Playwright) is the author of the short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, as well as the internationally best-selling story collection, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, and the novel The Ministry of Special Cases (all published by Knopf/Vintage). His short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Washington Post, as well as The O. Henry Prize Stories and numerous editions of The Best American Short Stories. Translated into more than a dozen languages, Englander was selected as one of "20 Writers for the 21st Century" by The New Yorker, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Award, the Bard Fiction Prize, and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. He has been a fellow at the Dorothy & Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library and at The American Academy of Berlin. He teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Hunter College along with Peter Carey and Colum McCann, and, in the summer, he teaches a course for NYU's Writers in Paris program. This year his translation of New American Haggadah (edited by Jonathan Safran Foer) will be published by Little Brown. He also co-translated Etgar Keret's Suddenly A Knock at the Door forthcoming in March from FSG.

Barry Edelstein (Director). For The Public, Edelstein has directed Timon of Athens, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, and WASP and Other Plays. For The Public's Shakespeare Initiative, he has supervised As You Like It, Love's Labor's Lost, Titus Andronicus, All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, The Winter's Tale, The Merchant of Venice (also Broadway), Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and Othello. He also directs the Shakespeare Lab and The Public's Shakespeare-related education and outreach programs. In addition he served as dramaturg for three seasons of Joseph Papp's "Shakespeare Marathon," and as Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company from 1998 to 2003. He is the author of Thinking Shakespeare (2007) and Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions (2009).

Happy Anderson (Guard) has appeared at The Public in The Merchant of Venice and on Broadway. His film and television credits include Duplicity; "Boardwalk Empire"; "Blue Bloods"; "White Collar"; "Eden"; "Army Wives"; and "Law & Order: SVU."

Byron Jennings (The Agent in Charge) has appeared in The Public's production of The Merchant of Venice at the Delacorte and on Broadway. His additional Public Theater credits include Stuff Happens, On The Open Road, and Pericles. His Broadway credits include Inherit the Wind; Noises Off; Is He Dead?; Macbeth; Accent on Youth; Heartbreak House; A Touch of the Poet; Twelve Angry Men; The Man Who Came To Dinner; A Month in the Country; Henry IV; Dinner At Eight; The Invention of Love; Carousel; and Sight Unseen.

Daniel Oreskes (Moishe Bretzky) has appeared at The Public in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry V, Troilus and Cressida, The Tragedy of Richard II, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Othello, and Henry IV Parts I and II. His Broadway credits include The Miracle Worker; Billy Elliot: The Musical; Cymbeline; Aida; Electra; The Song of Jacob Zulu; Crazy He Calls Me. His select Off-Broadway credits include Russian Transport, A Perfect Future, Jayson with a Y, Terrorism, and Roar. His film and television credits include The Devil's Advocate, The Thomas Crown Affair, "Rescue Me," and "The Sopranos."

Ron Rifkin (Yevgeny Zunser) has appeared in The Public's production of The Art of Dining. His Broadway credits include The Goodbye People, The Tenth Man, Broken Glass, A Month in the Country, the 1998 revival of Cabaret, and Wrong Mountain. His film and television credits include The Words, The Sum of all Fears, Dragonfly, The Majestic, Keeping the Faith, Flowers for Algernon, The Negotiator, I'm Not Rappaport, "Brothers & Sisters," "Alias," and "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill."

Noah Robbins (Pinchas Pelovits) has appeared on Broadway in the 2011 revival of Arcadia and the 2009 revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs. He has appeared regionally in Milk, Alex in Wonderland, Brothers of the Knight, Dancing in the Wings, and Pearl. His film credits include Newsworthy.

Chip Zien (Vasily Korinsky) recently appeared at The Public in Into the Woods. His Broadway credits include Into the Woods, The People in the Picture, The Country Girl, Les Miserables, Falsettos, Grand Hotel, The Boys From Syracuse, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, All Over Town, and The Suicide. His select Off-Broadway credits include In Trousers, March of the Falsettos, Falsettoland, Isn't It Romantic, A New Brain, Anonymous, An Imaginary Life, Splie, and Tuscaloosa's Calling Me. Zien's select film and television credits include the voice of the infamous Howard the Duck as well as The Siege; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead; United 93; Dorothy Parker and the Vicious Circle; Grace Quigley with Katherine Hepburn; "The Caroline Rhea Show"; "Almost Perfect"; "Now and Again"; "Deadline"; "Shell Game"; Love, Sidney"; and "Reggie."

The revitalization of The Public Theater's downtown home at Astor Place will physically manifest the Company's core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences by dramatically opening up its landmark building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. Designed by Ennead Architects and constructed by Westerman Construction, the project encompasses enhancements to the building's interior and exterior while preserving the historic structure. Key elements of the design include infrastructure updates to the 158-year old building, as well as construction of new exterior entry stair and glass canopy; installation of ramps for improved accessibility; an expanded and refurbished lobby; the addition of a mezzanine level with a new lounge, designed by the Rockwell Group; expansion and remodeling of restroom facilities; and comprehensive exterior restoration, ensuring stability of the landmark façade.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare and the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues-including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe's Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City's five boroughs. The Public's wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company's dedication to making theater accessible to all, new and experimental stagings at The Public at Astor Place, and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions. The Public Theater is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Photo Credit: Peter James Zielinski

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