Daveed Diggs, Sheria Irving, and Zoë Winters Lead The Public's WHITE NOISE

By: Dec. 17, 2018
Get Show Info Info

White Noise

The Public Theater announced initial casting today for the world premiere of White Noise, written by Public Theater Master Writer Chair and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. Oskar Eustis directs this fierce new play about race, friendship, and our rapidly unraveling social contract. White Noise, which was originally scheduled to begin preview performances on February 19, will now begin with a Free First Preview performance on Tuesday, March 5 in The Public's Anspacher Theater. The world premiere play will run through Sunday, April 14, with an official press opening on Wednesday, March 20.

Initial casting for White Noise includes Daveed Diggs (Leo), Sheria Irving (Misha), and Zoë Winters (Dawn). Complete casting will be announced at a later date.

"Suzan-Lori Parks, our Master Writer Chair, has written extraordinary roles and we are blessed in extraordinary actors to play them," said White Noise Director and Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "Sheria, Zoë, and Daveed are brilliant actors and the core of a great ensemble."

Following her critically-acclaimed trilogy Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, In The Blood) returns with a world premiere play about race, friendship, and our rapidly unraveling social contract. Long-time friends and lovers Leo, Misha, Ralph, and Dawn are educated, progressive, cosmopolitan, and woke. But when a racially motivated incident with the cops leaves Leo shaken, he decides extreme measures must be taken for self-preservation. The Public's Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis (Julius Caesar, Public Works Twelfth Night), directs this fierce new drama about what happens when the unspoken and the unspeakable come head-to-head.

Public Theater Master Writer Chair Suzan-Lori Parks has a long relationship with The Public beginning in 1994 with The America Play directed by Liz Diamond. Since then, her works have been produced by The Public five times including Venus in 1996, directed by Richard Foreman; the Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog in 2001, directed by George C. Wolfe and featuring Don Cheadle and Jeffrey Wright; F*cking A in 2003, directed by Michael Greif; Book of Grace in 2010, directed by James G. Macdonald; and Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), directed by Jo Bonney, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Suzan-Lori Parks (Playwright) was named one of TIME magazine's "100 Innovators for the Next New Wave," and is the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Topdog/Underdog. She is a MacArthur "Genius Grant" prize recipient and she's also received The Gish Prize for Excellence in the Arts. Her Broadway credits include The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, which was awarded the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, and Topdog/Underdog, which starred Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def and was directed by George C. Wolfe. The play received a Tony nomination and recently was named by the New York Times as the most important American play within the last 25 years. Other plays include In The Blood (Pulitzer Prize finalist),f-ing A, The Death of The Last Black Man In The Whole Entire World aka The Negro Book Of The Dead, and more recently Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) (Pulitzer Prize finalist). In 2003, Parks wrote a play a day culminating in 365 Days/365 Plays; the plays were produced globally in over 700 theatres, which, at the time, was said to be the largest theatrical grassroots undertaking of its kind. More recently, to reflect on the current presidential administration, Parks wrote 100 Plays For The First Hundred Days. Parks has authored a novel, Getting Mother's Body, which is published by Random House. Her screenplays include Girl 6 (directed by Spike Lee); Their Eyes Were Watching God (produced by Oprah Winfrey); Anemone Me (produced by Christine Vachon and Todd Haynes), and she's got two new screenplays in production: The United States vs. Billie Holiday(directed by Lee Daniels) and an adaptation of Richard Wright's Native Son (directed by Rashid Johnson) which is slated to open the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. She's at work on a stage-musical adaptation of the film The Harder They Come and two new stage plays- one of them, White Noise, will receive its world premiere this coming season and will be directed by Oskar Eustis. Parks is The Public Theater's Master Writer Chair, where she performs Watch Me Work, a weekly writing performance/class free of charge and open to all. She also writes songs and fronts her band: Suzan-Lori Parks & The Band.

Oskar Eustis (Director) has served as the Artistic Director of The Public Theater since 2005. In the last three years, he has produced two Tony Award-winning Best Musicals (Fun Home and Hamilton), and back-to-back winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Hamilton and Sweat. He came to The Public from Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI where he served as Artistic Director from 1994 to 2005. Eustis served as Associate Artistic Director at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum from 1989 to 1994, and prior to that he was with the Eureka Theatre Company in San Francisco, serving as Resident Director and Dramaturg from 1981 to 1986 and Artistic Director from 1986 to1989. Eustis is currently a Professor of Dramatic Writing and Arts and Public Policy at New York University, and has held professorships at UCLA, Middlebury College, and Brown University, where he founded and chaired the Trinity Rep/Brown University Consortium for professional theater training. At The Public, Eustis directed the New York premieres of Rinne Groff's Compulsion and The Ruby Sunrise; Larry Wright's The Human Scale; and most recently Julius Caesar and Public Works' Twelfth Night at Shakespeare in the Park. He has founded numerous ground-breaking programs at The Public, from Public Works and Public Forum to the Emerging Writers Group and the Mobile Unit. At Trinity Rep, he directed the world premiere of Paula Vogel's The Long Christmas Ride Home and Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul, both recipients of the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production. While at the Eureka Theatre, he commissioned Tony Kushner's Angels in America, and directed its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum. Eustis delivered a well-received TED Talk on "Why Theater is Essential to Democracy" in Vancouver, Canada in 2018. Eustis has also directed the world premieres of plays by Philip Kan Gotanda, David Henry Hwang, Emily Mann, Suzan-Lori Parks, Ellen McLaughlin, and Eduardo Machado, among many others.

Daveed Diggs (Leo). Tony, Grammy, and Lucille Lortel Award-winning actor, writer, rapper, and producer Daveed Diggs broke out in Broadway's Hamilton. His critically-acclaimed film Blindspotting (Lionsgate) earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Male Lead. Diggs will next be seen in the feature Velvet Buzzsaw (Netflix), and on television in "Snowpiercer" (TNT) and "Undone" (Netflix). His previous films includeWonder (Lionsgate) and Ferdinand (Fox). His television appearances include "Bob's Burgers" (Fox), "Bojack Horseman" (Netflix), "black-ish" (ABC), "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (Netflix), "Tour de Pharmacy" (HBO), "The Get Down" (Netflix), and "The Mayor" (ABC) which he also executive produced. Diggs is a member of the West Coast-based hip-hop trio, clipping.

Sheria Irving (Misha) has appeared on Broadway in Romeo and Juliet (Richard Rodgers Theater). Her Off-Broadway and New York Theater credits include Crowndation: I Will Not Lie to David (National Black Theatre); Fit for a Queen (Classical Theatre of Harlem); While I Yet Live (Primary Stages); A Midsummer Night's Dream(Masterworks); and Ethel Sings (Theater Row). She has appeared regionally in The Model American(Williamstown Theatre Festival); and Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale (Yale Rep). Her film and television credits include Lena Waithe's "Twenties" (TBS); "The Good Wife," and "Madam Secretary" (CBS).

ZOË WINTERS (Dawn) has appeared at The Public in Much Ado About Nothing. Her additional Off-Broadway credits include The Last Match (Roundabout); The Harvest, 4000 Miles, Shows for Days (LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater); Small Mouth Sounds (Signature); Red Speedo, Love and Information (NYTW); An Octoroon (Soho Rep); Love Song (59E59). Regional includes Old Globe, Paper Mill Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Magic Theatre's Reel to Reel. Her films include Gray Dog, Under, Giant. Television credits include "Instinct," "The Good Fight," "Madam Secretary," "Elementary," "Law & Order." She is a member of NYTW Usual Suspects and LCT Angels Artists.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos