Gillian Jacobs to Star in KINGS at The Public Theater; Cast Complete!

By: Dec. 14, 2017
Get Show Info Info

KingsThe Public Theater has announced complete casting today for the world premiere of Kings, written by Sarah Burgess.

Directed by Tony Award winner Thomas Kail, Kings includes Gillian Jacobs as "Kate," who returns to The Public after last appearing in The Little Flower of East Orange in 2008, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Part of The Public's Astor Anniversary Season at their landmark downtown home on Lafayette Street, celebrating 50 years of new work and the 50th Anniversary of HAIR, Kings begins performances on Tuesday, January 30 and runs through Sunday, March 25 in The Public's LuEsther Theater, with an official press opening on Tuesday, February 20.

The complete cast of Kings features Aya Cash (Lauren), Eisa Davis (Representative Sydney Millsap), Zach Grenier (Senator John McDowell), and Gillian Jacobs (Kate).

Playwright Sarah Burgess and Tony-winning director Thomas Kail team up again for Kings, a scathingly funny new play about the people at the heart of our democracy. Kate is a whip-smart lobbyist who doesn't waste her time on anyone who can't get elected, stay elected, and help her clients get what they want. Kate thinks Representative Sydney Millsap is a political neophyte whose staunch ideals are going to cost her a burgeoning political career. But Representative Millsap and her high-minded principles turn out to be more resilient than Washington was expecting, and for the first time, Kate is faced with a choice that might change everything for her: back the system, or back what she believes in?

KINGS features scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Jason Lyons, and original music and sound design by Lindsay Jones.


Sarah Burgess (Playwright). Her play Dry Powder had its world premiere at The Public in the 2015-2016 season (Laurents/Hatcher award, finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize). This January, Dry Powder will have its UK premiere at Hampstead Theatre. She is an Ars Nova Play Group Alum.

Thomas Kail (Director). His Public Theater credits include Hamilton, Dry Powder, and Tiny Beautiful Things. His Broadway credits include Hamilton, In the Heights, Lombardi and Magic/Bird. Off-Broadway he has directed, In the Heights, Faust, The Wiz, Broke-ology, When I Come to Die, Family Furniture, Daphne's Dive, and The Tutors. His TV credits include "Grease Live!" He is the co-creator and director of the hip-hop improv group Freestyle Love Supreme and a graduate of Wesleyan University.

Aya Cash (Lauren) currently stars on the critically acclaimed FXX show "You're the Worst," and she can be seen on Joe Swanberg's Netflix anthology series "Easy." Her additional television credits include Fox's "Traffic Light," as well as recurring roles on "The Newsroom," "We Are Men," and guest starring roles on "Modern Family," "Sirens," "The Good Wife," "Mercy," "A Gifted Man," all of the "Law & Order" Series, and "Brotherhood." Her film credits include the upcoming Game Over, Man!; Mary Goes Round and Social Animals; as well as Brand New Old Love; Village People; The Wolf of Wall Street; Sleep Walk With Me; The Oranges; and Loitering with Intent. She has appeared Off-Broadway in Light Years, Happy Hour, The Other Place, Offices, Three Changes, From up Here, and The Pain and the Itch.

Eisa Davis (Representative Sydney Millsap). Recently appeared at The Public in Julius Caesar, Passing Strange, June and Jean in Concert, and solo shows at Joe's Pub. Her Broadway credits include Passing Strange and Off-Broadway she has appeared in Preludes, The Call, Luck of the Irish, This, Angela's Mixtape. Her television credits include "The Looming Tower," "Rise," "Succession," "House of Cards," "Blindspot," "Hart of Dixie," "Smash," and "The Wire." She is a writer for Netflix's "She's Gotta Have It" and Cirque du Soleil's Crystal. Her albums include Something Else. She has received an Obie for Sustained Excellence and she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her play Bulrusher.

Zach Grenier (Senator John McDowell). His many New York stage credits include The Public Theater Productions of Talk Radio and Stuff Happens, as well as Moisés Kaufman's 33 Variations, for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of Beethoven. He appears in the films Crown Heights, Fight Club, Zodiac and Ride with the Devil, among many others. He has played numerous series regular and recurring roles on television and is frequently recognized as David Lee of the CBS show "The Good Wife."

Gillian Jacobs (Kate) returns to The Public after appearing in Stephen Adly Guirgis' Little Flower of East Orange in 2008, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Her additional Off-Broadway credits include Sarah Treem's A Feminine Ending directed by Blair Brown at Playwrights Horizons and Christopher Denham's Cagelove directed by Adam Rapp at Rattlestick. Her television credits include Netflix's "Love"; HBO's "Girls"; NBC's "Community"; and the upcoming films Life of the Party, Magic Camp, and Ibiza, as well as the previous films Don't Think Twice, Dean, Life Partners, Choke among many others. Jacobs made her directorial debut with The Queen of Code, a documentary short about Grace Hopper, which premiered on Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight website as part of the Signals docuseries. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at The Juilliard School.

THE PUBLIC is theater of, by, and for the people. Artist-driven, radically inclusive, and fundamentally democratic, The Public continues the work of its visionary founder Joe Papp as a civic institution engaging, both on-stage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today. Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation's first nonprofit theaters, The Public has long operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public's wide breadth of programming includes an annual season of new work at its landmark home at Astor Place, Free Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The Mobile Unit touring throughout New York City's five boroughs, Public Forum, Under the Radar, Public Studio, Public Works, Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Joe's Pub. Since premiering HAIR in 1967, The Public continues to create the canon of American Theater and is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda and John Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 169 Obie Awards, 53 Drama Desk Awards, 54 Lortel Awards, 32 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Desk Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes.