Public Theater's SWEET AND SAD Begins Previews, 9/6


The Public Theater will begin previews for the world premiere of Richard Nelson's new play SWEET AND SAD on Tuesday, September 6. The first show in the 2011-2012 Public Lab season, SWEET AND SAD takes place over Sunday brunch on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 with a cast that features Jon Devries, Shuler Hensley, Maryann Plunkett, Laila Robins, Jay O. Sanders and J. Smith-Cameron.

SWEET AND SAD will run through Sunday, September 25, with an official press opening on Sunday, September 11. All tickets for Public Lab productions are $15 and are on sale now.

The Apple Family finds themselves together again for the first time since Election Night, 2010. Marian, reeling from a personal tragedy, now lives with her sister Barbara; sister Jane is back with her boyfriend Tim; their brother Richard has come up from Manhattan; and Uncle Benjamin prepares for his first dramatic performance in years. Over Sunday brunch on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Apples find themselves talking about loss, memory, remembrance and the meaning of compensation.

SWEET AND SAD will feature scenery and costumes designed by Susan Hilferty; lighting designed by Jennifer Tipton; and sound designed by Scott Lehrer.

The 2011-2012 Public Lab fall season will continue with LOVE'S LABOR'S LOST, directed by Karin Coonrod (October 16 to November 6), and TITUS ANDRONICUS, directed by Michael Sexton and featuring Jay O. Sanders as Titus (November 29 to December 18).

Celebrating its 5th Anniversary Season, Public Lab provides thrilling opportunities for both audiences and artists. Audiences gain access to more of the theater they love from The Public -- both Shakespeare and new work -- at the affordable price of only $15, and artists, both emerging and established, gain a new platform to further develop their work on stage and in performance. With scaled-down productions (shorter rehearsal periods and smaller budgets), Public Lab allows audiences and artists to experience extraordinary theater together.

Richard Nelson (Director/Playwright). His 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. He lives in upstate New York.

Jon Devries (Benjamin Apple) returns to The Public after originating the role of Benjamin Apple in last season's That Hopey Changey Thing. He recently appeared in the national tour of August: Osage County. He has been seen Off-Broadway in The Accomplices, Richard II, Hamlet, The General From America, Patient A, and Goodnight Children Everywhere. His film credits include American Gangster; The International; Che; Part One; Evening; Fat Man and Little Boy; The Baxter; Invasion U.S.A.; City of Hope; Sarah, Plain and Tall; and The First Deadly Sin.

Shuler Hensley (Tim Andrews) returns to The Public after originating the role of Tim Andrews in last season's That Hopey Changey Thing. Hensley won Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Olivier Awards for his performance in Trevor Nunn's 2002 revival of Oklahoma! His other New York theater credits include Les Miserables, Tarzan, and Young Frankenstein (Drama Desk nomination) on Broadway, and The Great American Trailer Park Musical Off-Broadway at New World Stages.

Maryann Plunkett (Barbara Apple) returns to The Public after originating the role of Barbara Apple in last season's That Hopey Changey Thing. Her Broadway credits include A Man For All Seasons, Saint Joan, The Seagull, The Crucible, Me and My Girl (Tony Award), Sunday in the Park With George, and Agnes of God. Her Off-Broadway credits include Rodney's Wife, an oak tree, Aristocrats, and Jayson.

Laila Robins (Marian Apple Platt) returns to The Public after originating the role of Marian Apple Platt in last season's That Hopey Changey Thing. Her other credits at The Public include A Midsummer Night's Dream (2007) and The Merchant of Venice (1995). Her Broadway credits include Heartbreak House, Frozen, The Herbal Bed, and The Real Thing, and she has been seen Off-Broadway in That Face, Antony and Cleopatra, Sore Throats, Tiny Alice, Mrs. Klein and many more. She is the recipient of Callaway, Acclaim, and two Jefferson Awards, a Helen Hayes nomination, and two Lucille Lortel nominations.

Jay O. Sanders (Richard Apple) returns to The Public after originating the role of Richard Apple in last season's That Hopey Changey Thing. He has also appeared at The Public in Twelfth Night, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Stuff Happens, Taming of the Shrew, King John, Henry V, and Measure for Measure. His Broadway credits include Pygmalion, Saint Joan, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, and Loose Ends, and some of his many Off-Broadway credits are The Argument, Lone Star Love, The Exonerated, and Buried Child. He will play the title role in The Public Theater's staging of Titus Andronicus beginning in November.

J. Smith-Cameron (Jane Apple Halls) returns to The Public after originating the role of Jane Apple Halls in last season's That Hopey Changey Thing. This summer, she returned to HBO's "True Blood" in a recurring role. Her Broadway credits include After the Night and the Music, Tartuffe, Night Must Fall, The Play's The Thing, The Real Inspector Hound and the Fifteen Minute Hamlet, Our Country's Good (Tony nomination), Lend Me A Tenor, Wild Honey, and Crimes of the Heart. Her numerous Off-Broadway credits include Tartuffe (The Public), The Starry Messenger, Good Boys and True, Pen, God of Hell, Sarah, Sarah, Fuddy Meers, As Bees In Honey Drown, and The Naked Truth. She is an OBIE winner, two-time Outer Critics nominee, and three-time Drama Desk nominee.

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.


Photo credit: Joseph Moran


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