Streep, Kline, Lewis, Pendleton, Weller Star in COURAGE IN CONCERT: October 19

The Public Theater, Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori will produce COURAGE IN CONCERT, a one-night-only benefit concert reuniting Kevin Kline, Jenifer Lewis, Austin Pendleton, Meryl Streep and Frederick Weller for an evening of songs from the Public Theater's 2006 Shakespeare in the Park production of Brecht's masterpiece, Mother Courage and Her Children. Translated by Tony Kushner with music by Jeanine Tesori and originally directed by George C. Wolfe, COURAGE IN CONCERT will be performed at the Public Theater on Monday, October 19 at 8:00 PM with all proceeds benefiting American Jewish World Service and Partners In Health. The cast of HAIR along with special guests will complete the evening. Tickets go on sale on Thursday, September 17.

"When you work on or watch or read the plays of Bertolt Brecht you're compelled to ask yourself questions about the relationship between art and the troubled world outside. These questions are complicated, have no easy answers," said Tony Kushner. "Three summers ago, we presented Mother Courage and Her Children directed by George C. Wolfe and I think I can speak for everyone involved that the experience was thrilling, moving, and left many of us wanting to extend our encounter with this immense play and its provocations. Jeanine Tesori, Meryl Streep and I have been discussing putting together a concert version of the score as a benefit. Together we chose two groups whose work we admire enormously: American Jewish World Services and Partners In Health. Both AJWS and PIH insistently call attention not only to the needs of the poor but to the underlying causes of their poverty. The connection they forge between understanding and action is the connection at the heart of Brecht's play."

"I am delighted to reunite with my friends from Mother Courage to benefit two extraordinary organizations," said Meryl Streep. "Both American Jewish World Service and Partners In Heath are deeply inspiring in their profound efforts to alleviate poverty and disease around the world."


American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is an international development organization motivated by Judaism's imperative to pursue justice. AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community.


Partners In Health (PIH) is a nonprofit corporation based in Boston that is committed to improving the health and well-being of people living in poor communities. The stories of PIH and its co-founder, Dr. Paul Farmer, were chronicled in Tracy Kidder's bestselling book, Mountains Beyond Mountains. PIH believes that health care is a fundamental human right, not a privilege. For more than 20 years, PIH has worked with local partner organizations and national governments to provide technical and financial assistance, medical supplies, and administrative support to projects in Haiti, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, Burundi, Mexico, Guatemala, and Boston. The goal of these partnerships is neither charity nor development but rather "pragmatic solidarity" - a commitment to struggle alongside the destitute sick against the economic and political structures that cause and perpetuate poverty and disease.

THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Andrew D. Hamingson, 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 and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day onstage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, over 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe's Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park.

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