Performances Begin Tonight For CONSCIENCE at George Street Playhouse
Two-time Tony winner Joe DiPietro's newest play CONSCIENCE is set to begin performances tonight (Tuesday) at George Street Playhouse's new home at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. CONSCIENCE stars Broadway favorite and Tony winner Harriet Harris as Margaret Chase Smith, the influential senator who said no to Joseph McCarthy. The official Opening Night is this Friday evening, March 6th.
"It is fitting to be mounting this timely and important world premiere in the Arthur Laurents Theater, as Arthur Laurents himself was among those artists blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee during that time," stated George Street Artistic Director David Saint, who is helming the production. "We are also thrilled to welcome back Harriet Harris and Lee Sellars to our new home, both of whom will be familiar to our audiences from their powerful work on our stage."
Acting boldly against party lines, Senator Margaret Chase Smith becomes one of the first to stand up against Joseph McCarthy in an extraordinary tale inspired by real events. On June 1, 1950, the senator stood on the Senate floor and delivered her "Declaration of Conscience'' in a historic moment of political courage. This sharply written new play takes you behind the scenes of 1950s Washington to give you an intimate glimpse of all the power plays, both political and personal, in the days leading up to and following the singular speech that shook up Congress, the Red Scare and the nation itself.
Playwright/lyricist Joe DiPietro has won two Tony Awards, a Drama Desk Award and three Outer Critics Circle Awards. His musicals and plays have received thousands of productions across the country and around the world. Broadway: The upcoming DIANA, MEMPHIS (Tony Award-winning Best Musical), NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT starring Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara, ALL SHOOK UP, and LIVING ON LOVE starring Renée Fleming. Off-Broadway: I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE (the second longest-running musical in Off-Broadway history), THE TOXIC AVENGER, OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS, THE THING ABOUT MEN, CLEVER LITTLE LIES starring Marlo Thomas, and ERNEST SHACKLETON LOVES ME.
Harriet Harris has appeared on Broadway in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (Tony Award), CINDERELLA, IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, PRESENT LAUGHTER, CRY-BABY and Old Acquaintance. Her numerous Off-Broadway credits include JEFFREY, and ME AND MY GIRL and LITTLE ME at Encores! Film & TV includes MEMENTO, "American Horror Story," Felicia Tilman on "Desperate Housewives," Bebe Glazer on "Frasier," PHANTOM THREAD, and ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES.
Also starring in CONSCIENCE as Senator Joseph McCarthy is Lee Sellars, who appeared in Broadway in WEST SIDE STORY, TALK RADIO and A TIME TO KILL. Other NY stage credits include IOWA, THE ALCHEMIST and GUN-SHY. Film & TV: "The Sopranos," "House of Cards," "Chappelle's Show," "Mindhunter," "Billions," GROUNDHOG DAY, "Elementary," and "Luke Cage."
Rounding out the cast of this highly anticipated world premiere are Mark Junek ("Forever," "Smash," "Blindspot") and Cathryn Wake (Broadway's NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812, THE OTHER Josh Cohen).
Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1998, and Kelly Ryman, Managing Director since 2013, the Playhouse produces groundbreaking new works, inspiring productions of the classics, and hit Broadway plays and musicals that speak to the heart and mind, with an unwavering commitment to producing new work. With its 45-year history of producing nationally renowned theatre, the Playhouse continues to fill a unique theatre and arts education role in the city, state and greater metropolitan region.
The Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and Off-Broadway including the OCC Best Musical Award winner THE TOXIC AVENGER, Anne Meara's DOWN THE GARDEN PATHS, THE SPITFIRE GRILL, and the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning PROOF, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In 2018, George Street Playhouse was represented on Broadway with GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER, which premiered on the Playhouse mainstage in 2013. AMERICAN SON, produced by George Street Playhouse in 2017, opened on Broadway in 2018 starring Kerry Washington and Stephen Pasquale, and appears on Netflix. In 2015, IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU opened on Broadway and Joe DiPietro's CLEVER LITTLE LIES opened Off-Broadway.
At the start of its 2019-20 Season, the Playhouse moved to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in downtown New Brunswick at 11 Livingston Avenue. Featuring two state-of-the-art theaters - The Arthur Laurents Theater with 253 seats and The Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater which seats 465 - and myriad amenities, the brand new NBPAC marks a new era in the esteemed history of George Street Playhouse.
For tickets or more information, visit www.GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org or call (732) 246-7717.