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Alec Baldwin, Anna Deavere Smith, Tony Kushner and More Set for Public Theater's Public Forum 'Duet' Discussions, Oct-Dec 2012

The Public Theater's $40 million revitalization of its downtown home at Astor Place will be unveiled October 4 and celebrated through a series of events designed to engage the entire New York community and marking a rededication to its founding principles. The Public Forum – The company's celebrated new series of lectures, debates, and discussions will mark the rededication with a special series of "Duet" programs, pairing an artist who has been important to the life of The Public and a leading voice from outside the world of theater.

Public Forum Duet: Alec Baldwin and David Brooks
Monday, Oct. 1
The Public Forum's series of Duet conversations begins with Alec Baldwin (Macbeth at The Public, Jack Donaghy on NBC's "30 Rock," host of the WNYC podcast Here's the Thing) trading views about American politics and culture with New York Times columnist David Brooks (author of The Social Animal, On Paradise Drive, and Bobos in Paradise).

Public Forum Duet: Anna Deavere Smith and David Simon
Sunday, Nov. 4
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of The Public's world premiere of her landmark play about the Crown Heights riots, Fires in the Mirror, the actor, playwright and educator Anna Deavere Smith (Let Me Down Easy; Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992; Nurse Jackie on Showtime) will discuss the life of American cities with producer, author and journalist David Simon (creator of HBO's The Wire, The Corner, and Treme).

Public Forum Duet: Tony Kushner and Rachel Maddow
Sunday, Dec. 2
The Public Forum's series of Duet conversations concludes with a freewheeling conversation between two of America's leading progressives: Tony Kushner (Angels in America; Caroline, or Change; the upcoming Steven Spielberg film Lincoln) and Rachel Maddow (host of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC and author of Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power).

When: Monday, October 1 at 7:00pm (Alec Baldwin and David Brooks), Sunday, November 4 at 7:00pm (Anna Deavere Smith and David Simon) and Sunday, December 2 at 7:00pm (Tony Kushner and Rachel Maddow).

Where: The Public Theater at Astor Place
425 Lafayette Street
New York City

Tickets: $40 (single tickets), $35 (member tickets) / 212-967-7555 (daily, noon-8:00pm) / The Public Theater Box Office (425 Lafayette Street; Sun & Mon 1:00pm-6:00pm, Tue-Sat 1:00pm-7:30pm)

About The Public Forum
The Public Forum is a high-profile series of lectures, debates, and conversations inspired by plays in The Public Theater season. Curated by Jeremy McCarter, the Forum features leading voices in politics, media, and the arts. Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, Cynthia Nixon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Sam Waterston, and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman have hosted its programs, which have featured the insights of Kurt Andersen, Carl Bernstein, David Brooks, Arianna Huffington, Bill Irwin, Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, Francine Prose, Stephen Sondheim, and young veterans of the war in Afghanistan – plus performances by Anne Hathaway, Michael Friedman, Gabriel Kahane, and Michael Cerveris, among others.

About The Public Theater
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare and the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today The company engages audiences in a variety of venues-including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe's Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to its beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City's five boroughs. The Public's wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of The company's dedication to making theater accessible to all, new and experimental stagings at The Public at Astor Place, and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions. The Public Theater is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

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