Michael Stuhlbarg Hosts 3/7 Public Forum "Imagination and Memory"


The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Joey Parnes Interim Executive Director) announced the line-up today for the third Public Forum event of the season, "Imagination and Memory," on Monday, March 7 at 8 p.m. Rinne Groff's new play Compulsion, inspired by Meyer Levin's fight to tell Anne Frank's story, raises provocative questions about how we remember the past and understand the present. How do imagination and documentary evidence combine in Holocaust literature? Who has the right to tell the stories? What special responsibilities do they confer? The Public Forum's popular series of lectures, debates, and conversations continues with a program exploring these issues. Public Forum tickets are $25 and are on sale now at (212) 967-7555 or www.publictheater.org.

The evening, hosted by Michael Stuhlbarg (HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" and the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man), will begin with celebrated author Francine Prose (Blue Angel, Reading Like a Writer) as she talks about the life, writing, and afterlife of Anne Frank - the subject of her most recent book.
Then three contemporaries on the rise -- writers in the third generation since the Holocaust - will discuss how fact and fiction interact in Holocaust literature, who "owns" the stories, and more: novelist and short story writer Nathan Englander (For the Relief of Unbearable Urges), literary critic Ruth Franklin (A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction), and playwright Rinne Groff (Compulsion).

The Public Forum is a high-profile new series of lectures, debates, and conversations. Curated by Jeremy McCarter, a senior writer at Newsweek, the Forum features leading voices in politics, media, and the arts. Alec Baldwin, Sam Waterston, and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman have hosted programs in its inaugural season, which have featured the insights of Stephen Sondheim, Tony Kushner, Jay McInerney, Arianna Huffington, Richard Foreman, Hendrik Hertzberg, and young veterans of the war in Afghanistan -- plus performances by Anne Hathaway and Michael Cerveris, among others.

Nathan Englander is the author of the story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and the novel The Ministry of Special Cases. His fiction and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and anthologized in numerous editions of Best American Short Stories. Englander was selected as one of "20 Writers for the 21st Century" by The New Yorker, and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Award, and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. He is currently at work on a play based on his short story "The Twenty-Seventh Man."

Ruth FrankLIN is a book critic and senior editor at The New Republic. Her book A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction was published by Oxford University Press last fall. Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, and other publications.

Rinne Groff is the author of several plays including Compulsion and The Ruby Sunrise, both produced at The Public Theater. Her off-Broadway credits include Saved, What Then, Inky, Jimmy Carter was a Democrat, The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem, and Orange Lemon Egg Canary. Her regional credits include Compulsion, In the Bubble, and Molière Impromptu. She was the staff writer on season two of the TV show "Weeds." Her awards and fellowships include Whiting Writers Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Obie Award grant. Her residencies include MacDowell, Sundance, Perry Mansfield, Chautauqua, and the Orchard Project. Groff is an Associate Teacher at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a founding member of Elevator Repair Service Theater Company as well as a member of New Dramatists and the Dramatist Guild.
Francine Prose is the author of 16 books of fiction. Her novel A Changed Man won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction. Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. She is a former president of PEN American Center. Her new novel, My New American Life, will be published in May.

Michael Stuhlbarg currently appears as Arnold Rothstein on HBO's hit show "Boardwalk Empire." He last appeared as Hamlet in the Shakespeare in the Park production. Stuhlbarg was a Tony Award nominee for his work in Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman. His other Broadway credits include Cabaret, The Invention of Love, and Taking Sides. His select off-Broadway credits include Measure for Pleasure for The Public, The Voysey Inheritance, and Cymbeline. Stuhlbarg received a Golden Globe nomination for his work as Larry Gopnik in the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man.

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 headquarters 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 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. The Public Theater has won 42 Tony Awards, 151 Obies, 41 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. The Public Theater has brought 54 shows to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; 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 Tony Award-winning revival of Hair; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; and The Merchant of Venice. www.publictheater.org.

All tickets for Public Forum are $25. Tickets for "Imagination and Memory" are on sale now at (212) 967-7555, www.publictheater.org, or in person at The Public Theater Box Office. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street. (The evening's line-up is subject to change.)

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