That Hopey Changey Thing Begins Previews At The Public 10/26


The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) will begin previews Tuesday, October 26 for the world premiere of THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING, written and directed by Richard Nelson. THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING, the first play of the 2010-2011 Public LAB season, will run October 26 through November 14 in The Public's Anspacher Theater, with an official press opening on Tuesday, November 2. Tickets are on sale now. All tickets for Public LAB productions are $15.

THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING is set on election day, November 2, 2010. Uncle Benjamin's dog has died and his nieces and nephew have gathered for dinner in Rhinebeck, New York, to surprise him with a new one. While the polls close, the Apple family discusses memory, manners, and politics. Richard Nelson (Conversations in Tusculum at The Public, James Joyce's The Dead) returns to The Public with a timely new play that examines the state of the nation at this pivotal moment in our history.
The cast for THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING will feature Jon Devries (Benjamin Apple), Shuler Hensley (Tim Andrews), Maryann Plunkett (Barbara Apple), Laila Robins (Marian Apple Platt), Jay O. Sanders (Richard Apple) and J. Smith-Cameron (Jane Apple Halls).

THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING will feature scenic and costume design by Susan Hilferty; lighting design by Jennifer Tipton; and sound design by Scott Lehrer.
The 2010-2011 Public LAB season will continue this spring with URGE FOR GOING by Mona Mansour, directed by Hal Brooks (March 25 to April 17) and KNICKERBOCKER by Jonathan Marc Sherman, directed by Pippin Parker (May 6 to May 29). An additional Public LAB show, opening this winter, will be announced at a later date.

Public LAB, conceived in association with LAByrinth Theater Company, is an annual series of new plays that lets New Yorkers see more of the work they love from The Public in scaled-down productions. Public LAB allows The Public to support more artists, and gives audiences immediate access to new plays in development. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported Public LAB with one of the largest grants ever received by The Public Theater.

Jon Devries (Benjamin Apple) 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) 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) is making her Public Theater debut. 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) has appeared at The Public in 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) has 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.

J. Smith-Cameron (Jane Apple Halls) appeared this summer in a recurring role on HBO's "True Blood." 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; 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 headquarters 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. The Public has won 42 Tony Awards, 151 Obies, 41 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. The Public 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; On the Town; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Well; Passing Strange; the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair; and this fall, the rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and the 2010 Shakespeare in the Park production of The Merchant of Venice.

THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING begins performances on Tuesday, October 26 and continues through Sunday, November 14 with an official press opening on Tuesday, November 2 at 7 p.m.

The performance schedule is Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. There will be no matinee performance on Saturday, October 30, no evening performance on Sunday, October 31, and no performance on Wednesday, November 3. There is an added performance on Monday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m. and a special 7 p.m. curtain for the performance on Tuesday, November 2.

All tickets for Public LAB are $15. Tickets for THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING go on sale Tuesday, September 28 and can be purchased by calling (212) 967-7555, by visiting, or in person at The Public Theater box office. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street.


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