The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) is presenting the world premiere of Socrates, written by acclaimed actor, director, and writer Tim Blake Nelson. Directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes and anchoring the Onassis Festival 2019: Democracy is Coming, Socrates will begin previews on Tuesday, April 2, with a Joseph Papp Free Preview performance on Wednesday, April 3 in The Public’s Martinson Hall. This powerful new play runs through Sunday, May 19, with an official press opening on Tuesday, April 16.
Joining the previously announced Dave Quay (Diokles/Meletus), Austin Smith (Alcibiades), Michael Stuhlbarg (Socrates), and Joe Tapper (Agathon/Meno), complete casting for Socrates includes David Aaron Baker (Anytus), Ro Boddie (Ensemble), Teagle F. Bougere (Plato), Niall Cunningham (A Boy), Peter Jay Fernandez (Thrasymachus/Polus), Karl Green (Lamprocles/Aenesidemos), Miriam A. Hyman (Xanthippe), Robert Joy (Crito/Chaerephon/Meletus), Alan Mendez (Andromachus/Aetios), Tom Nelis (Proxenus/Gorgias/Aristophanes), Daniel Reece (Ensemble), and Lee Wilkof (Megasthenes/The Archon).
Socrates is a witty and endlessly fascinating new drama about a complicated man who changed how the world thought. This powerful new play by actor, director, and writer Tim Blake Nelson is an intellectual thrill ride from the philosopher’s growing prominence in democratic Athens through the military and social upheavals that led to one of the most infamous executions in Western history. Tony Award winner Doug Hughes directs Socrates, a timely and timeless new work that serves as a passionate tribute to the man who continues to inspire us to question authority and defend freedom of belief.
The new play features scenic design by Scott Pask, costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Tyler Micoleau, and sound design/original music by Mark Bennett.
Socrates is made possible with the generous support of Onassis USA. Additional support for Socratesprovided by an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
The 19-day Onassis Festival is a festival of arts and ideas that celebrates, evaluates, and considers anew the concept of democracy – perhaps the most renowned Greek innovation. Through a multidisciplinary program of theater, music, talks, and more, The Public Theater and Onassis USA, two agitators of public curiosity-one Greek, one American-bring together artists and thinkers from both countries to offer artistic interpretations and embodiments of democracy.
Tim Blake Nelson (Playwright) is a veteran actor, playwright, and filmmaker who stars in the Coen Brothers’ western anthology film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, released November 9 theatrically and November 16 on Netflix, which reunites him with the Coens for the first time since O Brother, Where Art Thou? He is also currently in production on HBO’s highly-anticipated “Watchmen.” His remarkable filmography spans over 80 features including films by legendary filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, and Terrence Malick, to name a few. He has appeared onstage at MTC, Playwrights Horizons, MCC, NYTW, Soho Rep, and The Public’s Delacorte Theater in Free Shakespeare in the Park. As a playwright, his works include Anadarko, The Grey Zone, and Eye of God, the latter two of which he also adapted and directed as feature films. His other film and TV directorial efforts include Lionsgate’s O, a modern retelling of Othello; Millennium’s Leaves of Grass; IFC’s Anesthesia; and Amazon’s “Z.”
Doug Hughes (Director). His Broadway productions include Junk, The Father, Outside Mullingar, The Big Knife, An Enemy of the People, Born Yesterday, Elling, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Oleanna, the Tony-nominated revival of The Royal Family, A Man for All Seasons, Mauritius, the Tony-nominated revival of Inherit the Wind, A Touch of the Poet, Frozen (Tony nomination, Best Director), and Doubt, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Director. Off-Broadway productions include Dan Cody’s Yacht, Incognito, The City of Conversation, Death Takes a Holiday, The Whipping Man, An Experiment with an Air Pump, Flesh and Blood, and Defiance. In addition to the Tony, he has been awarded Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, Obie, and Callaway Awards for his productions.
David Aaron Baker (Anytus). The Public credits include Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them; Public Forum: Talking About Race; and Richard III. His career includes numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, multifarious films and television episodes, more than 50 audiobook narrations, a production atNYC Opera, and a performance at NYC Ballet.
Ro Boddie (Ensemble). Regional credits include Blueprints to Freedom, The Mountaintop, Skeleton Crew, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Seven Guitars, Three Sisters, Stupid Fucking Bird, King Hedley II, Hamlet, Every Brilliant Thing, Master Harold and the Boys, and The Agitators. TV credits include “The Good Wife,” “Person of Interest,” “Elementary,” “Unforgettable.” He won the San Diego Critics Circle Award.
Teagle F. Bougere (Plato) is currently co-starring with Catherine Zeta-Jones in “Queen America” (Facebook Watch). Broadway credits include The Crucible, A Raisin in the Sun, and The Tempest. Off-Broadway credits include Is God Is (Soho Rep), The Beast in the Jungle (Vineyard), and Julius Caesar (The Public’s Free Shakespeare in the Park). Television and film credits include “The Path,” “The Mist,” “The Big C,” “Cosby,” “Law & Order,” and Night at the Museum.
NIALL CUNNINGHAM (A Boy). Regional credits include Richard Miller in Ah, Wilderness at the Goodman Theater. Television and film credits include “Life in Pieces,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and Okja.Cunningham is the co-founder and co-director of G45 Productions.
Peter Jay Fernandez (Thrasymachus/Polus). The Public credits include Othello; Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3); Coriolanus; etc. Broadway credits include Julius Caesar, All the Way, Cyrano de Bergerac, Henry IV, Jelly’s Last Jam, and The Merchant of Venice. He has appeared Off-Broadway in Red Speedo, CQ/CX, Richard III, Macbeth, The Pain and the Itch, Too Much Memory, etc. TV/film credits include “Luke Cage,” “Shades of Blue,” and more.
Karl Green (Lamprocles/Aenesidemos) has appeared at The Public in Eve’s Song. Regional credits includeAnne & Emmett, Revolution, Hero Worship, Un-American, and Veni-Vidi-Vici (Signature Theatre, D.C.). International credits include Sacred Sky, Sacred Earth (NYU Villa La Pietra, Italy).
MIRIAM A. HYMAN (Xanthippe) has appeared at The Public in Richard III. Off-Broadway credits include Three Musketeers (CTH), Tempest (LaMaMa), and Commons of Pensacola (MTC). Upcoming films include The Sun is Also a Star, The Laundromat, and Brittany Runs a Marathon. Television credits include “Grey’s Anatomy,” “NCIS,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Rookie,” “Blindspot,” “The OA Part II,” “High Maintenance,” “OITNB,” “SMILF,” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Awards: Princess Grace, Annenberg Fellow.
Robert Joy (Crito/Chaerephon/Meletus). The Public credits include Girl From the North Country, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Head of Passes. Broadway credits include Side Show, The Nerd, and Hay Fever. Off-Broadway credits include June Moon and Lydie Breeze. Regional credits include Hamlet, Tartuffe, King Charles III, and Baby Doll. Film/TV credits include Atlantic City, Ragtime, Desperately Seeking Susan, Land of the Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, Radio Days, The Goldfinch, “Law & Order,” and “CSI: NY.”
ALAN MENDEZ (Andromachus/Aetios). Regional credits include Once (Svec), Beauty and the Beast (Beast), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon), and Hair (Claude). N.Y. bass credits are Wake You Up In Concert (Green Room 42), Taylor Pearlstein LIVE Album (Rockwood Music Hall), and When the Birds Wake You Up (Green Room 42).
Tom Nelis (Proxenus/Gorgias/Aristophanes). The Public credits include Girl From the North Country, Road Show, Richard III, Henry VI, The Merchant of Venice, Henry IV, and American Document. Broadway credits include Indecent, The Visit, Enron, The Caine Mutiny, and Aida. He has appeared Off-Broadway in The Lucky Ones. He performed for 25 years with Siti Company. Awards include Obie Irish Life Award (The Medium) and Elliott Norton Award (Prospero, A.R.T.).
Daniel Reece (Ensemble) has appeared Off-Broadway in The Infinite Hotel (Prototype Festival/HERE). Daniel has appeared regionally at Yale Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Old Globe Theatre, and Connecticut Repertory Theatre. TV credits include “Public Morals,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Elementary,” and “Modern Love.”
Dave Quay (Diokles/Meletus) has appeared at The Public in The Low Road and Row. His additional Off-Broadway credits include The Heir Apparent (Classic Stage) and Donogoo (Mint). Regionally, he has appeared at the Dorset Theatre Festival, Shakespeare Theatre Company, New Jersey Symphony, Chautauqua Theater Company, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, and Alliance Theatre. His film and television credits include The Unsilent Picture, Until Next Time (upcoming), “The Looming Tower,” “Bull,” “Gotham,” “Blindspot,” “House of Cards,” “Royal Pains,” “Unforgettable,” “Forever,” and “Drop Dead Diva.” He has also appeared at the Big Apple Circus.
Austin Smith (Alcibiades) has appeared on Broadway in Hamilton and Off-Broadway in Zürich (New York Theatre Workshop), How to Transcend a Happy Marriage (Lincoln Center Theater), and An Octoroon (Theatre for a New Audience). His television credits include “Random Acts of Flyness” and “Odd Mom Out.”
Michael Stuhlbarg (Socrates) has appeared in 10 plays with The Public, including title roles in Hamlet and Richard II, Measure For Pleasure, Twelfth Night, and The Winter’s Tale. His Broadway credits include The Pillowman (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award), The Invention of Love, Cabaret, Taking Sides, Saint Joan, Timon of Athens, and The Government Inspector. He has appeared Off-Broadway in 10 plays including The Voysey Inheritance (Atlantic Theater-Obie, Callaway Awards). His film credits include The Shape of Water, Call Me by Your Name, The Post, Miss Sloane, Doctor Strange, Arrival, Miles Ahead, Trumbo, Steve Jobs, Cut Bank, Pawn Sacrifice, Blue Jasmine, Lincoln, Hitchcock, Seven Psychopaths, Hugo, Men In Black III, A Serious Man (Golden Globe nomination), and the upcoming Shirley. His television credits include “The Looming Tower” (Emmy nomination), “Fargo,” “Transparent,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and the upcoming “Jerusalem” (Netflix).
Joe Tapper (Agathon/Meno) has appeared at The Public in Henry V and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has appeared on Broadway in You Can’t Take It with You and Off-Broadway and regionally at Gym at Judson, Esperance Theater Company, Cherry Lane Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, 59E59 Theaters, Mabou Mines/La Mama, Studio 42, Huntington Theatre Company, Pioneer Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His television credits include “Chicago Med,” “Blue Bloods,” “Masters of Sex,” “American Odyssey,” “Taxi Brooklyn,” and “Law & Order: SVU.”
Lee Wilkof (Megasthenes/The Archon) has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, resident, and regional theaters. He has been seen in over 100 films and television episodes, including three films written and directed by Tim Blake Nelson (The Gray Zone, Leaves of Grass, and Anesthesia). Awards include Obie Award, Tony Award nomination, and three Drama Desk Award nominations. He directed the film No Pay, Nudity.
THE PUBLIC is theater of, by, and for all people. Artist-driven, radically inclusive, and fundamentally democratic, The Public continues the work of its visionary founder Joe Papp as a civic institution engaging, both on-stage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today. Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation’s first nonprofit theaters, The Public has long operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public’s wide breadth of programming includes an annual season of new work at its landmark home at Astor Place, Free Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The Mobile Unit touring throughout New York City’s five boroughs, Public Forum, Under the Radar, Public Studio, Public Works, Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Joe’s Pub. Since premiering HAIR in 1967, The Public continues to create the canon of American Theater and is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 170 Obie Awards, 53 Drama Desk Awards, 54 Lortel Awards, 32 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes. publictheater.org
SOCRATES begins performances in The Public’s Martinson Hall on Tuesday, April 2 and will run through Sunday, May 19 with an official press opening on Tuesday, April 16.
Continuing The Public’s mission to make great theater accessible to all, the Joseph Papp Free Preview Initiative will continue this spring; free tickets to the preview on Wednesday, April 3 will be available beginning March 27 via TodayTix mobile lottery, and on April 3 via the lottery in the lobby of The Public Theater at Astor Place, with entries starting at 11 a.m. and winners drawn at 12 p.m. (noon).
Public Theater Partner, Public Supporter, and Member tickets are available now. Full price tickets, starting at $75, can be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555, visiting http://www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.
The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (There is no 1:30 p.m. performance on Saturday, April 6. The performance on April 16 is at 7:00 p.m. The performance on April 23 is at 8:00 p.m.)
On Thursday, April 18 following the 7:30 p.m. performance of Socrates, Public Forum will host a Speaker Series conversation. Audio of this Speaker Series conversation will also be available on the Public Forum’s website one week after the event. As a part of ongoing post-show programming at The Public, additional Public Forum programming includes events include Artist Talkbacks, Audience Conversations, and the online resource Digiturgy.
The open captioning performance will be at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. The audio described performance will be at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18.
The Library at The Public is open nightly for food and drink, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and Joe’s Pub at The Public continues to offer some of the best music in the city. For more information, visit http://www.publictheater.org.