Audra McDonald and husband Will Swenson will partcipate in a Valentine's Day reading Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis with the Public Forum Drama Club.
Audra McDonald and husband Will Swenson will participate in a Valentine's Day reading of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis with the Public Forum Drama Club.
(© Tristan Fuge)

The Public Theater has announced plans for the spring season of Public Forum Drama Club, a "book club for plays" that will feature one-night-only readings and discussions of dramatic literature. The season, which begins February 10 at Joe's Pub, is curated by Jeremy McCarter.

The February 10 reading will celebrate Valentine's Day with Shakespeare's epic poem about the pleasure and pain of love, Venus and Adonis. Reading the poem and discussing love in the modern day will be Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Stephin Merritt, and others.

Next up will be An Evening With Tevye and Chava on March 17. Inspired by Alisa Solomon's Wonder of Wonders, a new cultural history of Fiddler on the Roof, the evening will trace how successive generations of storytellers used Sholom-Aleichem's characters to reflect changing concerns. Former Tevye Harvey Fierstein, the show's co-creator Sheldon Harnick, original Broadway cast member Austin Pendleton, Yiddish theatermaker Jenny Romaine, and Alisa Solomon will participate.

The final spring Drama Club will take place May 18 and will examine The People, a play about radical writers by Susan Glaspell. The evening's special cast will be comprised entirely of our leading political journalists, including David Brooks (The New York Times), Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic), Michelle Goldberg (The Nation), Christopher Hayes (MSNBC), and more.

Public Forum has also released a free podcast version of the Drama Club reading and discussion of Tony Kushner's Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy, featuring Elizabeth Marvel, Denis O'Hare, and Rachel Maddow, available for download on iTunes.