Stephen Sondheim
(© David Gordon)
Stephen Sondheim
(© David Gordon)
Playwrights Philip Kan Gotanda, Richard Greenberg, Suzan-Lori-Parks, Naomi Iizuka and Doug Wright will contribute original work for the benefit, Shinsai: Theater For Japan, to be presented at The Great Hall at Cooper Union on Sunday, March 11 at 3pm and 8pm. Bartlett Sher will direct.

In addition, librettist John Weidman and composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim will be revising a segment from their 1976 musical Pacific Overtures, especially for the occasion.

There will also be plays and/or musical numbers by American and Japanese writers and composers that include Edward Albee, Shoki Kokami, Oriza Hirata, John Guare, Kumiko Shinohara, John Kander, Fred Ebb & Joseph Stein, Tony Kushner & Jeanine Tesori, Nen Ishihara, Toshiki Okada, Toshiro Suzue, and Yoji Sakate.

The benefit unites several of New York City's leading theater companies as co-presenters, including Atlantic Theater Company, Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Theatre Workshop, The Play Company, Playwrights Horizons, and The Public Theater.

All proceeds from the performances will be sent from the Dramatists Guild Fund to the Japan Playwrights Association, who will in turn distribute the monies to those members of Japan's theatre community who were stricken by the earthquake.

Casting will be announced at a later date.

Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, February 8 at the Public Theater box office, by phone at 212- 967-7555 or by visiting www.publictheater.org.