Theater News

Sweat to Kick Off Public Theater's Mobile Unit National Program

Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about Pennsylvania factory workers will offer free performances across the Midwest.

Johanna Day and Carlo Albán in the Broadway production of Lynn Nottage's Sweat.
Johanna Day and Carlo Albán in the Broadway production of Lynn Nottage's Sweat.
(© Joan Marcus)

The Public Theater announced today that the Mobile Unit, originally founded by Joe Papp in 1957 and currently touring to the five boroughs biannually, will expand in September to launch Mobile Unit National with a free, four-week tour of Lynn Nottage's powerful Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Sweat, directed by Kate Whoriskey. The production, running September 27-October 23, will tour to 18 Midwest cities across Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

"The Sweat Mobile National Tour is our most dramatic attempt to break out of our New York bubble and speak to those who the non-profit theater has largely ignored: the rural communities of the upper Midwest," said artistic director Oskar Eustis. "If the culture belongs to everyone, it belongs to the citizens of Kenosha, Erie, and Saginaw as much as it belongs to Manhattan. We are thrilled to be bringing Lynn Nottage's brilliant Pulitzer Prize-winning play across America."

Set in Reading, Pennsylvania, Sweat tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on a factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in the hard fight to stay afloat.

Initial casting for the tour includes Carlo Albán (Oscar), Benton Greene (Brucie), Hunter Hoffman (Jason), Steve Key (Stan), and Lance Coadie Willams (Evan). The creative team features scenic design by Wilson Chin, costume design by Christopher Metzger, and sound design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen.

Sweat premiered at the Public Theater in 2016 and opened on Broadway on March 26, 2017 at Studio 54. The production won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play.