The Bench, written and performed by Robert Galinsky and directed by Jay O. Sanders, is set for its October 29 opening night at the Cherry Lane Theatre. The production is presented by Golden Globe nominee Chris Noth (Sex and the City), Drama Desk, Obie, and Olivier Award winner Barry Shabaka Henley, and Cherry Lane Theatre. Terry Schnuck produces. Performances will run through December 17.
Based on true stories, The Bench, set amid urban decay and rubble, explores the emotional heartbreak of five homeless characters and the catastrophic hysteria surrounding AIDS in the 1980s. The piece features hand-drawn imagery from Daphne Arthur's graphic novel adaptation of the play, and audio design by composer Deep Singh.
Galinsky — a contributing writer to The Fresh Toast and head speaker coach for TEDxTeen, TEDxFultonStreet — teaches writing and performance at Rikers Island Jail, through the nonprofit Literacy for Incarcerated Teens and GalinskyCoaching.com.