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Elevator Repair Service's Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge Announces Casting

This New York premiere will take place at the Public Theater.

Greig Sargeant and Ben Jalosa Williams will star in Elevator Repair Service's Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge, directed by John Collins, at the Public Theater.
(© Masataka Suemitsu)

Casting has been announced for the New York premiere of Elevator Repair Service's Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge, which is set to begin previews at the Public Theater on September 24 ahead of an opening night on October 2. Tickets are on sale through October 16.

The piece re-creates the 1965 Cambridge Union debate between writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin and National Review founder and conservative pundit William F. Buckley on the motion "the American Dream has been achieved at the expense of the American Negro." The play includes an additional scene that imagines an exchange between Baldwin and playwright Lorraine Hansberry.

Greig Sargeant, who conceived the project with Elevator Repair Service, will play James Baldwin. Gavin Price will play his date partner David Heycock. Christopher-Rashee Stevenson will play Jeremy Burford, who debated alongside Buckley against the motion. Ben Jalosa Williams will portray William F. Buckley Jr. Daphne Gaines will play Lorraine Hansberry, the author of A Raisin in the Sun who will be posthumously making her Public Theater debut this fall.

John Collins directs the production, which will feature costume design by Jessica Jahn, lighting design by Alan C. Edwards, sound design by Ben Jalosa Williams, and scenic consulting by dots. ERS associate artistic director Maurina Lioce will serve as production stage manager.

Elevator Repair Service is the company behind Gatz, the complete staged reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. The company has presented a revival of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and treatment of William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury at the Public.

Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge is not to be confused with a separate staging of the Baldwin-Buckley debate, which was mounted by the American Vicarious earlier this year.