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Public Theater Announces Casting for ToasT

The new play is set amid the 1971 Attica Prison riot.

John Earl Jelks joins the cast of ToasT at the Public Theater.
(© David Gordon)

The Public Theater has announced complete casting for its upcoming Public Lab production of ToasT, written by Lemon Andersen and directed by Elise Thoron. Performances are set to begin April 21, in advance of an official May 5 opening, and will run through May 10.

Originally commissioned by the Public Theater, ToasT weaves major characters from black oral narratives into a story about a group of inmates fighting to keep their minds free amid the 1971 riots that rocked Attica Prison. After 27 years served for murder in Attica's D-Block, Willie Green (aka the legendary Dolomite) has become an unlikely father figure to his cellmates, folklore heroes like Jesse James, Hobo Ben, Annabelle Jones, Stackolee, and Hard Rock. When word brews throughout Attica that a riot is coming, Dolomite has to decide whether to join in or bet on the quickly approaching chance to taste freedom.

The complete cast includes Phillip James Brannon (Bootycandy) as Annabelle Jones, Dan Butler (Twentieth Century) as Sheriff Jody, Teddy Cañez (A Streetcar Named Desire) as G.I. Joe, Keith David (Hot Feet) as Dolomite, Hill Harper (Dogeaters) as Hard Rock, John Earl Jelks (Holler If Ya Hear Me) as Stackolee, Jonathan Earl Peck (The Lion in Winter) as Hobo Ben, and Armando Riesco (The Happiest Song Plays Last) as Jesse James.

The creative team features scenic design by Alexis Distler, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Jen Schriever, and sound design by Rob Kaplowitz.

For tickets and more information, click here.

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