×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Artists, Activists Rally to Support New York’s Public Theater

An independent rally for New York’s Public Theater brought out a crowd of about 150 people in support of the organization that’s currently under fire for a controversial production of “Julius Caesar” that features a Trump-like Caesar.

Tony-winning actor Michael Cerveris (“Fun Home”) and monologuist Mike Daisey were among the attendees who addressed the crowd, which included actors, directors (among them Rachel Chavkin, director of Broadway’s “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812”), Public staff members, and other activists and supporters. Unaffiliated with the Public itself, organizers of the rally led chants and speeches at Astor Place in downtown Manhattan for about an hour, then finished with a short march down Lafayette Street to the theater.

“This rally is not just to speak up for the Public,” said Jesse Oxfeld, the writer and freelance theater critic who initiated the rally with director Shira Milikowsky and dramaturge-activist Jess Applebaum. “It’s to call out what happened over the weekend for what it was: propaganda and demagoguery.”

The Public’s Free Shakespeare in the Park staging of “Julius Caesar” sparked an outcry from conservatives after a “Fox & Friends” segment called attention to the show, which depicts the assassination of a Caesar who greatly resembles President Trump. The resultant online controversy prompted both Delta Air Lines and Bank of America to pull their funding from the production. Earlier Thursday, another funder, Time Warner, defended the Public at a shareholders meeting.

Popular on Variety

With the Public vowing in a statement (and reiterated at the show’s opening Monday) to stand by the show, “Julius Caesar” will end its limited run June 18 as scheduled, in order to make way for the incoming park production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

More Legit

  • Mrs. Doubtfire BroadwayCon panel

    Listen: 'Mrs. Doubtfire' the Musical, Live From BroadwayCon

    In the Broadway-bound musical version of “Mrs. Doubtfire,” actor Rob McClure has the unenviable job of following in the footsteps of comedy great Robin Williams, who memorably played the title role in the 1993 film on which the stage show is based. Listen to this week’s podcast below: How does McClure hope to fill those [...]

  • Grand Horizons review

    'Grand Horizons': Theater Review

    Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one, as you surely must have: A nice, all-American family is in the process of breaking up and trying to make this sad state of affairs seem funny in Bess Wohl’s Broadway outing “Grand Horizons.” After 50 years of marriage, Nancy (the ever-elegant Jane Alexander) and Bill (the [...]

  • Uncle Vanya review

    'Uncle Vanya': Theater Review

    Director Ian Rickson has had success with Chekhov in the past. His exquisitely balanced, tragicomic production of “The Seagull” (2007 in London, 2008 on Broadway) was well-nigh flawless with, among others, Kristin Scott Thomas as painfully vulnerable as she was startlingly funny. Sadly, with his production of “Uncle Vanya,” despite felicities in the casting, lightning [...]

  • The Welkin review

    'The Welkin': Theater Review

    A life hanging perilously in the balance of charged-up, polarized opinions: This courtroom drama could easily have been titled “Twelve Angry Women.” But playwright Lucy Kirkwood (“Chimerica,” “The Children”) is far too strong and imaginative a writer for so hand-me-down a cliché. Instead she opts for “The Welkin,” an old English term for the vault [...]

  • Tina Fey attends the "Mean Girls"

    Tina Fey Announces Movie Adaptation of Broadway's 'Mean Girls' Musical

    It’s good to be mean…the “Mean Girls” musical, that is. Producers of the hit Broadway show announced today that the Tony-nominated production is being adapted for the big screen for Paramount Pictures. The musical is based on the 2004 movie of the same name. “I’m very excited to bring ‘Mean Girls’ back to the big screen,’ Tina Fey, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content