By Tom Schulman
Directed by John Doyle Based on the Acclaimed Film
Preview by David Roberts
Theatre Reviews Limited
Classic Stage Company (Artistic Director John Doyle and Managing Director Jeff Griffin) announced that Jason Sudeikis will star as John Keating in the world premiere of Dead Poets Society, a new play based on the beloved 1989 film. Written by Academy Award winner Tom Schulman, adapted from his screenplay, and directed by John Doyle, Dead Poets Society is set at a rigorous all-boys preparatory school renowned for its ancient traditions, where the unconventional Professor Keating inspires his students to defy conformity, and to live passionately. Performances for Dead Poets Society will begin Thursday, October 27 at CSC (136 East 13th Street) with an official press opening Thursday, November 17. Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.
John Doyle said, “I’m thrilled that Jason Sudeikis is taking on this iconic role in Dead Poets Society. I felt it important that we find an actor like Jason who brings a fresh perspective, and all at CSC are delighted that he will be joining us for this unique venture.”
JASON SUDEIKIS (John Keating). Following two years as a writer on “Saturday Night Live,” Jason Sudeikis became a regular cast member on the show in 2005 where he starred in hundreds of sketches during his eight years, including his spot-on impersonations of Joe Biden and Mitt Romney. His film work includes his dramatic turns in Race and Tumbledown, as well as Mother’s Day, Sleeping with Other People, Masterminds, Horrible Bosses and Horrible Bosses 2, We’re the Millers, Epic, The Campaign, Hall Pass, The Bounty Hunter, Going the Distance and What Happens in Vegas. Upcoming films include the sci-fi thriller Colossal starring opposite Anne Hathaway and Kodachrome with Ed Harris. Jason’s television work includes a multi-episode arc on Fox’s hit comedy “The Last Man on Earth” with his fellow SNL alum Will Forte; multiple episodes of the HBO series “Eastbound & Down” and multiple appearances on “30 Rock.” Jason also portrayed the voices of two principal characters on Fox’s hit animated comedy series “The Cleveland Show.”
JOHN DOYLE (Director) joined CSC in 2013 as the company’s Associate Director. For CSC, he directed the highly-acclaimed productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion (2013, Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical) and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Allegro (2014, Drama League Nomination, Best Revival of a Musical). Additional theater in the US includes: Sweeney Todd (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, Best Director of a Musical; Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Set Design of a Musical), Company (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Awards, Best Musical Revival; Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, Outstanding Director of a Musical), A Catered Affair (Drama League Award, Best Musical Production; Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), The Visit (Tony Nomination, Best Musical; Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), Ten Cents a Dance (Williamstown/McCarter), The Exorcist (The Geffen, LA), Road Show (Public Theater/Menier Chocolate Factory), Where’s Charley? and Irma La Douce (Encores!), Wings (Second Stage), A Bed and a Chair (City Center), Kiss Me Kate (Stratford), Caucasian Chalk Circle (ACT), Merrily We Roll Along and The Three Sisters (Cincinnati). In the UK, John has been Artistic Director of four regional theaters – The Worcester Swan; The Cheltenham Everyman; The Liverpool Everyman; The York Theatre Royal; and was also Associate Director of the Watermill Theatre, Newbury. During these residencies, he directed numerous productions of new and classic works. Notable credits include: Female Parts, Sweeney Todd, Gondoliers, Mack and Mabel (West End), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Oklahoma! (Chichester), Amadeus (Wilton’s Music Hall), The Millennium Cycle of Mystery Plays (London), Carmen, Fiddler on the Roof (Watermill), The Wars of the Roses, The Madness of George III (York), The White Devil, Othello, Candide (Liverpool). Opera includes Madama Butterfly, The Dialogues of the Carmelites (Grange Park), Lucia di Lammermoor (Houston/La Fenice/Sydney Opera House/Scottish Opera), Peter Grimes (Metropolitan Opera, New York), The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (LA Opera, starring Audra McDonald and Patti LuPone). He directed the feature film Main Street (starring Colin Firth and Ellen Burstyn). John is co-author of Shakespeare for Dummies. He is currently represented on Broadway by the acclaimed production of The Color Purple.
TOM SCHULMAN (Author) directed the Actors’ Studio, West production of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker and wrote the film Dead Poets Society for which he received an Academy Award. He also wrote the screenplays for the films What About Bob?; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Medicine Man and Holy Man. He wrote and directed Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag and was an executive producer on Indecent Proposal and Me, Myself and Irene and the writer/producer of Welcome to Mooseport. He co-wrote and co-produced The Anatomy of Hope, a pilot for HBO. Tom served on the board of directors and then as vice president of the Writers Guild of America, West and served on the board of directors and then as president of the Writers Guild Foundation. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in Philosophy and studied at the USC Graduate School of Cinema, the Actors and Directors Lab with Jack Garfein, and more recently with director Joan Darling.
Classic Stage Company (CSC) is an award-winning Off-Broadway theater committed to reimagining the classical repertory for contemporary audiences. For nearly 50 years, CSC has been a home for New York’s finest established and emerging artists to grapple with the great works of the world’s repertory that speak directly to the issues of today. CSC serves an average of 35,000 audience members annually, including more than 4,000 students through its nationally-recognized education programs. CSC productions have been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards: Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.