Three-time Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston stars as Lyndon Baines Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s new play All The Way, directed by Bill Rauch, at The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University. Preview performances begin on September 13 at the Loeb Drama Center at A.R.T., 66 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA, and continue through October 12, 2013. Opening night is set for September 19.
Bryan Cranston is joined by 2013 Lucille Lortel Award nominee Brandon J. Dirden (The Piano Lesson off-Broadway, Enron on Broadway) in the role of Martin Luther King, Jr. They lead an ensemble cast, each playing multiple roles, including Drama Desk Award winner Michael McKean (The Homecoming and Superior Donuts on Broadway; A Mighty Wind, This is Spinal Tap) as J. Edgar Hoover; Obie Award winner Reed Birney (Picnic on Broadway, Blasted Off-Broadway; “Gossip Girl”) as Hubert Humphrey; Dakin Matthews (Gore Vidal’s The Best Man and Henry IV on Broadway; Lincoln) as Richard Russell; Arnie Burton (Peter and The Starcatcher and The 39 Steps on Broadway) as Robert McNamara; Crystal Dickinson (Clybourne Park on Broadway) as Coretta Scott King; Betsy Aidem (Nikolai and the Others Off-Broadway; “The Americans”) as Lady Bird Johnson; Eric Lenox Abrams (The Piano Lesson Off-Broadway; “Boardwalk Empire”) as Bob Moses; Peter Jay Fernandez (Cyrano de Bergerac and Macbeth on Broadway; “House of Cards,” “The Good Wife”) as Roy Wilkins; Marianne Hagan (Mercy Off-Broadway; “Friends,” “Third Watch”) as Lurleen Wallace; William Jackson Harper (Titus Andronicus, and The Total Bent Off-Broadway; “The Electric Company”) as Stokely Carmichael; Christopher Liam Moore (All The Way at OSF; “10 Items or Less”) as Walter Jenkins; and Ethan Phillips (November and My Favorite Year on Broadway; The Island, Green Card) as Stanley Levison. The cast also includes Dan Butler and J. Bernard Calloway in multiple roles.
Set design is by Christopher Acebo, costume design by Deborah M. Dryden, lighting design by Jane Cox, original music and sound design by Paul James Pendergast, and video projections by Shawn Sagady. The dramaturg is Tom Bryant.
1963. An assassin’s bullet catapults Lyndon B. Johnson into the presidency. A Shakespearean figure of towering ambition and appetite, the charismatic, conflicted Texan hurls himself into Civil Rights legislation, throwing the country into turmoil. Alternately bullying and beguiling, he enacts major social programs, faces down opponents and wins the 1964 election in a landslide. But in faraway Vietnam, a troublesome conflict looms. In the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s vivid dramatization of LBJ’s first year in office, means versus ends play out on a broad stage canvas as politicians and civil rights leaders plot strategy and wage war. A searing, enthralling exploration of the morality of power.
“All the Way plays much like a Shakespearean history, with a complex, commanding monarch and competing factions embroiled in wars and rebellions. Only here, their battlefields are the Oval Office and Congressional chambers, their swords motions and filibusters.” – Austin Chronicle
All the Way was recently awarded the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History and the 2013 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. It was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF)’s as part of its American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle and premiered there in 2012.
Bryan Cranston (LBJ) is best known for his role of Walter White in the award-winning series “Breaking Bad,” which earned him three consecutive Emmy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild award. He won a second Screen Actors Guild award this year for his co-starring role as CIA operative Jack O’Donnell in the 2012 Oscar-winning Best Picture, Argo. He is currently in production on Legendary Pictures remake of Godzilla. His other film credits include Drive, Total Recall, Little Miss Sunshine, and Saving Private Ryan, among others. For six seasons he played Hal in the sitcom “Malcom in the Middle” which earned him several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. His other television credits include the recurring role of Dr. Whatley on “Seinfeld,” and the astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon.” His theater credits include Sam Shepard’s play The God of Hell at the Geffen Playhouse, Chapter Two, The Taming of the Shrew, A Doll’s House, Eastern Standard, Wrestlers, Barefoot in the Park, and The Steven Weed Show, for which he won a Drama-Logue Award.
Michael McKean (J. Edgar Hoover) was recently seen in New York in Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, as well as in King Lear, Our Town, Superior Donuts, The Homecoming, The Pajama Game, A Second Hand Memory, and Hairspray. His films include This is Spinal Tap, Clue, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Whatever Works, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. He received a Grammy Award for the title song of A Mighty Wind, written with Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy; and an Oscar nomination for Best Song for A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow, written with Annette O’Toole. He is the first million-dollar Celebrity Jeopardy champion, and appeared on the Loeb Stage in several productions in the 1960s.
Brandon J. Dirden (Martin Luther King, Jr.) was recently seen in Enron and Clybourne Park on Broadway and Off-Broadway in The Piano Lesson, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Bottom of the World, among others. His regional credits include Fences at the Huntington Theatre and South Coast Rep., Othello, Twelfth Night, and Metamorphoses at Georgia Shakespeare, and Julius Caesar and As You Like It at North Carolina Shakespeare. He was seen on television in “The Big C” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.”
Reed Birney (Hubert Humphrey) received a 2006 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Performance. He was recently seen in Circle Mirror Transformation (Obie and Drama Desk Awards) at Playwrights Horizons, Stuff Happens (Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble) at the Public Theater, The Family of Man at Second Stage, and Bug at Barrow Street, among others. His television credits include “House of Cards,” “The Good Wife,” “Gossip Girl,” and recurring roles on “Law & Order.”
Peter Jay Fernandez (Roy Wilkins) is a two time Audelco winner. His recently appeared Off-Broadway in Epic Theatre’s exciting production of RICHARD III: Born with Teeth (Epic Theatre, in Luz at La Mama, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at New Haarlem Arts, and CQ/CX at Atlantic Theater Co.. He has appeared on Broadway in Cyrano de Bergerac, Henry IV, Jelly’s Last Jam, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice. His other Off Broadway credits include: Macbeth, The Pain and the Itch, Too Much Memory, Widowers Houses, Thunder Knocking on the Door, Phaedra in Delirium, As You Like It, Henry VIII, Spell# 7, Coriolanus, Split Second, Checkmates and more. His film and television credits include “House of Cards,” “Deception (TV),” “The Good Wife,” “Blue Bloods,” “Body of Proof,” “Law and Order(s),” “Mama I Want to Sing,” The Adjustment Bureau, Deception (Film), Preaching to the Choir, Funny Valentines and more. Awards: Helen Hayes (Nom.) BTTA (Nom), Audie Award (narration).
About the Creative Team:
Robert Schenkkan is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of eleven plays, two musicals and a collection of short plays. The Kentucky Cycle (Pulitzer Prize, LA Drama Critics Award and Penn Award) was produced on Broadway where it was nominated for the Tony, Drama Desk, and the Outer Critics’ Circle Awards. His other plays include, A Single Shard, By the Waters of Babylon, Handler, Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates, The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune, The Devil and Daniel Webster, Heaven on Earth, Tachinoki, Final Passages, and The Dream Thief. He is the co-author of the film, The Quiet American. His film, Hacksaw Ridge, is currently in pre-production to be directed by Randall Wallace later this year. For television he wrote on the HBO miniseries The Pacific, produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, and was nominated for two Emmys and won a WGA Award. He also wrote the miniseries: The Andromeda Strain, Crazy Horse, and Spartacus. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Ensemble Studio Theater and an alumnus of New Dramatists.
Bill Rauch is the Artistic Director of Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Having spent eleven seasons as director, he has directed three world premieres: Mr. Schenkkan’s All the Way and By the Waters of Babylon, and Bill Cain’s Equivocation; and thirteen other plays including Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella, Measure for Measure, The Pirates of Penzance, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, The Music Man, Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Comedy of Errors, Hedda Gabler, and Handler. Among his initiatives at OSF, Mr. Rauch committed to commissioning up to 37 new plays to dramatize moments of change in American history. American Revolutions: the U.S. History Cycle is now in its fourth year of productions. Mr. Rauch is also cofounder of Cornerstone Theater Company, where he directed more than 40 productions and served as its artistic director from 1986 to 2006. He has directed a number of world premieres, including The Clean House at Yale Repertory Theatre; Living Out and For Here or To Go? at the Mark Taper Forum; and My Wandering Boy and The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler at South Coast Repertory. He also directed the New York premiere of The Clean House at the Lincoln Center. Work elsewhere includes productions at South Coast Repertory, Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Great Lakes Theater Festival and En Garde Arts. He is the recipient of numerous awards, and is a graduate of Harvard College.
For tickets to All The Way and further information call 617-547-8300 or visit www.americanrepertorytheater.org.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar.
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