Audra McDonald and Tony Kushner Set for Songs for Freedom Benefit at Joe's Pub

News   Audra McDonald and Tony Kushner Set for Songs for Freedom Benefit at Joe's Pub Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner will join Audra McDonald and David Byrne for Songs for Freedom, an Oct. 30 benefit for the Jenin Freedom Theatre, which operates out of the Palestinian-occupied territories in the West Bank.

Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald Photo by Michael Wilson

Founded in 2006 in the Jenin Refugee Camp, the Freedom Theatre is a professional theatre that aims to provide a safe creative environment for young artists living under occupation and empowers children and young adults through art. The theatre's co-founder, Juliano Mer-Khamis, was murdered in April 2011.

The Public Theater has united with the New York Theatre Workshop and Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre to produce the 7 PM benefit.

Jo Bonney will direct the evening that is hosted by Kushner. Also announced to appear are Tony winner McDonald (Porgy and Bess, Ragtime), Academy Award-winning composer Byrne ("The Last Emperor"), Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/UnderdogThe Book of Grace), as well as Grammy-winning musicians Aimee Mann and Angelique Kidjo, and the Palestinian hip-hop group DAM.

The evening will feature a performance from the acting company of The Freedom Theatre. The company is scheduled to perform While Waiting, inspired by Beckett's Waiting for Godot at Columbia University Oct. 18.

"The Freedom Theatre of Jenin is a courageous band, a group of artists determined to make theatre under conditions of extraordinary difficulty. We are honored to support them in the name of international solidarity," said Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis, in a statement.

For tickets, priced $100, visit JoesPub. Joe's Pub is located within the Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.

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