David Hare's political drama Stuff Happens will get its New York debut at the Public's Newman Theatre. Daniel Sullivan directs a cast that features Jay O. Sanders as President George W. Bush and Byron Jennings as British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The play, based on the incidents that led to the current war in Iraq, has run in separate stagings in London and the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
The Public cast will also feature George Bartenieff as Hans Blix and Jack Straw; Jeffrey DeMunn as Donald Rumsfeld; Glenn Fleshler as George Tenet; Zach Grenier as Dick Cheney; Lameece Issaq as a Palestinian Academic; Peter Francis James as Colin Powell; Ken Marks as David Manning and Michael Gerson; David Pittu as Paul Wolfowitz and Sir Richard Dearlove; Gloria Reuben as Condoleezza Rice; Thomas Schall as Alastair Campbell and Jeremy Greenstock; Armand Schultz as Jonathan Powell and Robin Cook; Robert Sella as an Angry Journalist and Dominique De Villepin; Brenda Wehle as a New Labour Politician and Laura Bush; and Waleed F. Zuaiter as an Iraqi Exile and Trevor Mac.
The oft-employed Jennings, a critics favorite, has played leading parts in such recent productions as The Foreigner, Sight Unseen, Henry IV, A Touch of the Poet and Twelve Angry Men. Sanders has starred in The Taming of the Shrew in Central Park and Lone Star Love Off-Broadway.
Stuff Happens started life at Britain's National Theatre with Alex Jennings as George Bush, directed by Nicholas Hytner.
The title is taken from a phrase used by Donald Rumsfeld when grilled by reporters about the widespread public violence that overtook Iraq following the American invasion in 2003. At the same press conference, he said "Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."