The Exonerated is drawn from the stories of a half-dozen former death row inmates who shared a variety of experiences and feelings with playwrights Blank and Jensen. Most described losing their faith in the justice system, while discovering that it was the resources available to a defense team that made the difference between achieving justice or experiencing a miscarriage of it.
Shields is familiar with the New York theatre having appeared in recent years on stage in Cabaret, Grease and The Vagina Monologues. The actress starred opposite George Burns in the movie "Just You and Me, Kid" before making a splash in "The Blue Lagoon." She also starred in the television show "Suddenly Susan."
Elwes is known for his work on such films as "The Princess Bride," "Glory," "Dracula," "The Crush," "Twister," "Kiss the Girls," "Shadow of the Vampire" and recent portrayals of John Houseman in "Cradle Will Rock" and Thomas Harper Ince in "The Cat's Meow."
Remaining with the cast through the rotating celebrities are Charles Brown (Delbert Tibbs), David Brown (Robert Hayes), Bruce Kronenberg (ensemble), Phil Levy (ensemble), Curtis McClarian (David Keaton) and April Thompson (Georgia Hayes).
Past cast members of this run have included Eric Bogosian, Peter Boyle, Avery Brooks, Charles Brown, Gabriel Byrne, Judy Collins, Tim Daly, Kristin Davis, Richard Dreyfuss, Mia Farrow, Jeff Goldblum, Peter Gallagher, Sara Gilbert, Tony Goldwyn, Penn Jillette, Sarah Jones, Robert Klein, Christine Lahti, Darrell Larson, Chad Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Rob Morrow, Joe Morton, Bebe Neuwirth, Amanda Plummer, Lynn Redgrave, Jay O. Sanders, Kyra Sedgwick, Ally Sheedy, Mary Steenburgen, Lee Tergesen, Kathleen Turner, Robert Vaughn, Montel Williams. Upcoming casts will include Jill Clayburgh (April 1-6), Richard Masur (April 8 -13), Jill Clayburgh and Frank McCourt (April 15-20), Masur and Marlo Thomas (April 29 - May 4). Artists and dates are subject to change.
The Exonerated plays at Off-Broadway's 45 Bleecker, where it opened Oct. 10. 45 Bleecker is located at 45 Bleecker Street. For reservations, call (212) 307-4100.