Rising film actor Hill Harper will lead the cast of playwright Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters, set to run at the Public Theater's Martinson Hall in February 2001. The play is based on her novel of the same name and explores life in the Philippines in the 1980s, mixing "tales of politicians, hustlers, beauty queens and radicals...from the excesses of Imelda Marcos to the horrors of assassination." Michael Grief directs.
Harper is currently winning good notices for his performance in the film "The Visit," a prison drama starring Rae Dawn Chong, Phylicia Rashad, Billy Dee Williams and Talia Shire. Harper's other credits include "Beloved" and "He Got Game."
Also in the cast of Dogeaters is Joel Torre, a Filipino film star whose credits include "Jose Rizal," "Milagros" and "Eskapo." Rounding out the ensemble are Arthur Acuna, Raul Aranas, Chris Donahue, Rona Figueroa, JoJo Gonzales, Christine Jugueta, Mia Katigbak, Jonathan Lopez, Alec Mapa, Ralph Rena, Kate Rigg, Eileen Rivera and Ching Valdes-Aran.
David Gallo (Jitney) will design the set, joining Brandin Baron (costumes), Michael Chybowski (lighting) and Michael Creeson (sound). Grief is best known for directing Jonathan Larson's hit musical Rent.
Dogeaters was a Kesselring Prize Honorable Mention in 2000. Hagedorn has authored a screenplay, several multi-media theatre pieces and a clutch of nonfiction articles. She was born and raised in The Philippines. — By Robert Simonson