Chernus, Johnson, O'Connell and Thornton to Star in Public's Poor Itch

News   Chernus, Johnson, O'Connell and Thornton to Star in Public's Poor Itch
 
Casting has been announced for the Public LAB production of John Belluso's final play, The Poor Itch, which is scheduled to begin performances March 7.
Michael Chernus
Michael Chernus Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Lisa Peterson will stage the work by late playwright and activist Belluso, which was originally presented as part of the Public's 2005 New Work Now Festival.

The cast for The Poor Itch features Michael Chernus, Alicia Goranson, Marc Damon Johnson, Piter Marek, Deidre O'Connell, John Ottavino, Susan Pourfar, and Christopher Thornton.

In The Poor Itch "Ian (Thornton) comes back from the war in Iraq without the use of his legs but with a full-blown case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and a year's supply of OxyContin. Now, he has to face the person he has become after the war," press notes state.

In a statement Public associate artistic director Mandy Hackett said, "John Belluso was an exceptionally talented writer and in writing The Poor Itch, he took a hard-edged look at the issues around Iraq Vets returning home -- whose hearts, minds and bodies are broken by the war. With John's untimely death, we knew we had to bring this important story to the stage and set about fusing together the final drafts of his work. The play is full of John's remarkable talent – it's gutsy, theatrical, ambitious, funny and simultaneously deeply personal and political."

The Poor Itch creative team includes set design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Gabriel Berry, lighting design by Ben Stanton and original music and sound design by Robert Kaplowitz. The Public LAB productions – uniting the Public and LAByrinth Theater companies – are staged following brief rehearsal periods and utilize minimal design for the stage. Upcoming works in the series include The Civilians' Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman's presentation of The Civilians' Paris Commune (April 4-20); The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East by Naomi Wallace (April 25-May 11); The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson (May 16-June 1); Rebecca Cohen's Penalties & Interest (June 10-28); and Scott Hudson's Sweet Storm (June 28-29).

The Poor Itch will run March 7-23. Tickets, priced $10, are available by calling (212) 967-7555 or by visiting www.publictheater.org.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street.

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