The words of former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, presented as a response to the Obama campaign promise, inspired Nelson's play that officially opens Nov. 2 for a limited run through Nov. 14 as part of the Public LAB series.
The first event will take place Nov. 4 at 7:30 PM. Columbia professor Dr. Andrew Gelman will moderate a discussion between New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow; Maurice Carroll of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute; and Eugene Kiely, Philadelphia director of FactCheck.org, who will all discuss "Why Voting Doesn’t Matter: Politics in Contemporary American Life."
Following the 7:30 PM performance on Nov. 9, playwright and Hopey Changey director Nelson will speak with Public Forum director Jeremy McCarter about the intersection of theatre and American democracy in "Plays and Politics: A conversation with Richard Nelson."
The cast features Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!, Young Frankenstein) as Tim Andrews, Maryann Plunkett (Me and My Girl, A Man for All Seasons) as Barbara Apple, Jon DeVries (August: Osage County) as Benjamin Apple, Laila Robins (Heartbreak House) as Marian Apple Platt, Jay O. Sanders (A Midsummer Night's Dream) as Richard Apple and J. Smith-Cameron ("True Blood") as Jane Apple Halls.
The production is described as such: "'A year later, I gotta ask the supporters of all that: How's that hopey changey thing workin’ for ya?' —Sarah Palin, February 6, 2010…. Election day, November 2, 2010. Uncle Benjamin’s dog has died and his nieces and nephew have gathered for dinner in Rhinebeck, New York, to surprise him with a new one. As they anxiously wait for the polls to close, the Apple family discusses memory, manners, and politics." Tickets for That Hopey Changey Thing, priced $15, are available by phoning (212) 967-7555 or by visiting PublicTheater.
The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.