Nelson also directs his play, which will officially open Nov. 2 and run through Nov. 14 in the Anspacher Theater. That Hopey Changey Thing is the first production of the 2010-2011 Public LAB season.
The cast features Hensley (Oklahoma!, Young Frankenstein) as Tim Andrews, 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."
Nelson was last represented at the Public with his drama Conversations in Tusculum, which utilized Roman politics as a comment on the Bush administration. He is also the playwright of James Joyce's The Dead. Additional plays announced for the Public Lab include Urge for Going by Mona Mansour, directed by Hal Brooks (March 25-April 17, 2011); and Jonathan Marc Sherman's Knickerbocker, directed by Pippin Parker (May 6-29, 2011).
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.