Portraying President Lyndon B. Johnson, Cullum is the first to be cast in the story of American wartime dissent by Michael Murphy. Carl Forsman, artistic director of the Keen Company, will direct the docu-drama.
The work, according to press notes, is described as such: "In early 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. informed his advisors that he intended to play a major role in the anti-war movement, advocating immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Vietnam. No major figure of Dr. King's stature had yet been willing to take such a dramatic stand, even those thought to oppose the war, such as Senators Kennedy and McGovern. King knew he would be turning past allies like President Johnson into powerful enemies and reviving the animus of old enemies as well. King’s inner circle feared he would trigger a political backlash that could undo the progress made in civil rights. The play draws upon the historical record, including the FBI's relentless surveillance, often illegal, and the White House's infamous secret telephone recordings."
John Cullum earned Tony Awards for his work in On the Twentieth Century and Shenandoah. His extensive stage career also includes On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Urinetown, Man of La Mancha, Aspects of Love, 110 in the Shade and the current Lincoln Center mounting of Cymbeline. Cullum is well known for his Emmy-nominated work on television's "Northern Exposure."
Conscientious Objector will play a limited engagement through April 19. Tickets are available by calling (212) 279-4200 or by visiting www.ticketcentral.com.
Conscientious Objector will play the Clurman Theatre, located in Manhattan at 410 West 42nd Street.