Woodside will portray Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. opposite Cullum as President Lyndon B. Johnson. Woodside will be making his New York stage debut in Michael Roland Murphy's story of American wartime dissent. Keen Company artistic director Carl Forsman directs the new work, which is scheduled to begin previews March 4 and officially open March. 18.
The cast of Conscientious Objector will also feature Chad Carstarphen, Jimonn Cole, Brian Hicks, Jonathan Hogan, Rachel Leslie, James Miles, Steve Routman, Geddeth Smith and Harold Suratt.
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."
The production's creative team includes set design by Beowulf Boritt, lighting design by Josh Bradford, costume design by Theresa Squire and sound design by Daniel Baker and Daniel Kluger.
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 recent Lincoln Center mounting of Cymbeline. Cullum is well known for his Emmy-nominated work on television's "Northern Exposure." Woodside portrayed President Wayne Palmer in the popular FOX television series "24." His screen credits also include "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Viva Laughlin," "Grey's Anatomy" and "CSI."
Conscientious Objector will play a limited engagement at the Clurman Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street, through April 19. Tickets are available by calling (212) 279-4200 or by visiting www.ticketcentral.com.