In honor of President Lyndon B. Johnson's birthday August 27, The NAACP, Fairvote, Motivote, and NYC Votes joined The Great Society to launch The Great Society Primary, its initiative to register audience members to vote. In a ceremony at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, playwright Robert Schennkan and members of the cast welcomed the civic partners to inaugurate the show’s lobby display and voting program. At each performance, audience members will have the opportunity to "vote" for the candidate they would like to see win the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, before select performances, representatives from the voter registration organizations will be available to register new voters in the lobby.
The Great Society, Schenkkan’s sequel to his Tony-winning play All The Way, is set to begin performances at the Vivian Beaumont Theater September 6 ahead of an October 1 opening night. The production, directed by Bill Rauch, is set to play a 12-week limited engagement through November 30.
Flip through photos of the celebration below:
While All the Way depicted Johnson’s year-long presidency in the aftermath of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, The Great Society picks up after his landslide victory in the 1964 election. The play explores his full four-year term against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement.
The production stars Emmy Award winner Brian Cox (Succession, Frasier) as Lyndon B. Johnson, Grantham Coleman as Martin Luther King Jr., three-time Tony nominee Marc Kudisch (9 to 5, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Richard J. Daley, Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) as Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Tony winner Frank Wood (Sideman) as Senator Everett Dirksen, Tony nominee Gordon Clapp (Glengarry Glen Ross) as J. Edgar Hoover, and Tony nominee Richard Thomas (The Little Foxes) as Hubert Humphrey. They are joined by Marchánt Davis as Stokely Carmichael, Brian Dykstra as Adam Walinsky, Barbara Garrick as Ladybird Johnson, David Garrison as Richard Nixon, Ty Jones as Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Christopher Livingston as James Bevel, Angela Pierce as Pat Nixon, Matthew Rauch as Robert McNamara, Nikkole Salter as Coretta Scott King, Tramell Tillman as Bob Moses, with Ted Deasy and Robyn Kerr.
The Great Society will feature sets by David Korins, costumes by Linda Cho, lighting design by David Weiner, sound design from compsoer Paul James Prendergast, and projection designs from Victoria Sagady. Casting is by Daniel Swee.
Jeffrey Richards and Louise Gund serve as lead producers for the Broadway staging, having previously produced All the Way. Though the Vivian Beaumont is located at Lincoln Center, The Great Society is not a Lincoln Center Theater production.