When The Exonerated made its world premiere in New York in 2000, the cast of the interview-based drama about wrongly convicted death row inmates included Steve Buscemi, Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.
Well, all those actors will return this fall when the show bows Off-Broadway this September, at 45 Bleecker Street, a venture of the Culture Project. Also slated for the cast are Oliver Platt, Stanley Tucci, Marisa Tomei, Kyra Sedgwick and Austin Pendleton, reported the New York Times.
The Jessica Blank-Erick Jensen play is currently enjoying its West Coast premiere with the Actors' Gang, where Robbins is artistic director.
The Exonerated features a half-dozen former death row inmates who have shared a variety of experiences and feelings with playwrights Blank and Jensen. Most describe losing their faith in the justice system, while discovering that it was the resources available to a defense team that made the difference between achieving justice or experiencing a miscarriage of it.
The cast of big names, combined with the serious subject matter, conjures up thoughts of Guys, the 9/11-themed play which has been a life-saving success for downtown's tiny Bat Theatre Company. The two hander's rotating casts have featured the likes of Robbins, Sarandon, Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver. — By Christine Ehren