Debate: Baldwin vs Buckley, Starring Teagle F. Bougere and Eric T. Miller, to Tour NYC's 5 Boroughs | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Debate: Baldwin vs Buckley, Starring Teagle F. Bougere and Eric T. Miller, to Tour NYC's 5 Boroughs

Theatre company American Vicarious stages the historic TV debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, Jr.

Teagle F. Bougere and Eric T. Miller Christopher McElroen

The american vicarious will take its production of Debate: Baldwin vs Buckley on a tour of New York City's five boroughs beginning October 10 at Brooklyn's Old Stone House. The tour wll continue through spring 2023.

Broadway alum Teagle F. Bougere (The Tempest, A Raisin In The SunThe Crucible) stars as Baldwin opposite Eric T. Miller (Mope), who portrays Buckley. They are joined by Spencer Hamp and Charlie O’Rourke.

The tour will play Brooklyn's Old Stone House October 10, 17, and 24, and then will move onto Queens for performances at Queens Theatre November 11-12. In spring 2023 performances will be held in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island with further details to be announced.

Adapted and directed by Founding Artistic Director Christopher McElroen, Debate: Baldwin vs Buckley stages the historic televised debate between author and civil rights leader James Baldwin and William F. Buckley Jr., a conservative political commentator, TV show host, and critic of the Civil Rights Movement.

“The objective of the american vicarious in restaging this historic debate is not to inhabit such monumental figures as James Baldwin or William F. Buckley Jr., their shoes are too large to fill,” McElroen said in a statement. “Rather, our desire is to simply place their words, which still resonate over 55 years later, within the voice of contemporary artists. In touring the work around New York City, our hope is to reach beyond the traditional theatre bubble and share the work in venues that allow us to embrace the immediacy and intimacy of the original debate."

The creative team includes video and graphics designer Adam J. Thompson and artist-in-residence and stage manager Jaymes JorslingDebate: Baldwin vs Buckley was originally produced in 2020 and broadcast in partnership with BRIC.

A different version of the televised debate, from Public Theater and Elevator Repair Service, will play the Public Theater beginning September 24. Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge, conceived by Greig Sargeant with Elevator Repair Service and directed by John Collins, will continue through October 16.

For tickets and more information, visit


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