Tony winner John Rubinstein (Pippin, Children of a Lesser God) will star as President Dwight D. Eisenhower Off-Broadway this summer in Richard Hellesen's Eisenhower: This Piece of Ground.
The New Los Angeles Repertory Company will present the seven-week Off-Broadway engagement, directed by Peter Ellenstein. Previews will begin June 13 prior to an official opening June 20 at Theatre at St. Clements. The production will continue through July 30.
Check out the new trailer, featuring clips from the play's Los Angeles engagement this past fall, above.
Adapted from Eisenhower's memoirs, speeches, and letters—with the support of the Eisenhower Foundation and permission from David and Susan Eisenhower and the Eisenhower family—the play is set in 1962 at Eisenhower's Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, farm as New York Magazine has published its first list ranking American Presidents in order of greatness. Pondering his placement on the list, Eisenhower looks back on his life.
“I had never before done a one-person play,” says Rubinstein. “I had often thought that I would like to try it, but never found the person to portray or the piece to interpret—until Peter Ellenstein sent me this inspiring play by Richard Hellesen. I think that people need to hear these profound, personal, and uplifting words from an actual U.S. President during these very trying times. I was so gratified by the overwhelming enthusiasm we were shown when we premiered in L.A. last fall, and we are all extremely proud and happy to now bring this play to New York audiences this summer.”
“With such division in the country today, I wanted to go back in our history and look at an individual who lead with faith and optimism during a very a crucial time," adds playwright Hellesen. “Despite the Cold War, McCarthyism and the start of the Civil Rights movement, Eisenhower believed in democracy. On our stage, Eisenhower says, ‘Some days it feels like democracy is going to have a hell of a time persevering. But this piece of ground, that we all share...if we're going to leave our young people something better, then we just can't be complacent. …We have to keep choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong. Never be content with half-truth when the whole truth can be ours.’”
The upcoming production will also have scenic design by Michael Deegan and Sarah Conly, costume consultation by Sarah Conly, lighting design by Esquire Jauchem, and projection and sound design by Joe Huppert.
The producing team includes Victoria Morris of Lexikat Artists and Adam Weinstock of Red Spear Productions. General management is by LDK Productions, LLC, and marketing and promotions are by Table 7 Strategy, LLC.
Tickets are now on sale at OvationTix.com. For more information visit EisenhowerThePlay.com.