POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive officially opens at Broadway's Sam S. Shubert Theatre April 27 following previews that began April 14. Directed by Tony winner Susan Stroman, the limited engagement is set to run through August 14. Twenty-eight year-old The Morning Show writer Selina Fillinger makes her Broadway debut as the work's playwright.
The work's all-star cast includes Tony winner Julie White, Tony nominees Lilli Cooper and Vanessa Williams, Lea Delaira, Rachel Dratch, Julianne Hough, and Suzy Nakamura. Hough and Nakamura make their Broadway debuts with the production.
The production recently partnered with seven women-led non-profit organizations to create the POTUS Coalition, an advocacy group formed to support greater representation, fair elections, and accessible voter registration throughout the country at federal, state, and local levels. Partners include Black Voters Matter, Center For Reproductive Rights, ERA Coalition, IGNITE, She The People, Supermajority Education Fund, and Vote Mama. A celebratory rally for women will be held in Times Square (in Father Duffy Square located on 7th Avenue between 46th and 47th Street) April 27 at noon with cast members Cooper, DeLaria, White, Nakumara, and Chipe. The event will be hosted by comedians Joyelle Nicole Johnson and Dana Goldberg and will feature remarks from each of the partners.
The work, a 2019 selection for the Killroys' List, is described as a "modern farce," centering on a PR nightmare that befalls the White House as seven female support staff risk everything to keep the commander-in-chief out of trouble. Cooper stars as Chris, DeLaria as Bernadette, Dratch as Stephanie, Hough as Dusty, Nakamura as Jean, White as Harriet, and Williams as Margaret.
“Growing up in Oregon, long before I could fathom working on Broadway, all I wanted was to glimpse it,” said Fillinger in an earlier statement. “To be premiering my play at the Shubert, with this extraordinary cast and the legendary director, Susan Stroman, is quite literally the stuff of dreams. I hope the show offers joy, folly, and the strength to keep fighting at a time when the world needs all three.”
Rounding out the company are understudies Anita Abdinezhad, Gisela Chípe, Jennifer Fouché, and Lisa Helmi Johnason. The production also features voiceovers from E. Clayton Cornelius, Richard Gatta, Pat Kiernan, Kevin Ligon, JC Montgomery, and Ari Shapiro.
POTUS features scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Sonoyo Nishikawa, sound design by Jessica Paz, hair and wig design by Cookie Jordan, fight and intimacy direction by Rocio Mendez, and make-up design by Kirk Cambridge-Del Pesche. Casting is by Taylor Williams, with Johnny Milani serving as production stage manager.
Theatregoers may enter the Telecharge Digital Lottery from midnight to 3 PM one day before the performance of their choice. Winners are drawn at 9 AM for matinees and 3 PM for evening performances. Up to two tickets can be purchased via the lottery for $39 each (plus a $4 service charge per ticket). Seating is subject to daily availability. Visit PotusBway.com/lottery to enter. Same-day rush tickets are $39 and available at the box office only on the day of the performance.
The play is produced on Broadway by Seaview, Lynette Howell Taylor's 51 Entertainment, Glass Half Full Productions, and Level Forward, along with Salman Al-Rashid, Runyonland Productions, Sony Music Masterworks, One Community, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Jonathan DeMar, Imagine Equal Entertainment, Lucas Katler, David J. Lynch, Leonid Makaron, Liz Slager, Ted Snowdon, Natalie Gorman/Tisch Brennan Throop, and The Shubert Organization, with Mark Shacket serving as executive producer. Level Forward also serves as impact producer, handling key partnerships with organizations supporting women running for office and voter registration.