Written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen
Directed by Jessica Blank
Complete Cast Features Santino Fontana, Arjun Gupta, John Ortiz, Alison Pill, Nicholas Pinnock, Jamey Sheridan, and Lorraine Toussaint
The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) announced today the return of THE LINE, written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen and directed by Blank. First performed live on Zoom on July 8, 2020, the world premiere play was viewed more than 55,000 times in 18 countries during its limited streaming run last summer. Crafted from firsthand interviews with New York City medical first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic, THE LINE cuts through the media and political noise to reveal the lived experiences of frontline medical workers in New York and their battle to save lives in a system built to serve the bottom line. Back online by popular demand for eight weeks, this timely drama is available to watch now on-demand via The Public’s Play Now platform through Monday, June 21, 2021.
The company of THE LINE features Santino Fontana (David), Arjun Gupta (Vikram), John Ortiz (Oscar), Alison Pill (Jennifer), Nicholas Pinnock (Dwight), Jamey Sheridan (Ed), and Lorraine Toussaint (Sharon). THE LINE features original music composition by Aimee Mann and Jonathan Coulton produced by Michael Penn, and Janelle Caso served as production stage manager.
“Immediate and urgent, The Line bears the marks of a rapid response.”
– Alexis Soloski, The Guardian
“If you are not too squeamish to sit through an hour of firsthand testimony drawn from interviews
conducted during the onset of the pandemic, ‘The Line’ … will be glad to make you flinch and cry.”
– Jesse Green, New York Times Critic’s Pick
“Simultaneously infuriating and affecting, unsparing and gentle.”
– Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New Yorker
Public Play Now is a new digital destination where you can watch, listen, and enjoy The Public Theater’s programming, including Joe’s Pub, all in one place. Featuring a wide range of digital content, Public Play Now includes previously released audio plays like shadow/land, Romeo y Julieta, Shipwreck, and Richard II; exciting Joe’s Pub Concerts; Public Forum civic discussions and panels; the Public Works documentary Under the Greenwood Tree; show clips and behind the-scenes content from our past productions; and more! Visit publictheater.org/playnow.
This season has been unlike any The Public has experienced before. The Public continues to be unable to gather in person in theaters and is navigating immense challenges because of the global coronavirus pandemic, and in response to the long overdue reckoning around racism in the country and in the theater community, The Public has begun interrogating its practices and systems to move closer to being an inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist organization. This is a moment of uncertainty, transformation, action, and accountability. There is much work to be done, but The Public’s mission has not changed, and artists and their voices play a critical role in this moment too.
With our theaters still closed and in-person programming on pause, The Public Theater has had to contend with unprecedented institutional challenges throughout the past year, including an operating budget that has contracted significantly, substantial furloughs among full-time staff, and a lack of employment opportunities to offer the freelance artistic community. The Public continues to rely on its community of loyal supporters who stand alongside the organization as it upholds its mission during this uncertain time. With the generous contributions of supporters as the only current source of revenue, The Public continues to reimagine theater for the digital space, support a range of artistic voices in making new work, and share it with a growing global audience. Become a Partner or a Supporter of The Public Theater today at publictheater.org.
The Public Theater strives to make its performances, digital content, and facilities accessible to all patrons and visitors. THE LINE is available with closed captioning in English, Spanish, and Mandarin; American Sign Language interpretation; and audio description. For additional information or if you have questions, need assistance, or an accommodation to access our digital content, please email email@example.com.
JESSICA BLANK (Playwright/Director) and ERIK JENSEN (Playwright) are writers, actors, and directors. They are authors of Coal Country (NYT Critic’s Pick, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, two Drama Desk nominations); The Exonerated (Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Ovation, Fringe First, and Herald Angel Awards) and its award winning TV movie adaptation starring Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, and Delroy Lindo; as well as Aftermath (NYTW; NYT Critic’s Pick, two Drama League nominations). Their play How To Be a Rock Critic (based on the writings of Lester Bangs) ran at the Kirk Douglas, South Coast Rep, ArtsEmerson, Steppenwolf, and UTR at The Public, with Jensen starring as Lester Bangs, and Blank directing. They are developing this play for feature film with Likely Story; their first film, Almost Home, was released in 2019. They have developed and written TV for Gaumont, Fox TV Studios, 20th Century TV, Virgin Produced, and Radical Media. Jensen’s acting credits include arcs on “The Walking Dead,” “Mindhunter,” and “Mr. Robot”; leads in “For Life” (ABC) and pilots “Second Sight,” “The Frontier,” and “Virtuality”; he played baseball’s Thurman Munson in “The Bronx is Burning.” Other appearances include “The Americans,” “Turn,” “High Maintenance,” “Elementary,” “The Blacklist,” “Chicago PD.” Film includes Black Knight, The Love Letter, and over two dozen indies. Theater: Pulitzer Prize-winning production of Disgraced (Lincoln Center); The Good Negro (The Public); Y2K, Corpus Christi (MTC); etc. As an actor, Blank’s TV credits include “For Life,” “High Maintenance,” “Blue Bloods,” “Elementary,” “The Following,” “The Mentalist,” “Bored to Death,” “Rescue Me,” “Law and Order: CSI,” “The Bronx is Burning,” NBC pilot “Shelter,” and over a dozen films. Blank teaches at the Juilliard School. Blank and Jensen are married and live in Brooklyn with their daughter Sadie.
ABOUT THE PUBLIC THEATER:
THE PUBLIC is theater of, by, and for all people. Artist-driven, radically inclusive, and fundamentally democratic, The Public continues the work of its visionary founder Joe Papp as a civic institution engaging, both on-stage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today. Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation’s first nonprofit theaters, The Public has long operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public’s wide breadth of programming includes an annual season of new work at its landmark home at Astor Place, Free Shakespeare in the Park at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, the Mobile Unit touring throughout New York City’s five boroughs, Public Forum, Under the Radar, Public Studio, Public Works, Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Joe’s Pub. Since premiering HAIR in 1967, The Public continues to create the canon of American Theater and is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Girl From the North Country. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 184 Obie Awards, 55 Drama Desk Awards, 58 Lortel Awards, 34 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, 56 AUDELCO Awards, 6 Antonyo Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes. publictheater.org
The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater’s year-round activities.
Lead support for The Public’s digital programming provided by Bank of America, JetBlue Airways,
Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Blavatnik Family Foundation, Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman
Foundation, Open Society Foundations, American Express, and The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Encore streaming of THE LINE is made possible by Susan and David Edelstein and Teresa Tsai.