(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- The original cast of Joe DiPietro’s Conscience has come together again for a virtual version of the play with George Street Playhouse. Due to the shutdown of theaters throughout the state in March, the world-premiere of the production was canceled just days after it opened. The performance will be available for a limited run NOW thru October 31st at 8:00pm. A donation of $25 is suggested. Donations of $5 and above are appreciated and will support George Street Playhouse’s mainstage and virtual programming.
“We are thrilled to bring this timely play to a virtual stage for our patrons,” said Artistic Director David Saint, who also directed the production. “Our audiences tell us they are eagerly anticipating a return to the theater, so what better way than to bring back this powerful production, using technology that allows patrons to watch from the comfort and safety of their homes.”
The production reunites the original cast — Harriet Harris as Senator Margaret Chase Smith, Lee Sellers as Senator Joseph McCarthy, Mark Junek as the strategist William C. Lewis, Jr., and Cathryn Wake as Jean Kerr, McCarthy’s researcher and later his wife.
On June 1, 1950, Senator Margaret Chase Smith stood on the Senate floor and delivered her “Declaration of Conscience'' in a historic moment of political courage. This sharply written new play by Tony Award-winner Joe DiPietro takes you behind the scenes of 1950s Washington in the days leading up to and following the singular speech that rattled McCarthyism, Congress, and the nation itself.
The New York Times called Conscience “a timely boxing match of a history play” and referred to Harriet Harris’ portrayal of Margaret Chase Smith as “a dry-witted hero with the rare courage to take on a lying bully who is sowing chaos, ruining reputations and threatening the very fabric of the nation.”
Harris is a Tony Award-winning actress (Broadway’s Thoroughly Modern Millie) and appeared on television’s popular programs Frasier and Desperate Housewives. Sellars appeared in Netflix’s House of Cards and Luke Cage. Mark Junek was seen in The Hairy Ape at the Armory and GSPs American Son, and Cathryn Wake appeared on Broadway in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.
The performance will be available for a limited run NOW thru October 31st at 8:00pm. A donation of $25 is suggested. Donations of $5 and above are appreciated and will support George Street Playhouse’s mainstage and virtual programming. Digital tickets can be secured at www.GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org.
This virtual version of Conscience is sponsored by Philip Kirstein and Melinda Raso Kirstein and James N. Heston.
George Street Playhouse thanks the Jon Ben Snow Memorial Trust for their support of our streaming platform.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1998, and Kelly Ryman, Managing Director since 2013, George Street Playhouse produces groundbreaking new works, inspiring productions of the classics, and hit Broadway plays and musicals that speak to the heart and mind, with an unwavering commitment to producing new work. With its 45-year history of producing nationally renowned theatre, the Playhouse continues to fill a unique theatre and arts education role in the city, state and greater metropolitan region.
At the start of its 2019-20 Season, George Street Playhouse moved to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in downtown New Brunswick. Featuring two state-of-the-art theaters -- The Arthur Laurents Theater with 253 seats and The Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater which seats 465-- and myriad amenities, the NBPAC marks a new era in the esteemed history of George Street Playhouse.
Founded by Eric Krebs in 1974, George Street Playhouse, 0riginally located in an abandoned supermarket on the corner of George and Albany Streets, was the first professional theatre in New Brunswick and became the cornerstone of the revitalization of the city’s arts and cultural landscape. In 1984, the Playhouse moved to a renovated YMCA on Livingston Avenue, and in 2017 took temporary residence in the former Agricultural Museum at Rutgers University during construction of its new home.
The Playhouse has been well represented by numerous productions both on and off-Broadway. In 2018, George Street Playhouse was represented on Broadway with Gettin’ the Band Back Together which premiered on the Playhouse mainstage in 2013. American Son, produced by George Street Playhouse in 2017, opened on Broadway in 2018 starring Kerry Washington and Stephen Pasquale, and appears on Netflix. Other productions include the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger. In 2015, It Shoulda Been You opened on Broadway, and Joe DiPietro’s Clever Little Lies opened off-Broadway.
George Street Playhouse programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Commissioners through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.