Dallas — The Dallas Peace Center joins in this week's many commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy with a staged reading of Ginny Cunningham's new play Noah's ark, inspired by a book about JFK by James Douglass. The big news here is that the cast is headed up by Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now, The West Wing). Among the locals in the cast are Mark Oristano, Vickie Washington, James Kille, T.A. Taylor, Bruce DuBose and Linda Coleman. It's directed by Matt Clark of Austin, who directed Sheen in the film Da (adapted from the the Hugh Leonard play).
The reading is 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at Unity Church of Dallas. Tickets are $15 and available online through Teatro Dallas at www.teatrodallas.tix.com.
Here's more from the news release from the Dallas Peace Center:
Martin Sheen will participate in the staged reading in Dallas of Noah’s Ark, a new play inspired by James Douglass’ bestselling book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.
Noah’s Ark, by Pittsburgh playwright Ginny Cunningham, has been three years in development and will have a public staged reading at Unity Church of Dallas, 6525 Forest Lane, at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 21, the eve of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. James Douglass will join Sheen and Cunningham for a talk-back following the 90-minute reading.
Noah’s Ark revolves around Colonel Elliott Benson, the consummate CIA and military insider and advisor to the President, who is tortured by the thought that he may have been unwittingly complicit in the assassination. Determined to redeem himself, Benson journeys into his past, where he must confirm or deny his loyalties, patriotism, and faithfulness. Has he betrayed his values? Can he live in peace with his choices? The story sails the rough waters of the Kennedy presidency—the Bay of Pigs, the summit with Khrushchev in Vienna, a line in the sand in Berlin, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the prelude to Vietnam. Global peril and unremitting tension force Benson to assess his own depths and shallows and seek his own redemption.
Director/actor Matt Clark of Austin will direct the staged reading, assisted by John Fullinwider. Local actors in the play include Mark Oristano, Vickie Washington, James Kille, T.A. Taylor, Bruce DuBose and Linda Coleman. The event is co-sponsored by Pax Christi Dallas.
The Dallas performance is one of eight readings of Noah’s Ark in U.S. cities this November, including New York City; Seattle; Pittsburgh; Birmingham, Ala.; Glens Falls, N.Y.; Erie, Penn., and Royal Oak, Mich.
An award-winning actor and political activist, Martin Sheen’s films include Apocalypse Now (1979), Badlands (1973), Gandhi (1982), Wall Street (1987), Da (1988), The American President (1995), Catch Me If You Can (2002) and The Way (2010); he starred in the television series The West Wing (1999-2006).
Matt Clark, actor and director, began his career with the experimental company The Living Theater and has appeared in more than fifty feature films. He directed Martin Sheen in the film Da (1988).
James W. Douglass is a longtime peace activist and writer whose works include “The Nonviolent Coming of God” and “Resistance and Contemplation”. With his wife Shelley, he is cofounder of Mary’s House, a Catholic Worker house of hospitality in Birmingham AL, as well as the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Paulsbo, WA.
This is a benefit performance for the Dallas Peace Center. Tickets are $15. Online tickets purchases are through Teatro Dallas: www.teatrodallas.tix.com.