Pretend you’ve just read a really great “O Captain! My Captain!” joke.
Classic Stage Company has found its headliner for the theatre group’s upcoming world premiere of Dead Poets Society: Film and former SNL star Jason Sudeikis.
Sudeikis will play John Keating, the role originated on film in 1989 by Robin Williams, in playwright Tom Schulman’s adaptation of his own Academy Award-winning screenplay about an unconventional English teacher who inspires a group of over-pressured prep school boys to seek their passions and break the constructs of conformity lorded over them by their rigorous institution.
Director John Doyle, who most recently helmed the Tony-winning Broadway revival of The Color Purple, will direct Dead Poets at CSC. “I felt it important that we find an actor like Jason who brings a fresh perspective, and all at CSC are delighted that he will be joining us for this unique venture,” Doyle said in a statement announcing the casting.
Sudeikis shifted from writer to cast member on SNL in 2005 and spent close to a decade as a regular performer on the series. By 2013, he had departed in pursuit of an amped-up film career (including We’re the Millers, the Horrible Bosses franchise, and the recent Angry Birds Movie). On the TV front, Sudeikis is a featured player on Fox’s The Last Man on Earth and voices the titular He-Man in the network’s new fall sitcom, Son of Zorn.
Performances of Dead Poets Society begin on Oct. 27, with an opening set for Nov.17.