Ron Rifkin as Bernie Sanders!

By Marc Snetiker
May 01, 2017 at 03:27 PM EDT
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Credit: Andrew Toth/FilmMagic; John Lamparski/WireImage

Ellen Burstyn will play Elizabeth Warren — yes, you read that correctly — in the one-night-only staged reading of All the President’s Men? Scenes from the Senate Confirmation Hearings of President Trump’s Cabinet.

The Public Theater and London National Theatre co-production is essentially exactly what its title suggests: Verbatim quotes and speeches from the tumultuous confirmation hearings of Donald Trump’s highest-level political nominees, delivered with urgent panache by a cast of stage veterans.

Initial casting for the event includes Burstyn, Ron Rifkin (Bernie Sanders), Denis O’Hare (Orrin Hatch, Lindsey Graham), Joe Morton (Benjamin L. Cardin, James M. Inhofe, Patrick J. Leahy), Aasif Mandvi (Scott Pruitt, Todd Young), David Costabile (Tom Price, Chris Coons), Staceyann Chin (Mazie K. Hirono), and New Yorker editor David Remnick (Al Franken). Further casting — for roles like Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions — will be announced shortly.

The “documentary theater” event is edited and directed by Nicolas Kent and was previously performed April 24 at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End theatre district with a different cast. The new production, with the actors noted above, will take place May 11 at Town Hall in New York City starting at 8 pm. ET.

“Sometimes the most powerful theater is reality, distilled,” Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis says. “I’m immensely proud of All The President’s Men?, Nicolas Kent’s superb rendition of the Cabinet confirmation hearings which have just concluded. The theater is not always a rapid-response medium, but when it can be, it’s electrifying. This is a real-time portrait of the American government, and it is as riveting as the headlines and far, far more revelatory. It’s like reading the news lit by lightning.”