'Dry Powder': a Comedy to Ignite Economic Debate

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

John Krasinski, Hank Azaria and Claire Danes star in 'Dry Powder' at The Public Theater. John Krasinski, Hank Azaria and Claire Danes star in 'Dry Powder' at The Public Theater. (Joan Marcus/The Public Theater)

Dry Powder, a new play that just debuted at The Public Theater, is bringing the same discussions about the world of finance to the stage as the film The Big Short brought to the movies. The title refers to cash reserves or highly liquid assets, which are central to playwright Sarah Burgess's plot about an executive facing a PR nightmare after throwing himself a lavish party at the same time his firm is forcing layoffs.

The play comes to The Public with a big endorsement as co-recipient of this year’s Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, given to an unproduced full-length play by an emerging playwright. The award comes with a $25,000 prize for the playwright and $50,000 for the company first mounting it. It also boasts a star-studded cast, featuring Claire Danes, Hank Azaria and John Krasinski, in his stage debut. Meanwhile, its director, Thomas Kail, has another show running now in New York — perhaps you've heard of it: Hamilton.

New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood lets us know his investment in the production. 

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