The Great Society Continues the Examination of LBJ's Presidency

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Kenajuan Bentley) and President Johnson (Jack Willis) confer about the Voting Rights Act in 'The Great Society.'

Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way, this year’s Tony winner for best play and for its leading actor, Bryan Cranston, was a hefty drama about Lyndon Johnson and the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination. But, in fact, it was only half the story: The Great Society is the name of Schenkkan’s sequel.

The new play made its world premiere this summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and will be seen this fall, alongside All the Way, at the Seattle Repertory Theater. New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood traveled to Ashland, Ore., to see the new production that focuses on LBJ's administration from 1965-1968.