April 21 - May 10

General Admission
Ticket Price: $20.00
Member Price: $15.00

Click here for details about free first performances

Post-show talkbacks: Weds, Apr 29 & Thurs, May 7

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ToasT, is an electrifying new play by acclaimed spoken word artist and Tony Award® winning writer Lemon Andersen (The Public’s County of Kings: The Beautiful Struggle, HBO’s “Def Poetry”), directed by Andersen’s County of Kings collaborator Elise Thoron

A Public Theater commission first presented at The Public’s Under the Radar Festival, ToasT ingeniously weaves major characters from black oral narratives into a gripping story about a group of inmates fighting to keep their minds free amidst the 1971 riots that rocked Attica Prison.  After 27 years served for murder in Attica’s D-Block, Willie Green, aka the legendary Dolomite, has become an unlikely father figure to his cellmates, folklore heroes like Jesse James, Hobo Ben, Annabelle Jones, Stackolee and Hard Rock. When word brews throughout Attica that a riot is coming, Dolomite has to decide whether to join in or bet on the quickly approaching chance to taste freedom.

Honoring the spoken word narratives recited in pool halls, bars and prisons across America by generations of black poets, ToasT is a stunning new play about men trying to live free in a system—and a world—designed to keep them chained.

TOAST was developed, in part, at the Sundance Institute Theatre Program. Funding for the development of TOAST is provided by Time Warner Inc., and the MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

Special Events

In 1965, on the picket lines of Cesar Chavez’s Delano Grape Strike, Luis Valdez founded El Teatro Campesino when he and a group of workers began producing short skits or “actos” to dramatize the conditions of migrant farmworkers, with the workers themselves playing the parts.  The company went on to work with Peter Brook, win Obie Awards, and present the first play by a Latino writer on Broadway, Valdez’s Zoot Suit, the film version of which would also earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical or Comedy.


To celebrate the company’s 50th Anniversary, Public Forum presents two of those original actos as part of its celebrated Drama Club series with a cast of major Latino talents and thinkers, including Valdez and his son Lakin Valdez, artist-in-residence with Teatro Campesino, as well as journalist and activist Maria Hinojosa and spoken word artist and playwright Lemon Andersen. With immigration and the plight of the working class once more in the news, these sharp, funny plays will provoke an illuminating discussion into whether art can change social policy and how protest can also be poetry.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

All orders subject to $5 per ticket service fee and $2 per ticket facility fee. Service fees are waived when you buy in person at the Box Office. All fees are waived for Public Theater Members and Partners. Plays, titles, actors, directors, programs, venues, and performance dates and times are subject to change.

Public Lab 
By Lemon Andersen
Directed by Elise Thoron


Featuring Phillip James Brannon, Dan Butler, Teddy Cañez, Keith David, Hill Harper, John Earl Jelks, Jonathan Earl Peck, and Armando Riesco