Meet the cast & creative team of The Minutes
The Minutes Press Day
by Kyle Morales
The Minutes, a comedic play by Tracy Letts, will open on Broadway at Studio 54 this Sunday, April 17, 2022. The Minutes previously had its premiere at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago in November of 2017, and began previews at the Cort Theatre in New York City in February of 2020. The play was scheduled to open on March 15, 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Minutes postponed their opening for two years.
The cast of The Minutes includes Ian Barford, Blair Brown, Cliff Chamberlain, K. Todd Freeman, Tracy Letts, Danny McCarthy, Jessie Mueller, Sally Murphy, Austin Pendleton, Noah Reid and Jeff Still. After performing only 19 previews in 2020, The Minutes is ready to have their long-awaited Broadway opening.
“The Minutes is a 90 minute comedy about a city council meeting in a small town, Big Cherry. It takes place in real time, 90 minutes straight shot, 11 characters on the stage for the entirety of the piece. I wrote the play during the 2016 presidential election, so it concerns itself with the way we conduct our politics in the United States. It’s not about Donald Trump–it’s not a Trump play–but it certainly is a part of our political moment, movement, happening, wherever we are.” said Tracy Letts, the playwright.
“I think of it like a show that’s wearing a mask that’s wearing a mask.”, shared Schitt’s Creek’s Noah Reid. “There are layers to what’s going on that my character Mr. Peele doesn’t understand, and the audience won’t understand either…the audience gets to go on the same journey with Mr. Peele of discovering what is happening in Big Cherry, and what’s happening at this particular council meeting, and what happened at the last one, and what does that mean for everyone involved…for the soul of America?”.
When asked if she had ever been in a situation like a city council before, Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller replied, “This is not the same, but I’ve almost been on jury duty as far as my public service has gone, but I didn’t get picked. I got to the point where I thought, this would be actually really interesting to see a closer look at how this works, and why we, as American citizens, are chosen to act in juries. I’ve never been to a council meeting, but I’ve seen clips of them, especially…during the pandemic there was that one clip that was going around because council meetings were happening on Zoom…one lady went to the bathroom or something and her camera was on. So I’ve watched that”.
“It’s been pretty special and pretty amazing that it’s taken this long for us to come to Broadway and…get ourselves here”, said director Anna D. Shapiro. “There’s never been any kind of drop of interest from the producers and the public to see it, and I think it’s because…Tracy Letts is one of this country's greatest playwrights…but more importantly, people are anxious to see how this art form can be in conversation with the political moment we’re in. American theater has a history of being engaged in commentary and editorializing the current moment, and it’s really important that we continue to support that as a community. It’s part of our dialogue as citizens, and I think it’s why this play just won’t die”.
What is Jessie Mueller most excited for audiences of The Minutes to see? “The 20th audience will literally see something that no one else in the world has ever seen. I feel like the play is even more raw and real, and I think it will hit audiences in a way that it did last time…I have to say, as the pandemic was taking shape before things got shut down, we saw a difference in the way the audience was reacting to the piece because of what was going on in the world. I feel as though after these two years, I’m so excited for people to bring their own experience, and for this to be a place for people to laugh and sort through that, and get to have amazing things to talk about afterward. This would be a great one to go to the bar and have a cocktail or a Shirley Temple after”.
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