Courage in Concert

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Production dates: October 19, 2009
Venue: The Public Theater
Directed by: George C. Woolfe
Literature: Bertholt Brecht

The Public Theater, Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori presented "Courage in Concert", a one-night-only benefit concert reuniting Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Jenifer Lewis, Austin Pendleton and Frederick Weller for an evening of songs from the Public Theater's 2006 Shakespeare in the Park production of Brecht's masterpiece, "Mother Courage and Her Children". The benefit was performed at The Public Theater on Monday, October 19th with all proceeds benefiting American Jewish World Service and Partners In Health. The cast of "Hair" along with special guests Daniel Craig, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Linda Emond joined the performers to complete the evening. Translated by Tony Kushner with music by Jeanine Tesori.

Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Jenifer Lewis, Austin Pendleton, Frederick Weller, Daniel Craig, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Linda Emond and the cast of “Hair”
Production Photos

Before the benefit performance, Tony Kushner said, “When you work on or watch or read the plays of Bertolt Brecht you’re compelled to ask yourself questions about the relationship between art and the troubled world outside. These questions are complicated, have no easy answers. Three summers ago, we presented Mother Courage and Her Children directed by George C. Wolfe and I think I can speak for everyone involved that the experience was thrilling, moving, and left many of us wanting to extend our encounter with this immense play and its provocations. Jeanine Tesori, Meryl Streep and I have been discussing putting together a concert version of the score as a benefit. Together we chose two groups whose work we admire enormously: American Jewish World Services and Partners In Health. Both AJWS and PIH insistently call attention not only to the needs of the poor but to the underlying causes of their poverty. The connection they forge between understanding and action is the connection at the heart of Brecht’s play.” Said Meryl Streep, “I am delighted to reunite with my friends from Mother Courage to benefit two extraordinary organizations,” said Meryl Streep. “Both American Jewish World Service and Partners In Heath are deeply inspiring in their profound efforts to alleviate poverty and disease around the world.” (source: The Public Theater)