Virtual Off-Broadway Theater: PLAY THE LINE (The Public)

Post image for Virtual Off-Broadway Theater: PLAY THE LINE (The Public)

by Gregory Bernard on May 25, 2021

in Theater-New York,Virtual


The Public Theater’s The Line, written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen and directed by Blank, was first performed live on Zoom on July 8, 2020, and the world premiere play was viewed more than 55,000 times in 18 countries during its limited streaming run last summer. Crafted from firsthand interviews with New York City medical first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Line cuts through the media and political noise to reveal the lived experiences of frontline medical workers in New York and their battle to save lives in a system built to serve the bottom line. Back online by popular demand for eight weeks, this timely drama is available to watch now on-demand via The Public’s Play Now platform through Monday, June 21, 2021 FREE at The Line.

The company: Santino Fontana (David), Arjun Gupta (Vikram), John Ortiz (Oscar), Alison Pill (Jennifer), Nicholas Pinnock (Dwight), Jamey Sheridan (Ed), and Lorraine Toussaint (Sharon). THE LINE features original music composition by Aimee Mann and Jonathan Coulton.

“Immediate and urgent, The Line bears the marks of a rapid response.” 
– Alexis Soloski, The Guardian

“If you are not too squeamish to sit through an hour of firsthand testimony drawn from interviews conducted during the onset of the pandemic, ‘The Line’ … will be glad to make you flinch and cry.”
– Jesse Green, New York Times Critic’s Pick

“Simultaneously infuriating and affecting, unsparing and gentle.”
– Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New Yorker

Public Play Now is a new digital destination where you can watch, listen, and enjoy The Public Theater’s programming, including Joe’s Pub, all in one place. Featuring a wide range of digital content, Public Play Now includes previously released audio plays like shadow/land, Romeo y JulietaShipwreck, and Richard II; exciting Joe’s Pub Concerts; Public Forum civic discussions and panels; the Public Works documentary Under the Greenwood Tree; show clips and behind-the-scenes content from our past productions; and more! Visit

This season has been unlike any The Public has experienced before. The Public continues to be unable to gather in-person in theaters and is navigating immense challenges because of the global coronavirus pandemic, and in response to the long overdue reckoning around racism in the country and in the theater community, The Public has begun interrogating its practices and systems to move closer to being an inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist organization. This is a moment of uncertainty, transformation, action, and accountability. There is much work to be done, but The Public’s mission has not changed, and artists and their voices play a critical role in this moment too.

With our theaters still closed and in-person programming on pause, The Public Theater has had to contend with unprecedented institutional challenges throughout the past year, including an operating budget that has contracted significantly, substantial furloughs among full-time staff, and a lack of employment opportunities to offer the freelance artistic community. The Public continues to rely on its community of loyal supporters who stand alongside the organization as it upholds its mission during this uncertain time. With the generous contributions of supporters as the only current source of revenue, The Public continues to reimagine theater for the digital space, support a range of artistic voices in making new work, and share it with a growing global audience. Become a Partner or a Supporter of The Public Theater today at

The Public Theater strives to make its performances, digital content, and facilities accessible to all patrons and visitors. THE LINE is available with closed captioning in English, Spanish, and Mandarin; American Sign Language interpretation; and audio description. For additional information or if you have questions, need assistance, or an accommodation to access our digital content, please email

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