The Great Society

Playwright Robert Schenkkan returns to the Great White Way with this second play, celebrating LBJ's presidential legacy. This new work accompanies Schenkkan’s Tony Award-winning All The Way, which saw Bryan Cranston win his first Tony for "Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play" back in 2014 for his performance as the 1960s American president.

All The Way played the Neil Simon Theatre from February 10 through June 29, 2014, taking home the Tony Award for “Best Play.”

This production actually marks Schenkkan’s third Broadway outing as a playwright. In the fall of 1993, he made his Broadway debut as a writer with The Kentucky Cycle, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1992 and led to his first Tony Award nomination for “Best Play” in 1994.

Taking the reins from Bryan Cranston and carrying the LBJ baton into The Great Society, Brian Cox is also no stranger to the Great White Way, of course. Having made his Broadway debut back in February 1985 in Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude, he has gone on to make waves in the theatre with his performances in Yasmina Reza’s Art in 1998, Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll in 2007, and Jason Miller’s That Championship Season in 2011. A native of Dundee, Scotland, he also boasts a formidable résumé, when it comes to the UK stage. A two-time Olivier Award winner in his own right, he has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, alongside other esteemed establishments around the UK. He is one of the true veterans of the theatre with an intimidating stage presence more than capable of living up to the powerful figure of LBJ.

The Great Society depicts a crucial era in American history – including the rise of the Civil Rights Movement and the atrocities committed in Vietnam – and promises great writing, great acting and great drama.

(Photos by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

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Running time: 
2hrs 45mins (including 1 intermission)
7 images
About The Great Society:

Capturing Johnson’s passionate and aggressive attempts to build a great society for all, The Great Society follows his epic triumph in a landslide election to the agonizing decision not to run for re-election three years later. In an era that would define history forever: the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the destruction of Vietnam, and the creation of some of the greatest social programs America has ever known - and one man was at the center of it all: LBJ.


Robert Schenkkan
Jeffrey Richards and Louise Gund
Bill Rauch
David Weiner
Paul James Prendergast
David Korins
Linda Cho
Cast list:
Brian Cox (as Lyndon B. Johnson), Gordon Clapp (as J. Edgar Hoover), Grantham Coleman (as Martin Luther King Jr.), Marchánt Davis (as Stokely Carmichael), Brian Dykstra (as Adam Walinsky), Barbara Garrick (as Ladybird Johnson), David Garrison (as Richard Nixon), Ty Jones (as Reverend Ralph Abernathy), Marc Kudisch (as Richard J. Daley), Christopher Livingston (as James Bevel), Angela Pierce (as Pat Nixon), Bryce Pinkham (as Senator Robert F. Kennedy), Matthew Rauch (as Robert McNamara), Nikkole Salter (as Coretta Scott King), Richard Thomas (as Hubert Humphrey), Tramell Tillman (as Bob Moses), and Frank Wood (as Senator Everett Dirksen)
Other info:
Projections by Victoria Sagady
The Great Society Performance Dates & Times
Previews from: 
September 6, 2019
Opening date: 
October 1, 2019
November 30, 2019

Performance schedules for all shows are subject to change.

Vivian Beaumont Theater - Lincoln Center Theater

50 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
Nearest subway station:
66th Street - Lincoln Center station

Latest The Great Society News & Features

Brian Cox in The Great Society
A New York Theatre Guide to... The Great Society!
November 5, 2019

After the phenomenal success of playwright Robert Schenkkan’s first ‘LBJ Play’ All The Way, which took home the 2014 Tony Award for ‘Best Play,’ Mr. Schenkkan has returned to Broadway with a second instalment revolving around the LBJ presidency. Directed by Bill Rauch, The Great Society began performances at the Vivian Beaumont Theater (at Lincoln Center Theater) on September 6, 2019, officially opening on October 1.   Brian Cox as Lyndon B. Johnson What’s it all about?

Brian Cox as LBJ
New York Theatre Guide at the Opening Night of The Great Society on Broadway
October 2, 2019

LBJ is back on the Great White Way! Last night, the New York Theatre Guide headed to Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater to celebrate the official opening of The Great Society. Following on from playwright Robert Schenkkan's 2014 Tony Award-winning "Best Play" All The Way, starring Bryan Cranston as President Lyndon Baines Johnson, this second chapter in "The LBJ Plays" sees Emmy Award winner Brian Cox taking the baton and portraying LBJ's mighty attempts to build The Great Society in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam era.

Brian Cox in The Great Society
Official Broadway production photos released for The Great Society, starring Brian Cox
September 24, 2019

Take a look at LBJ! Producers of the Broadway premiere of The Great Society have now released official production photos, featuring Emmy Award winner Brian Cox as President Lyndon B. Johnson alongside the rest of the Broadway company.

Our The Great Society Review

Like Lyndon B. Johnson with his great society programs, playwright Robert Schenkkan tries to do too much. Focused on building a domestic agenda — Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, and Food Stamps — Johnson, the consummate politician is overtaken by his times — by the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. Similarly, Schenkkan is taken by the cosmic balancing act that is the Johnson... Read more