Alison Pill and Santino Fontana

Live-streamed play THE LINE, starring Santino Fontana and Alison Pill, will premiere July 8

Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's new docu-play about first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic is produced by The Public Theater.

Broadway theaters might be closed until 2021, but The Public Theater is going virtual with new play production. The world premiere live-streamed play THE LINE, written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen and directed by Blank, will premiere on July 8 at 7:30PM ET. The stream will be available to watch for free via YouTube and The Public Theater's website

The play chronicles the first-person stories of first responders in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic. The complete cast will feature Santino Fontana, Arjun Gupta, John Ortiz, Alison Pill, Nicholas Pinnock, Jamey Sheridan, and Lorraine Toussaint. 

"In spring 2020, we conducted anonymous interviews with NYC frontline medical workers battling the COVID-19 virus," said Blank and Jensen in a statement. "Through these interviews, we began to see care as a radical response to institutionalized violence and the systems that perpetuate it.  Created from quarantine in 'rapid response' to this national emergency, THE LINE presents a fundamental redefinition of what it means to protect and serve, examining the fault lines in our system through the words of the brave people who show up every day to care for us all."

Known for their documentary-style plays like The Exonerated, Aftermath, and Coal Country, Blank and Jensen took narratives from first responders and examines their day-to-day lived experience during this time. The play will be available to watch for free online until August 4. 

"We owe our lives to the frontline workers who are fighting through the COVID-19 crisis, and they have an astounding story to tell—one that demands we listen," Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis said in a statement. "The pandemic has exposed deep fissures in our country, and these brave women and men are throwing light into those dark places."

Originally published on

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