Jason Sudeikis to Star in 'Dead Poets Society' on Stage

Photofest; Vera Anderson/WireImage

The actor will play unconventional English professor John Keating, one of Robin Williams' most iconic film roles, in the world-premiere drama adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter Tom Schulman.

Jason Sudeikis is seizing the day.

The Saturday Night Live alumnus has signed on to play the lead in the new stage version of Dead Poets Society. Sudeikis will take on the role of anti-conformist English professor John Keating, made famous by Robin Williams in the 1989 movie.

Adapted by Tom Schulman from his Oscar-winning screenplay, the drama will have its world premiere at off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company in a production by CSC's new artistic director, John Doyle. The play begins previews Oct. 27, with an official opening set for Nov. 17.

Sudeikis has deep roots on the stage in improv comedy, performing with various Second City companies during the early part of his career and continuing to make frequent appearances at New York's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

Dead Poets Society will mark Sudeikis' first dramatic role for the stage, playing the inspirational teacher who shares his love of poetry with his students at a conservative all-boys prep school, urging them to embrace their potential to lead extraordinary lives.

"I felt it important that we find an actor like Jason who brings a fresh perspective," said Doyle, who is currently represented on Broadway with his Tony-winning revival of The Color Purple. "All at CSC are delighted that he will be joining us for this unique venture."

Sudeikis' upcoming screen roles include the sci-fi thriller Colossal, opposite Anne Hathaway and Dan Stevens; and the all-star heist comedy Masterminds, with Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.

Additional casting for Dead Poets Society will be announced in the coming weeks.