Edward Snowden to (Sort Of) Appear Onstage with Daniel Radcliffe in Public Theater’s ‘Privacy’


The New York Times reports that Edward Snowden will guest star via video conference from Moscow in Donmar Warehouse’s production of Privacy at New York’s Public Theater, alongside an in-the-flesh Daniel Radcliffe this Saturday. (Radcliffe is starring throughout the play’s run). The play’s creators, James Graham and Josie Rourke, have sought to collaborate with the former NSA agent since they conceived the play three years ago.

Their vision, for a documentary-theater-type production, deals with modern society’s push to make the personal public — a vision which of course coincides with Snowden’s initial fame for leaking government documents in 2013. Since then, they made repeated attempts to have Snowden appear in their London production of Privacy, but could not get to him before it premiered in 2014.

Recently, however, Snowden has made several public appearances, mostly by melodramatic Wired cover story, phallocentric Jon Oliver interview, or videoconference robot. Snowden’s ACLU lawyer finally confirmed last week that he would guest star in the production at the Public Theater in the East Village.

“He is hoping that the playwrights and actors here can take abstract concepts and make them more concrete for people who might not read N.S.A. documents at their computers,” said Ben Wizner of the ACLU.

Snowden will have a dialogue with Radcliffe consisting of some of Snowden’s former statements on privacy; it’ll also include quotes from Act III of The Tempest, which features prominently in the play. Rourke and Graham liked that the Shakespeare play was roughly the same length as the latest iTunes Terms and Conditions; they’ll thus have Snowden recite lines from Caliban’s speech about “a thousand twangling instruments.”