Jesse Eisenberg’s ‘The Spoils’ comes to life on ‘The New Group Off Stage’

Jesse Eisenberg’s ‘The Spoils’ comes to life on ‘The New Group Off Stage’

In “The Spoils,” Jesse Eisenberg has created a character that is so loathsome, he can’t escape criticism from anyone — including himself. But lest you feel too sorry for the leading actor, rest assured, this play is a comedy.

Written by Eisenberg (and starring him, too), the “deeply personal and probing” play debuted in 2015 on the New Group stage. Now, as the theater remains shuttered, the original cast is reuniting for a special reading of the work. Set to stream July 30 at 7 p.m., the broadcast will benefit the New Group and the Immigrant Freelance Artists for Theatre Fund. Those who miss the livestream can catch the program on-demand through Aug. 2.

For $25 ($10 for the sold-out early-bird ticket buyers), viewers will hear from Eisenberg, Erin Darke, Kunal Nayyar, Annapurna Sriram and Michael Zegen.

Jesse Eisenberg and Kunal Nayyar in "The Spoils." Photo: Monique Carboni.
Jesse Eisenberg and Kunal Nayyar in “The Spoils.” Photo: Monique Carboni.

“The play is a comedy and it’s accessible, there are familiar elements,” Eisenberg said in an interview with London Theatre in 2016, when the Scott Elliott-directed play was running on the West End. “But I’d also say that it discusses things that are more substantive, themes such as immigration, race, privilege, capitalism — stuff I’m interested in and stuff that in the theatre fits well.”

The reading is presented as part of the New Group’s “Off Stage” series, which features a trove of digital content — including benefit productions, workshops, educational programs and conversations.

The next entry into the reunion reading benefit calendar is Beth Henley’s “The Jacksonian.” Starring Juliet Brett, Ed Harris, Jane Krakowski, Amy Madigan and Bill Pullman, the play will stream Aug. 27 at 7 p.m., after which it will be available to watch on-demand through Aug. 30.