Lin-Manuel Miranda's HAMILTON, Todd Almond's THE WINTER'S TALE, New Musical THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE & More Set for Public Theater's 2014-15 Season
Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham announced the line-up today for The Public's 2014-15 season, continuing the theater's nearly six-decade tradition of producing theater that is accessible to all. The Public stages Shakespeare and the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental works in equal measure while engaging a wide range of audiences and artists at its six downtown theaters at Astor Place, including Joe's Pub, as well as the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Beginning in September, The Public's 59th season will include three world premiere musicals, a free Public Works musical adaptation of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale at the Delacorte, new plays by Suzan-Lori Parks, Young Jean Lee, and Lemon Andersen, the 11th edition of the acclaimed Under the Radar Festival, the continuation of the Mobile Shakespeare Unit, an exciting Public Forum line-up, New Work Now!, the Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series, and Public Studio, a new performance series dedicated exclusively to developing the work of emerging writers. The Public Theater's acclaimed production of Here Lies Love will also continue its commercial Off-Broadway run in the LuEsther Hall where it was conceived.
"The Public's commitment to make theater that matters is brilliantly reflected in the power and diversity of the 2014-15 season," said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "Starting with the return of the thrilling Public Works Shakespeare at the Delacorte, and proceeding through three explosive new musicals and major new work by Suzan-Lori Parks and Young Jean Lee, this season is truly of, by and for the people. This is work that we have developed and nurtured, and the artists have responded with astounding bravery and creativity."
The Public's 2014-15 season will begin in September with a free Public Works musical adaptation of Shakespeare's THE WINTER'S TALE, directed by Public Works Director Lear deBessonet. Following last season's acclaimed Public Works' The Tempest that featured over 200 actors and community members, THE WINTER'S TALE will once again be an unforgettable community event that will include music and lyrics by Todd Almond and run for three nights only, September 5-7, at the Delacorte Theater.
Following the success of the recent musicals Fun Home, Giant, and Here Lies Love, The Public will present three world premiere musicals beginning in the fall with THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, based on the nationally best-selling novel of the same name by 2005 MacArthur Fellow Jonathan Lethem. The musical features a book by Itamar Moses, music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, and is conceived and directed by Daniel Aukin.
In January, the previously announced new musical HAMILTON, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and directed by Thomas Kail, will have its premiere in the Newman Theater. From the groundbreaking team behind the Tony Award winning-musical In The Heights comes a wildly inventive new show about the life, death, and rhymes of a scrappy young immigrant who forever changed America: Alexander Hamilton.
In the spring, Stew and Heidi Rodewald, the creative team behind the smash hit Passing Strange, return to The Public with a thrilling new musical directed by Joanna Settle, THE TOTAL BENT. The world premiere musical about the passions that divide a father and son as they make their music and make their choice between salvation and selling out will return to the Anspacher Theater for a five-week run after being developed as part of Public Lab in 2011.
The season will also feature three new plays beginning with FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3) by Pulitzer Prize winner and Public Theater Master Writer Chair Suzan-Lori Parks. Developed as part of Public Lab, Jo Bonney will return to direct this deeply personal epic about love and hope in a world of impossible choices.
STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, written and directed by Young Jean Lee, will have its New York premiere in November with Austin Pendleton, Scott Shepherd, Pete Simpson, and James Stanley. Lemon Andersen's first full-length play, TOAST, directed by Elise Thoron, will have its world premiere as part of Public Lab in the spring.
At Joe's Pub at The Public, Bridget Everett will stage a full theatrical run of her new show ROCK BOTTOM, which was originally commissioned as part of the Joe's Pub 2013 New York Voices series. Written by Everett with Tony Award-winning songwriting duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz and Matt Ray, the show is directed by Wittman.
The Public's celebrated Public Forum series returns for its fifth and most adventurous season to date. Curated by Public Forum Director Jeremy McCarter, the Forum presents the theater of ideas: conversations and performances about the way we live now. The hugely popular Drama Club series - a "book club for plays" - will once again invite great artists and leading thinkers to read and discuss great one-act plays, and Forum Duets will bring together lively minds from theater and other corners of American life for freewheeling conversations about culture, politics, and more.
The Mobile Shakespeare Unit will once again tour in November, bringing free Shakespeare to the community and strengthening audience engagement with the arts. Following a three-week tour of the five boroughs, the Shakespeare production will have a limited sit-down engagement at The Public for three weeks in November.
The Under the Radar Festival, curated by Co-Artistic Directors Mark Russell and Meiyin Wang, will celebrate its 11th edition in January with some of the most exciting new artists from around the world.
"I am very excited that this upcoming season at The Public will offer world premiere musicals, new plays, Shakespeare as well as build on our new initiatives Public Works, Mobile Shakespeare Unit, Public Forum, and Public Studio that seek to engage and welcome new audiences," said Executive Director Patrick Willingham. "Going into our 59th season, we will continue to create theater that is accessible to all and to serve as a home for artists and the community to explore the important issues of our time."
THE PUBLIC THEATER MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM offers patrons the opportunity to purchase significantly discounted tickets to shows and events throughout the year for an annual $60 (tax-deductible) donation. Memberships are available at www.publictheater.org or by calling 212-967-7555. Single tickets for the 2014-15 season will go on sale later this year.