Public Theater Announces 2013-14 Season; Jeanine Tesori's FUN HOME Musical, Richard Nelson's REGULAR SINGING Included in Line-Up!
Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham announced the line-up today for The Public's 2013-2014 season, continuing the theater's nearly 60 year tradition of producing 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. The Public's 58th season will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the acclaimed Under the Radar Festival and the 15th anniversary of the world-renowned Joe's Pub.
"This season - whether classics, new plays, musicals or experimental ensembles - speaks to the way we live now," said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "We will bring you the triumphant return (and climax) of Richard Nelson's Apply Family Plays, the heartbreaking and gorgeous new musical Fun Home, and Tarell Alvin McCraney's thrilling Antony & Cleopatra, in a collaboration between England and America's leading Shakespeare companies. We are deeply proud of the range and depth of the work of these remarkable artists and are delighted to add them to the rich history of The Public Theater."
The Public's 2013-2014 season will premiere two new musicals, beginning with FUN HOME, based on Alison Bechdel's acclaimed graphic novel, with music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, and directed by Sam Gold.
The New York premiere of the new musical, A SECOND CHANCE, with book, music, and lyrics by Ted Shen and direction by Jonathan Butterell, explores the powerful journey faced by a recent widower and divorcée who meet in mid-life.
Tony Award winner Richard Nelson has premiered a new Public Lab play every year at The Public, since 2010, about the fictional Apple family of Rhinebeck, New York. This fall, The Public will present all of THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS in repertory, including the world premiere of the fourth and final play in the series, REGULAR SINGING. Opening night for the final play will be Friday, November 22, 2013 - the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination.
As part of an international collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and GableStage in Miami, award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney will return, as The Public's artist in residence, to direct a radical new version of Shakespeare's ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, setting the play in the 18th century, sun-soaked Saint-Domingue on the eve of revolution.
The Wallace Shawn-André Gregory Project, a co-production with Theatre for a New Audience, is a celebration of the remarkable collaboration between these two theatrical legends. This long overdue retrospective of Shawn's work begins in June with THE DESIGNATED MOURNER and continues in the fall with the American premiere of GRASSES OF A THOUSAND COLORS. These two projects give Wallace Shawn an opportunity to appear on the New York stage again under André Gregory's direction.
Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks continues her longstanding residency as The Public's Master Writer Chair with this Public Lab production of FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3), an explosively powerful drama directed by Jo Bonney about the mess of war, the cost of freedom, and the heartbreak of love. All tickets are only $20.
The Civilians' THE GREAT IMMENSITY, written and directed by Steven Cosson, with songs by Michael Friedman, will premiere as part of Public Lab with all tickets only $20. Presented in association with The Civilians, this New York premiere is about a woman who uncovers a mysterious plot surrounding an international climate summit.
Following sold-out performances at Joe's Pub at The Public this past season, master monologist Mike Daisey will premiere ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, a major theatrical event where he will perform 29 new monologues in 29 consecutive days over the course of the lunar month.
Elevator Repair Service, one of America's most acclaimed theater ensembles, returns with their latest piece, ARGUENDO, a co-production with The Public Theater about a First Amendment case brought before the Supreme Court by a group of go-go dancers.
The acclaimed Foundry Theatre's production of GOOD PERSON OF SZECHWAN will re-open at The Public, under the skilled direction of The Public's Director of Public Works Lear deBessonet. This theatrical classic will feature Taylor Mac in the lead along with the rest of the original cast members, and include original, live music by César Alvarez with The Lisps.
"As a center for culture, arts, and ideas, it is our job to be a place where our community can grapple with the important issues of the day, and our 2013-2014 season allows us to do just that," said Executive Director Patrick Willingham. "I am very pleased that this season continues to embody our mission to provide great cultural experiences for all people through the diversity of artists, mediums, and accessible forms of work we are producing this season."
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 by calling 212-967-7555. Single tickets for the 2013-2014 season will go on sale later this year.
2013-2014 DOWNTOWN SEASON:
THE Wallace Shawn-ANDRÉ GREGORY PROJECT
A co-production with Theatre for a New Audience, The Wallace Shawn-André Gregory Project is a celebration of a remarkable theatrical collaboration. Wallace Shawn is one of America's most significant playwrights, long overdue for a major retrospective. André Gregory, his My Dinner with André co-star, has been directing Shawn's plays for 40 years, and as part of this retrospective, he directs Shawn's two most recent plays; the first New York revival of the acclaimed masterwork The Designated Mourner and the American premiere of the profoundly provocative Grasses of a Thousand Colors. Shawn is a multifaceted figure: an internationally famous character actor as well as an incomparably courageous playwright whom critics have placed in the first rank of contemporary dramatists. Gregory is the acclaimed director who has brought his most challenging works to fruition, including Our Late Night, Shawn's first play in New York City which was presented at The Public Theater in 1975.
THE DESIGNATED MOURNER is a monologue-triptych in which three artist-intellectuals recount their experiences as their once-liberal country sinks into political crisis. A famous poet-intellectual, his daughter, and her husband-people made of very different moral fiber despite their shared highbrow interests-witness the subtle and flagrant transformations of everyday life, public affairs and personal relationships until they finally are dragged into the middle of things themselves. This searing and disturbing drama, prescient of much that occurred during the Bush/Obama years, has been called Shawn's masterpiece.
Shawn's most outlandish work to date, GRASSES OF A THOUSAND COLORS is a disturbing and anomalously beautiful play that explores the role of human beings in nature and the role of nature in human beings, sexuality being as Shawn says, "nature's most obvious footprint in the human soul." The play's central character is a doctor who believes he has solved world hunger when he figures out how to rejigger the metabolisms of animals to tolerate eating their own kind. This has unexpected consequences. The play tells a story about the doctor, his wife, and his lovers, that is also a story about human beings and animals and the planet we live on.
Provocative monologist Mike Daisey, hailed as "the master storyteller" by The New York Times, returns to The Public with a breathtakingly epic theatrical event: a story told over the course of a lunar month, a new monologue every night, in 29 unique performances. Each evening works alone as a single episode, but together they tell a vast story that spans the globe and stretches across the 20th century to the present day and beyond, weaving together the secret history of the space race, notorious art forgeries, the angry ghosts of class and communism, and the still-beating heart of the military industrial complex. With hilarity and biting satire he will strive like Scheherazade to tell a story night after night, using our American empire as a backdrop to illuminate our moment here at the dawn of the corporate age. Audiences can be part of this epic experience as well as tune in online to experience the largest story ever attempted in the American theater.
Last year, The Public Theater co-produced, to great acclaim, GATZ (a unique word-for-word staging of The Great Gatsby) created and performed by Elevator Repair Service (ERS), one of America's most acclaimed theater ensembles. This season, The Public reunites with ERS for a co-production of ARGUENDO, a playful riff on the 1991 Supreme Court case Barnes v. Glen Theatre. In this provocative case, a group of exotic dancers, citing the First Amendment, challenged a ban on public nudity. ERS stages the oral argument of the case verbatim with their signature theatricality, wit and physical precision. The production design features a breathtaking swirl of animated text projections by celebrated visual artist, Ben Rubin. ARGUENDO was co-commissioned by The Public Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University.
From four-time Tony Award-nominated composer Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change) and Tony-nominee Lisa Kron (In The Wake, Well) comes a fresh, daring new musical based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family's Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father's hidden desires. Directed by Sam Gold, FUN HOME is a groundbreaking world-premiere musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.
The Foundry Theatre's Production of
GOOD PERSON OF SZECHWAN
By Bertolt Brecht
Translation by John Willett
Directed by Lear deBessonet
Featuring Kate Benson, Ephraim Birney, Vinie Burrows, Clifton Duncan, Jack Allen Greenfield,
Annie Golden, Brooke Ishibashi, Paul Juhn, Mia Katigbak, Lisa Kron, Taylor Mac,
David Turner, and Darryl Winslow
With Original Live Music by César Alvarez with The Lisps
October 18-November 24, 2013
Can we practice goodness and create a world to sustain it? In this comic and complex play, one of Brecht's most entertaining characters, Shen Tei, the good-hearted, penniless, cross-dressing prostitute, is forced to disguise herself as a savvy businessman named Shui Ta to master the ruthlessness necessary to be a "good person" in a cruel world of limited resources. The award-winning Foundry Theatre and Director Lear deBessonet bring this theatrical classic to life for the 21st century with Taylor Mac in the lead and original live music by César Alvarez with The Lisps.
THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS: SCENES FROM LIFE IN THE COUNTRY
Written and Directed by Richard Nelson
October 22-December 15, 2013
Each year since 2010, Tony Award winner Richard Nelson has premiered a new play at The Public about the fictional, liberal Apple family of Rhinebeck, New York. This year, the award-winning ensemble that has come to embody Nelson's fascinating family will be reunited once more as the first three Apple plays triumphantly return, in repertory, along with the world premiere of the fourth and final play in this powerful and timely series.
These plays about family, politics, change, and the way we live today burst with remarkable immediacy. Each of THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS originally premiered on the night on which it is set. In THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING, the Apples reflect on the state of their family and discuss memory, manners and politics as polls close on mid-term election night 2010 and a groundswell of conservative sentiment flips Congress on its head. In SWEET AND SAD (The New York Times, New York Magazine, Bloomberg, Top 10 of 2011) a family brunch stirs up discussions of loss, remembrance and a decade of change. And SORRY (The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Daily News, Bloomberg, Top 10 of 2012) which premiered last fall, finds the Apples sorting through family anxieties and confusion on the day of electing the President.
The fourth and final play in this captivating series, REGULAR SINGING, will open on November 22, 2013 - the 50th Anniversary of JFK's assassination that shocked the world. REGULAR SINGING is a Public Lab production with all tickets $20.
UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL
January 8-19, 2014
This acclaimed 12-day festival, curated by Mark Russell and Meiyin Wang, showcases cutting-Edge Theater from around the U.S. and the world, with all performances at The Public Theater's downtown home at Astor Place.
In an exciting international collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and GableStage in Miami, The Public welcomes back writer/director Tarell Alvin McCraney (The Brother/Sister Plays) as its new artist in residence with ANTONY & CLEOPATRA. At the fringes of a war-torn empire, a man and a woman have fallen desperately, passionately in love. But for a soldier set to enforce the imperial will and the queen of a people intent on throwing off the yoke of empire, there is no place for personal desire. McCraney creates a stripped down, radical new version of Shakespeare's gripping story of romance set against a world of imperial politics and power play and transports us to 18th century, sun-soaked Saint-Domingue on the eve of revolution. RSC in America is presented in collaboration with The Ohio State University.
Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, The Book of Grace) continues her longstanding residency as The Public's Master Writer Chair with FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3), an explosively powerful drama about the mess of war, the cost of freedom, and the heartbreak of love. PART 1 introduces us to Hero, a slave who must choose whether or not to join his master on the Confederate battlefield. In PART 2, a band of rebel soldiers test Hero's loyalty as the cannons approach. PART 3 finds Hero's loved ones anxiously awaiting his return. FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3) is a profound and powerful tale about love and hope in a world of impossible choices.
A stirring musical journey, A SECOND CHANCE is the story of a recent widower and a divorcée who meet in mid-life. Presented with the overwhelming challenge of freeing themselves from their painful pasts, neither feels they deserve to find new love and happiness. Yet, unanticipated feelings awaken within them both, passionately drawing them together and leading them to uncover something they both least expected to find.
Public Lab: All tickets $20
In a thrilling and timely production, presented in association with the celebrated investigative theater company, The Civilians, THE GREAT IMMENSITY is a continent-hopping thriller following a woman, Phyllis, as she pursues someone close to her who disappeared from a tropical island while on an assignment for a nature show. Through her search, Phyllis uncovers a mysterious plot surrounding the upcoming international climate summit in Auckland. As the days count down to the Auckland Summit, Phyllis must decipher the plan and possibly stop it in time. With arresting projected film and video and a wide-ranging score of songs, THE GREAT IMMENSITY is a highly theatrical look into one of the most vital questions of our time: how can we change ourselves and our society in time to solve the enormous environmental challenges that confront us?