Photo Flash: The Public Theater Presents IDIOT SAVANT

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Presented in association with Ontological-Hysteric Theater, previews for IDIOT SAVANT continue through November 3. The show opens officially on Wednesday, November 4 and runs through Sunday, December 13.

Joining headliner Willem Dafoe as the title character is Alenka Kraigher as Marie; Elina Löwensohn as Olga; and Joel Israel, Eric Magnus, and Daniel Allen Nelson as Slaves.

Marie asks the Idiot Savant, "But what makes certain words - magic?" What follows is a wild theatrical odyssey that could only have sprung from the fantastical mind of Richard Foreman, New York's legendary avant-garde genius. This new work is a philosophical comedy, in the great tradition of Ionesco and Preston Sturges. From precise existential and metaphysical acrobatics, to a ridiculous game of inter-species golf with a Giant Duck, IDIOT SAVANT is a fresh, bracing and hilarious exploration of the boundaries of the legitimate.

"Richard Foreman is an absolutely unique artist whose collaborations with The Public Theater have yielded great riches for over 35 years," said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "I am delighted to welcome back to The Public one of the most inspiring innovators the American theater has ever seen."

IDIOT SAVANT will feature scenic design by Peter Ksander and Richard Foreman; costume design by Gabriel Berry; lighting design by Heather Carson; and sound design by Travis Just.

Richard Foreman (Playwright and Director) returns to The Public, where he has directed The Threepenny Opera (1977), Penguin Touquet (1981), Three Acts of Recognition (1982), Don Juan (1982), Egyptology: My Head Was A Sledgehammer (1983), The Golem (1984), Large Desolato (1986), What Did He See? (1988), and Venus (1996).The Founder and Director of Ontological-Hysteric Theater since 1968, he has written, directed and designed more than 50 of his own plays in New York City and abroad. Among his honors are 10 OBIE Awards (five for Best Play, four for Best Director, and one for Sustained Achievement); a MacArthur "Genius" fellowship; a Guggenheim fellowship; the Literature Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters; a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Theater from the National Endowment for the Arts; the PEN Club Master American Dramatist Award; and election to the Order of Arts and Letters of France.

Willem Dafoe (Idiot Savant) is a two-time Academy Award nominee for his performances in Shadow of the Vampire (2001) and Platoon (1987). Among his numerous film credits are The Last Temptation of Christ, Mississippi Burning, Wild at Heart, The English Patient, American Psycho, Clear and Present Danger, the Spider-Man trilogy, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, and upcoming films Antichrist and Daybreakers. He is a founding member of the legendary experimental theater company The Wooster Group.

JOEL ISRAEL (Slave) has appeared in Richard Foreman's plays Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland and Wake Up Mr. Sleepy! Your Unconscious Mind Is Dead! He recently performed in and created the audio performance art piece Reluctant at the HERE Arts Center.

Alenka Kraigher (Marie). Her theater credits include Lust (HB Studio) and Leaves of Grass (The Cell Theatre). She has appeared in the films The Slovenian Girl, Kuriosity, and The Rooster's Breakfast.

ELINA LÖWENSOHN (Olga). Her film and television credits include Schindler's List, Nadja, I'm Not Rappaport, Basquiat, The Wisdom of Crocodiles, "Seinfeld," A Very Long Engagement, Dark Water, and the HAl Hartley films Flirt, Simple Men, Amateur, and Fay Grim.

ERIC MAGNUS (Slave) most recently appeared in Richard Foreman's play Astronome: A Night At The Opera at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater.

Daniel Nelson (Slave) co-created and performed in Spoleum (Ontological-Hysteric Theater), Sedimentary, Veils/Vestiges, Famous Actors, and two theatrical adaptations of Tom Breidendach's poetry, Pharmacose and Bleat.

THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Andrew D. Hamingson, Executive Director) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation's preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals, and productions of classics at its downtown and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day onstage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, over 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe's Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public has won 42 Tony Awards, 149 Obies, 40 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. The Public has brought 52 shows to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk; On the Town; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Well; Passing Strange; and, most recently, the current Tony Award-winning revival of Hair. www.publictheater.org.

IDIOT SAVANT began previews October 27 and continue through Sunday, December 13 with an official press opening on Wednesday, November 4 at 8pm. The Performance schedule is Tuesday at 7pm; Wednesday through Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm and 8pm; and Sunday at 2pm and 7pm.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street. Tickets are $60 for all performances with the exception of Saturday evenings, which are $70.

Subject to availability, $20 Rush Standby tickets will be sold 60 minutes before each performance at the Public Theater Box Office. The number of tickets varies from performance to performance. Limited two tickets per person. Cash only.

Subject to availablity, $25 Student Tickets can be purchased in advance at the box office for every Public Theater performance on sale to the general public. Must have a valid student ID at the time of purchase. Limit one ticket per person. Cash only.

To purchase tickets, call 212-967-7555 or visit www.publictheater.org.

Photo credit is Joan Marcus

Photo Flash: The Public Theater Presents IDIOT SAVANT
Elina Lowensohn and Alenka Kraigher

Photo Flash: The Public Theater Presents IDIOT SAVANT
Willem Dafoe

Photo Flash: The Public Theater Presents IDIOT SAVANT
Elina Lowensohn , Willem Dafoe, Alenka Kraigher and the company

Photo Flash: The Public Theater Presents IDIOT SAVANT
Willem Dafoe

Photo Flash: The Public Theater Presents IDIOT SAVANT
Alenka Kraigher and Elina Lowensohn

Photo Flash: The Public Theater Presents IDIOT SAVANT
Willem Dafoe and Alenka Kraigher

Photo Flash: The Public Theater Presents IDIOT SAVANT
Elina Lowensohn , Willem Dafoe, Alenka Kraigher and the company

Photo Flash: The Public Theater Presents IDIOT SAVANT
Willem Dafoe and Alenka Kraigher

Photo Flash: The Public Theater Presents IDIOT SAVANT
Willem Dafoe, Alenka Kraigher and the company

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