Public LAB Series Launches Feb.4 with $2.7-Million Grant

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The Public Theater received an extraordinary 2.7 million dollar grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch "Public LAB," a vital new play series conceived and presented in association with LAByrinth Theater Company.  "Public LAB" will launch in February with Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles? by Adam P. Kennedy and Adrienne Kennedy and continue every month through the end of June.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's five-year grant is one of the largest grants ever received by the Public Theater and will be used, in part, to allow audiences to see these important new plays for only $10, cheaper than the price of a movie ticket.  Tickets are now on sale.

"Public LAB" is designed to respond to new work immediately, and present fresh, raw and relevant plays that embrace The Public's history as a theater receptive to the big issues, the public issues of our time.  In so doing, this innovative program creates a new model for the ways in which The Public engages with our artists and audience.  This important initiative will give writers the essential opportunity to realize their work in collaboration with director, designers and actors through production and most importantly, to see their work in front of an audience.  The plays will be minimally designed and have short rehearsal periods.

The playwrights selected for the inaugural season of "Public LAB" will be Adam P. Kennedy and Adrienne Kennedy; John Belluso; Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman; Naomi Wallace; Tracey Scott Wilson; Rebecca Cohen; and Scott Hudson.

MOM, HOW DID YOU MEET THE BEATLES?
February 4 – 23
By Adam P. Kennedy and Adrienne Kennedy
Directed by Peter Dubois

Playwright Adrienne Kennedy chronicles her search for fame and fortune in 1960's London, where she encountered Laurence Olivier, James Baldwin, Ricki Huston, various British writers and, of course, The Beatles. The Public is proud to welcome back one of our greatest living playwrights, Adrienne Kennedy, who has been a force in the American theater since the early 1960s and whose many works including Cities In Bezique and A Movie Star Has To Star In Black And White premiered at The Public.

THE POOR ITCH
March 7 – 23
By John Belluso
Directed by Lisa Peterson 

Ian is back from the war in Iraq without the use of his legs but with a full-blown case of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and a year's supply of OxyContin. Now, he has to face the person he has become after the war. Left unfinished by the late playwright John Belluso, director Lisa Peterson and a company of designers and actors fuse together the final drafts of the script to create a thrilling, highly theatrical interpretation of the writer's final work.

THE CIVILIANS' PARIS COMMUNE
April 4 – 20
By Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman
Directed by Steven Cosson

In 1871, working class Parisians overthrew the French government, declared Paris autonomous and launched an attempt to radically reinvent society. In this musical play, a versatile company of performers bring this explosive event to life. Since its founding in 2001 by Artistic Director Steven Cosson, the award-winning company The Civilians has created several original shows including the Off-Broadway hits (I am) Nobody's Lunch and Gone Missing.

THE FEVER CHART: THREE VISIONS OF THE MIDDLE EAST
April 25 – May 11
By Naomi Wallace
Directed by Jo Bonney

With stories set in three different locations in the Middle, Wallace's muscular and poetic writing finds beauty in the grotesque and explores political tensions by grounding them in the human issues of love, life, and death. Internationally-acclaimed playwright Naomi Wallace is best known for her deeply political plays, including One Flea Spare (The Public Theater) and The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, and is the recipient the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship.

THE GOOD NEGRO
May 16 – June 1
By Tracey Scott Wilson
Directed by Liesl Tommy

In a constantly shifting landscape, a trio of emerging black leaders tries to conquer their individual demons. The local KKK fights for its old way of life and everyday black men and women must overcome their fears, all under the ever-watchful eye of the FBI. Tracey Scott Wilson recently won the prestigious 2007 Weissberger award for this play.

PENALTIES & INTEREST
June 10- 28
By Rebecca Cohen
Directed by John Gould Rubin

The insular existence of office life is a petri dish for contemporary society, in which Lollie, Lyle and Amy try to keep their heads above water, and their boss, Dick, bobs up when they least expect it.  A LAByrinth Theater Company presentation.

SWEET STORM
June 28 – 29
By Scott Hudson
Directed by Padriac Lillis

Rain, clouds and a heavy wind blow love, revelation and honesty into the lives of two tree-bound newlyweds.  A LAByrinth Theater Company presentation.

"Public LAB" will begin performances on Monday, February 4 and continue every month through Monday, June 30.  The performance schedule is Tuesdays thru Fridays at 8 PM; Saturdays at 2 PM and 8 PM; and Sundays at 3 PM and 7 PM.  Check individual shows for additional and unavailable performances.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street.  All tickets are $10.

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

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