URBAN RETREAT & MANAHATTA Set for Public Theater's Inaugural Public Studio Series
The Public Theater has announced a new writers' initiative today, PUBLIC STUDIO, which will present two new plays this spring by emerging and up-and-coming playwrights. The two plays will run in repertory from May 15 to May 25 in The Public's Shiva Theater and will be presented as pared-down productions with the low ticket price of only $10. Following in the footsteps of the acclaimed Public Lab series, PUBLIC STUDIO is conceived as a way to build on The Public's mission to support new and emerging artists and to continue making new work accessible to all audiences.
PUBLIC STUDIO is made possible with the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Time Warner Foundation.
In this inaugural year, PUBLIC STUDIO will present URBAN RETREAT by A. Zell Williams, directed by Liesl Tommy, in repertory with MANAHATTA, written by Public Theater Emerging Writers Group alumni Mary Kathryn Nagle and directed by Kate Whoriskey. In its inaugural year, the two Public Studio plays will rehearse for two weeks then run in repertory with each piece receiving seven performances over the course of ten days.
Last year, The Tow Foundation launched a new Playwright Residency program designed to provide an annual salary and benefits to an emerging playwright. A. Zell Williams has been awarded this one-year residency to provide him with the time and resources to write generally as well as develop URBAN RETREAT.
"It is vital for early career writers to gain that invaluable experience of developing their work on its feet, in the rehearsal room with directors and actors and in front of an audience," said Associate Artistic Director Mandy Hackett. "Public Studio will do just that: allow writers to delve deeply into their work and provide opportunity for growth and discovery. Our inaugural year will feature two remarkably talented and exciting emerging writers. Zell and Mary Kathryn are two distinct and exhilarating new voices writing ambitious and important new plays. We are delighted to share their work with our audiences with the launch of this new program."
PUBLIC STUDIO is a new performance series dedicated exclusively to developing the work of emerging writers. In a laboratory environment, writers will be in rehearsal with actors and a director, incorporate bare bones design elements, and open the process to an audience over a series of performances. More than a reading or workshop, but not a full production, this middle step affords early career writers the important opportunity to deepen their experience of working collaboratively over an extended rehearsal period and to see their work staged in front of an audience.