Hawke, Gurney, Etc. Take Part in Public's 'New Work Now!'

The Public Theater has announced the fall line-up for "New Work Now!," a nationally recognized festival of free play readings that showcases a new generation of artists for the American Theater.  "New Work Now!" will begin Monday, October 23rd and run through Monday, November 6th.

In addition to its regular program of new plays, this season's "New Work Now!" will turn a spotlight on the Arab/Israeli conflict with an Arab/Israeli Festival. Joined by The Flea Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Nibras and the Arab-American Comedy Festival, The Public will present plays by Israeli, Arab and American playwrights that were born of and respond to the turmoil in the Middle East, including Joshua Sobol and Motti Lerner, two of Israel's leading playwrights who will be coming to New York for the festival. All Arab/Israeli Festival readings will be followed by panel discussions.

"Over the past decade, "New Work Now!" has become the backbone of The Public Theater's mission to develop new work. Full Public Theater productions developed in "New Work Now!" include the critically acclaimed musical Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori, the 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, as well as Dirty Tricks by John Jeter, Kit Marlowe and Measure for Pleasure by David Grimm, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot by José Rivera, and Stop Kiss and Satellites by Diana Son," state press materials.

The "New Work Now!" fall schedule is as follows:

Things We Want

By Jonathan Marc Sherman / Directed by Ethan Hawke

"A lovelorn cooking-school drop-out returns home to the family apartment. When his older brother leaves for a business trip, his middle brother tries to fix things the only way he knows how. A year later, his older brother tries to fix things somewhat differently."

Monday, October 23rd at 8:30pm

[Arab/Israeli Festival]

Written by Joshua Sobol

Adapted by Barry Edelstein from an English language version by Joshua Sobol

Directed by Barry Edelstein

"Written by Israel's leading playwright and based on a true story, iWitness chronicles the life and death of Franz Jaegerstaetter, a farmer in World War II Germany who was jailed for refusing to wear the Nazi uniform."

Tuesday Oct. 24th at 8:30pm

In the Red and Brown Water

By Tarell McCraney / Directed by Tina Landau

In a manner both mythic and commonplace and suffused with Southern rhythms, In the Red and Brown Water charts fast dreaming Oya's powerful ascent into womanhood and her tumultuous fall into murky waters.

Wednesday, October 25th at 8:30pm

When the Bulbul Stopped Singing [Arab/Israeli Festival]

Adapted from the diaries of Raja Shehadeh by David Greig

Directed by JoAnne Akalaitis

"Acclaimed Palestinian lawyer, activist and writer, Raja Shehadeh describes how his world was affected during the Israeli siege of Ramallah in 2002."

Thursday, October 26th at 8:30 pm

New York Theatre Workshop and Nibras [Arab/Israeli Festival]

Program A:

"New York Theatre Workshop and Nibras, an Arab-American theater collective, present readings of new plays in progress featuring an untitled one-woman show by Najla Said, Between Our Lips by Nathalie Handal and directed by Shana Gold, and Power Lunch by Kia Corthron."

Friday, October 27th at 8:30pm

New York Theatre Workshop & Nibras [Arab/Israeli Festival]

Program B:

"New York Theatre Workshop and Nibras, an Arab-American theater collective, present readings of new plays in progress featuring an untitled one-woman show by Leila Buck, La Cosa Dei Sogni by Nathalie Handal, and Lebanon by Nibras."

Saturday, October 28th at 8:30pm

The Good Negro

By Tracey Scott Wilson / Directed by Leisl Tommy

"A fictional account of the everyday struggles faced by the men and women on the front lines of the Civil Rights struggle and the FBI investigators who silently track their every move."

Sunday, October 29th at 7:00pm

THE MURDER OF ISAAC [Arab/Israeli Festival]

By Motti Lerner translated from the Hebrew by Anthony Berris

Directed by Irene Lewis

In an Israeli trauma ward, wounded veterans and other victims of violence reenact the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in an effort to make sense of personal and national tragedies, written by one of Israel's most exciting writers.

Monday, October 30th at 8:30pm

Americans Respond: An Evening of Short Plays in Response to the Crisis in the Middle East [Arab/Israeli Festival]

Leading American playwrights – including Public Theater alumni Steven Adly Guirgis, Naomi Wallace and David Grimm - contribute world-premiere short pieces in response to the crisis in the Middle East. The plays will be followed by a Town Hall discussion featuring the writers.

Wednesday, November 1st at 8:30pm

Celebrity Row

By Itamar Moses / Directed by Oskar Eustis

"Colorado Supermax is the most secure prison in the United States. When Latin Kings leader Luis Felipe is transferred there, civil liberties attorney Maze Carroll attacks his sentence as unconstitutional. But Felipe and his new neighbors -Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, and Ramzi Yousef - have other ideas about how to use her assistance."

Thursday, November 2nd at 8:30pm

Untitled Darfur Play

By Winter Miller / Directed by Joanna Settle

"For journalists and aid workers, there is a line between telling the story and becoming the story, between saving a life and breaking a code of ethics. There are victims with secrets that must not be revealed. The reading will be followed by a panel discussion on the crisis in Darfur."

Friday, November 3rd at 7:30pm

Again and Against-The Art of Hoping Indefinitely [Arab/Israeli Festival]

By Betty Shamieh / Directed by Robert O'Hara

"A Palestinian-American graduate student is detained and interrogated by an Arab-American FBI agent, who tells her that her boyfriend used her as a pawn in a terrorist plot. She must now figure out whether or not to believe the agent and reveal evidence that may entrap her lover and herself."

Saturday, November 4th at 8:30pm

A Sneak Preview of the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival at Joe's Pub

[Arab/Israeli Festival]

"The New York Arab-American Comedy Festival is the largest comedy festival in the United States that brings together Arab-American artists who showcase a unique and edgy brand of humor."

Saturday, November 4th at 11:00pm

O Jerusalem [Arab/Israeli Festival]

By A.R. Gurney / Directed by Jim Simpson

Produced by The Flea Theater

"First produced by the Flea Theater on the eve of the War in Iraq, O Jerusalem tells the story of an American State Department official who gets mired in the politics of the Middle East in the days before, during, and after the events of 9/11."

Monday, November 6th at 8:30pm

"New Work Now!" readings are free and open to the public. Reservations are arranged by calling 212-967-7555 from 10AM to 9PM Monday through Sunday. There is a limit of two reservations per reading. Reserved tickets must be picked up 15 minutes prior to starting time, at which time unclaimed tickets will be released to people on the waiting list. Please note that events at Joe's Pub have a $12 food or 2 drink minimum per person.  Visit for more on the Public Theater.

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