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TITUS ANDRONICUS Begins Previews Tomorrow at the Public Theater

The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Patrick Willingham) will present post-show discussions following select performances of the Public Lab production, TITUS ANDRONICUS, directed by Michael Sexton. The Public Lab Thursday Night Speaker Series for TITUS ANDRONICUS will be held following the Thursday, December 8 and Thursday, December 15 performances and consist of engaging conversations with notable panelists. Tickets are $15 for all performances and include free admission to the post-show discussions. TITUS ANDRONICUS begins previews on Tuesday, November 29 and runs through Sunday, December 18.

On Thursday, December 8, immediately following the 7:30 p.m. performance, a panel moderated by Barry Edelstein (Director of The Public’s Shakespeare Initiative) and featuring Michael Sexton (Director of Titus Andronicus) and David Scott Kastan (Professor of English at Yale University and author of Shakespeare and the Shapes of Time, Shakespeare after Theory, and Shakespeare and the Book) will focus on “Learning from the Past: A Panel on the Themes of TITUS ANRONICUS.” This panel will be co-hosted by The Shakespeare Society.

On Thursday, December 15, immediately following the 7:30 p.m. performance, a panel featuring Jay O. Sanders (playing Titus in the Public Lab production) and Isis Grant (an expert on gang violence and the head of Youth Empowerment Missions) will discuss “Eye for an Eye: A Panel on Cycles of Revenge in the 21st Century.”

In TITUS ANDRONICUS, Titus is Rome’s greatest general and the head of a noble Roman family. When his armies vanquish the Goths, their defeated queen unleashes a fury that rocks Titus’s city, devastates his children, and shatters his sense of self. The cycle of revenge is shocking, bloody, and all-encompassing, but expressed through poetry and theatricality as vivid, energized, and thrilling as anything in Shakespeare’s later works.

The Public Lab season continues in February with THE TOTAL BENT, from the creators of Passing Strange, Stew and Heidi Rodewald. The show begins performances on February 14 and runs through March 4. The Public Lab Speaker Series will take place following the THE TOTAL BENT performances on Thursday, February 23 and Thursday, March 1.

Now in its fifth season, Public Lab provides new opportunities for both our audiences and artists. Our audience gains access to more of the theater they love from The Public – both Shakespeare and new work – at the affordable price of only $15. Our artists, both emerging and established, gain a new platform to further develop their work on stage and in performance.

Barry Edelstein is in charge of The Public's Shakespeare Initiative, which oversees all Shakespeare production in Central Park and downtown – including the newly launched Mobile Unit tour to prisons, shelters, etc. – and which runs the Shakespeare Lab professional training program and The Public’s Shakespeare-related education and outreach programs. For The Shakespeare Initiative, Edelstein has supervised Measure for Measure, All’s Well that Ends Well, Love’s Labor’s Lost, The Merchant of Venice (also Associate Producer of the Broadway transfer), The Winter's Tale, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and Othello. His directing credits for The Public Theater include Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice (1995), and WASP and Other Plays. Edelstein was the dramaturg for three seasons of Joseph Papp’s “Shakespeare Marathon.” He was the Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company from 1998-2003. He has staged many productions of Shakespeare and others in NYC and around the country. As an author, his credits include Thinking Shakespeare (2007) and Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions (2009).

ISIS GRANT founded the Youth Empowerment Mission, Inc. in 1995. At that time it was the first community-run and gender-specific program designed as an alternative to incarceration in New York City. The organization has since provided vital services to over 800 youth and families in crisis. Over the past 17 years, Isis has spoken to thousands of young people, families, leaders, and law enforcement workers in an effort to save lives and inspire positive change. Isis has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Cornell, and Clark Atlanta University as well as visited countless public secondary schools throughout the country to spread her message of empowerment. A former gang member during her adolescence, she has created a system that inspires youths, and adults, to move forward and reclaim their lives. Isis holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Fisk University and a Master’s of Social Work from New York University.

David Scott KASTAN is currently the George M. Bodman Professor of English at Yale University, having previously taught at Columbia as the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities and at Dartmouth College. He is among the most widely read of contemporary scholars: among his books are Shakespeare and the Shapes of Time, Shakespeare after Theory, and Shakespeare and the Book. He has produced important scholarly editions of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part One, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus; and he edited the recent five-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature. He currently serves as one of the general editors of the Arden Shakespeare, as co-editor of the Bantam Shakespeare, and as the series editor of the Barnes and Noble Shakespeare. He is currently completing a book on Shakespeare and religion, called A Will to Believe.
Jay O. Sanders returns to The Public after playing Richard Apple in this season’s Sweet and Sad by Richard Nelson. He has also appeared at The Public in That Hopey Changey Thing, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stuff Happens, Taming of the Shrew, King John, Henry V, and Measure for Measure. His Broadway credits include Pygmalion, Saint Joan, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, and Loose Ends, and some of his many off-Broadway credits include The Argument, Lone Star Love, The Exonerated, and Buried Child.

Michael Sexton is the Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Society in NYC. He has directed New York premieres of plays by Rinne Groff, Will Eno, Marsha Norman, Tony Kushner, Caryl Churchill, Ain Gordon, Rogelio Martinez, Victor Lodato, Phil Porter, Chloe Moss, Marin Gazzaniga, Eric Gamalinda and RoseMary Moore. His work has been seen at Red Bull Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Manhattan Class Company, Classic Stage Company, Soho Rep, PS122, The Old Globe, Portland Center Stage, Playmakers Rep, Rising Phoenix Rep, SPF and the Cherry Lane Alternative. For The Shakespeare Society, he has programmed and directed events featuring John Douglas Thompson, Adam Gopnik, Michael Cerveris, Stephen Greenblatt, Martha Plimpton, James Shapiro, Robert Pinsky, F. Murray Abraham, David Scott Kastan, Richard Easton, Trevor Nunn, Denis O’Hare, Kathleen Chalfant, Estelle Parsons, Michael Cumpsty and many others. He has been a frequent guest artist at NYU’s Graduate Acting Program, the Juilliard School and Columbia University, where he has directed the works of Shakespeare, Moliere, Ostrovsky, Tirso de Molina, Brian Friel, Stephen Adly Guirgis and Suzan-Lori Parks. He has taught theater and Shakespeare at Princeton University, University of North Carolina and NYU. He co-edited with Tim Page Four Plays by Dawn Powell.
The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, 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 home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater’s mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through extensive outreach programs. Each year, more than 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 Theater’s productions have won 42 Tony Awards, 158 Obies, 42 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. Fifty-four Public Theater Productions have moved to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls…; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of HAIR; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice.


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