The Public's 2016-17 Season to Feature Nia Vardalos, David Byrne's Alex Timbers-Helmed SAINT JOAN, GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM with Harvey Fierstein & More!

Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham announced the line-up today for The Public's 2016-17 season. For over six decades, The Public continues to make art that is of, by and for the people. Fundamentally democratic, artist driven and radically inclusive, The Public stages Shakespeare and the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental works in equal measure at its six theaters at Astor Place, including Joe's Pub, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home of Free Shakespeare in the Park and in communities across all five boroughs with the Mobile Unit. The Public is also currently represented on Broadway with the acclaimed new play Eclipsed, and the award-winning musicals Fun Home and Hamilton.


The Public's 61st season will include a free Public Works musical adaptation of Twelfth Night at the Delacorte; two free Mobile Unit tours to the five boroughs; a new musical by David Byrne that reunites him with his Here Lies Love director Alex Timbers; new plays by Lynn Nottage, UNIVERSES, and John Leguizamo; a world premiere by Martin Sherman featuring Harvey Fierstein; the return of Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra to Joe's Pub at The Public; the continuation of Richard Nelson's election year cycle plays, The Gabriels; the previously announced first major New York revival of David Hare's Plenty featuring Corey Stoll and Rachel Weisz; a stage adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's beloved book featuring Nia Vardalos and directed by Hamilton's Thomas Kail; the 13th edition of the acclaimed Under the Radar Festival; a dynamic Public Forum line-up; Public Studio; and the Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series.

"The Public is firing on all cylinders and this season reflects the tremendous diversity of our work," said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "From a major revival of one of our iconic masterpieces of the last century, Plenty; to the latest brilliant workings of David Byrne and Alex Timbers, Saint Joan; from the climax of Richard Nelson's astounding Gabriel family plays; to the premiere of Lynn Nottage's Sweat, this season is as exciting as New York itself. It is a season that embraces American history in all its diversity, from the revolutionary experience of Party People to the gorgeous and elegiac Gently Down the Stream, and the amazing John Leguizamo's Latin History For Morons. Two beautifully intimate pieces round out our season: Ethan Lipton's sequel to the Obie Award-winning No Place to Go, The Outer Space, and Tiny Beautiful Things. Tiny Beautiful Things is an adaptation by writer Nia Vardalos and director Tommy Kail of Cheryl Strayed's beloved and powerful book."

Joe's Pub at The Public will welcome back several performance residencies, including Employee of the Month with Catie Lazarus, The Meeting * Hosted by Justin Sayre, Women of Letters, and The Losers Lounge. In addition, Joe's Pub will again present annual favorites like Toshi Reagon's Birthday Shows, DanceNOW and more. Programming initiatives like New York Voices, Pub Club, and collaborations with arts organizations Kimmel Center (Philadelphia) and Lott Entertainment @ MATCHouston will continue and expand this season. The Library at The Public is open nightly for food and drinks, beginning at 5:00 p.m., with an American menu created by Chefs Andrew Carmellini and Brian Plante, featuring local ingredients and New York influence.

THE PUBLIC THEATER MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM offers patrons the opportunity to purchase significantly discounted tickets to shows and events throughout the year for an annual $65 (tax-deductible) donation. Memberships are available at www.publictheater.org or by calling 212-967-7555. Tickets for the 2016-17 season will go on sale later this year.


THE PUBLIC THEATER'S 2016-17 SEASON:

Public Works at the Delacorte Theater (Free)
Musical Adaptation of Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT
Conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub
Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
Music and Lyrics by Shaina Taub
September 2 - 5, 2016

Public Works, The Public's local and national initiative that invites diverse communities across New York to join in creating ambitious works of theater, celebrates its fourth year at the Delacorte with an enchanting new musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night with music and lyrics by the critically acclaimed songwriter Shaina Taub. Professional artists and community members from partner organizations in all five boroughs perform together on stage in this love story that follows the young heroine Viola, who disguises herself as a man when she washes up on the shores of Ilyria. When Viola's new boss, Duke Orsino, sends her to win over his unrequited love, the Countess Olivia, Viola's disguise proves too effective, and the Countess falls for the young girl dressed as a boy instead. Artistic Director of Baltimore's Center Stage, Kwame Kwei-Armah, directs this musical fever dream about love in all its many disguises, and transformative power of walking a mile in another's shoes.

World Premiere Three-Play Cycle
THE GABRIELS: Election Year in the Life of One Family
Play Two: WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?

Written and Directed by Richard Nelson
Featuring Meg Gibson, Lynn Hawley, Roberta Maxwell, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, Amy Warren
September 10 - October 2; Opening Night: Friday, September 16, 2016

Tony-winning writer and director Richard Nelson returns to The Public this fall with the next play in his new three-play cycle, THE GABRIELS: Election Year in the Life of One Family. The second play, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?, brings us back to the kitchen of the Gabriel family, with the country now in the midst of the general election for president. In the course of one evening in the house they grew up in, history (both theirs and our country's), money, politics, family, art and culture are chopped up and mixed together, while a meal is made around the kitchen table.

First Major New York Revival
PLENTY
Written by David Hare
Directed by David Leveaux
Featuring Corey Stoll and Rachel Weisz
October 4 - November 6, 2016

One of the most celebrated plays in The Public's history, David Hare's PLENTY returns this fall in a riveting new production. This groundbreaking play, which first premiered at The Public in 1982, is the story of Susan Traherne, a fiercely intelligent British secret agent flown into France during the Second World War. Susan's experiences among her war-time colleagues and over the two decades that follow are distilled in powerful scenes in this endlessly layered work about a woman of remarkable bravery, who cannot find in peacetime the values and relationships she cherished in war.

New York Premiere
SWEAT
Written by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Kate Whoriskey
October 18 - November 20, 2016

The Public presents the New York premiere of SWEAT, the "extraordinarily moving drama" (The New York Times) by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Ruined, Lynn Nottage. With warm humor and tremendous heart, Sweat tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the line of a factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in the hard fight to stay afloat. Kate Whoriskey (Ruined) directs this stunning new play about the collision of race, class, family and friendship, and the tragic, unintended costs of community without opportunity.

New York Premiere
PARTY PEOPLE
By UNIVERSES: Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, Steven Sapp, William Ruiz aka Ninja
Choreography by Millicent Johnnie
Directed and Developed by Liesl Tommy
November 1 - December 4, 2016

UNIVERSES, the award-winning ensemble known for their fusion of theater, poetry, jazz, hip-hop, politics, down home blues and Spanish boleros, makes their Public Theater premiere with an explosive new work about the complicated legacies of the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords Org/Party. Directed and developed by Tony Award nominee Liesl Tommy, UNIVERSES created PARTY PEOPLE based on dozens of interviews with members of these groundbreaking, society-changing groups. PARTY PEOPLE imagines a present-day reunion at an art opening curated by two young counter culturalists; but the curators themselves have complex relationships with the Party members, who fought injustice and provided free food and medical care for their communities-often at the expense of the people who loved them most. Old wounds and generational divides collide in this astonishing, multi-media theatrical event about the price of being a revolutionary, and what it means for those who come after. Breaking the bounds of the expected, the members of UNIVERSES (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp and William Ruiz aka Ninja) and Liesl Tommy -invite audiences of every age, color and creed to join them as they continue to revolutionize American theater and explore the fight to bring power to the people, and the people to power.

World Premiere Three-Play Cycle
THE GABRIELS: Election Year in the Life of One Family
Play Three: WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE

Written and Directed by Richard Nelson
Featuring Meg Gibson, Lynn Hawley, Roberta Maxwell, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, Amy Warren
November 4 - November 27; Opening Night: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

In the exquisitely moving finale of his three-play cycle, Tony-winning writer and director Richard Nelson brings us back into the Rhinebeck kitchen of the Gabriel family as they await the results of the Presidential Election on November 8, 2016. WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE takes place in the course of a single night, eight months after we first meet the Gabriels. Patricia, the family matriarch, joins her children and daughters-in-law as they prepare a meal from the past and consider the future of their country, town and home. Paying tribute to the difficult year behind them, the Gabriels compare notes on the search for empathy and authenticity at a time when the game seems rigged and the rules are forever changing.

World Premiere
TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS
Based on the Book by Cheryl Strayed
Adapted for the Stage by Nia Vardalos
Co-Conceived by Marshall Heyman, Thomas Kail, & Nia Vardalos
Directed by Thomas Kail
Featuring Nia Vardalos as "Sugar"
November 15 - December 18, 2016

Academy Award-nominated writer and actress Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) makes her Public Theater debut with a richly funny, uniquely uplifting new play she has adapted from the bestselling book Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, the internationally acclaimed author of Wild. Vardalos is Sugar, the online advice columnist who thousands of people have turned to for words of wisdom, honesty and hope. As anonymous readers come to her with their deepest and most personal problems, Sugar-who ultimately revealed herself to be Strayed-finds a way to weave her own life experiences together with theirs, creating a beloved column about the monstrous beauty, endless dark and glimmering light at the heart of being human. Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail (Dry Powder, Hamilton) directs this powerful new play about reaching when you're stuck, healing when you're broken, and finding the courage to take on the questions which don't have an answer.

13th Edition
UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL
January 4 -15, 2017

Curated by UTR Director Mark Russell, the 13th edition of this highly-anticipated 12-day downtown winter festival will bring together exciting artists from around the world who are redefining the act of making theater.

World Premiere
SAINT JOAN
Written by David Byrne
Directed by Alex Timbers
February 14 - March 19, 2017

Once upon a time, there was a girl who talked to God. She built a nation, and they burned her for it. Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winner David Byrne, lead singer of the Talking Heads and creator of The Public's hit Here Lies Love, explores the electrifying, meteoric rise of Joan of Arc through the lens of a one-of-a-kind rock musical concert. Directed by Golden Globe winner Alex Timbers (Here Lies Love, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), SAINT JOAN is a thrilling and provocative new show about challenging the powerful and believing in the impossible.

New York Premiere at Joe's Pub at The Public
THE OUTER SPACE
Written by Ethan Lipton
Music composed and performed by Ethan Lipton, Vito Dieterle, Eben Levy, Ian Riggs
Directed by Leigh Silverman
February 24 - April 2, 2017

This season, Ethan Lipton (No Place to Go, Red-Handed Otter) returns to The Public with a new adventure in bittersweet and hilariously off-kilter storytelling. With music by Vito Dieterle, Eben Levy and Ian Riggs and performed by the quartet (Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra), THE OUTER SPACE follows one married couple as they leave the noise, pollution and overpriced rents of Earth for the vast beauty and treacherous terrain of the final frontier. But can they survive the journey? Leigh Silverman (No Place to Go, Well, Violet) directs this out-of-this-world musical about the sacrifices we make for sustainable living and love. The New York Times calls Obie-winning playwright and songwriter Ethan Lipton an "expert at keeping music, jokes and personal narrative tightly knitted together into one consistent human package."

World Premiere
GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM
Written by Martin Sherman
Directed by Sean Mathias
Featuring Harvey Fierstein
March 14 - April 16, 2017

Tony winner Harvey Fierstein takes the stage this spring in a ravishing world premiere by one of the most influential playwrights of our time, Tony Award nominee Martin Sherman. Directed by Tony Award nominee Sean Mathias, Fierstein plays Beau, a pianist expat living in London, who meets Rufus, an eccentric young lawyer, at the dawn of the internet dating revolution. After a life spent recovering from the disappointment and hurt of loving men in a world that refused to allow it, Beau is determined to keep his expectations low with Rufus. But Rufus comes from a new generation of gay men who believe happiness is as much their right as anyone else's, and what Beau assumed would be just another fling grows into one of the most surprising and defining relationships of his life. A remarkably moving, brilliantly funny love story that reflects the triumphs and heartbreaks of the entire length of the gay rights movement, celebrating and mourning the ghosts of the men and women who led the way for equality, marriage and the right to dream.

New York Premiere
JOHN LEGUIZAMO: LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS
Written by and featuring John Leguizamo
Directed by Tony Taccone
In a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre
March 17 - April 23, 2017

Emmy and Obie Award winner John Leguizamo schools his son-and the rest of us-on the buried and forgotten history of Latinos in the Americas in this outrageously funny one-man show about uncovering the truth, and recovering from the past. Inspired by the near total absence of Latinos in his son's American history class, Leguizamo embarks on a frenzied search to find a Latin hero for his son's school project. From a mad recap of the Aztec empire to stories of unknown Latin patriots of the Revolutionary War and beyond, Leguizamo breaks down the 3,000 years between the Mayans and Ricky Ricardo into 90 irreverent and uncensored minutes in his trademark style. Artistic Director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Tony Taccone, directs this incendiary new show from one the most provocatively hilarious satirists in American theater.




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