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PRETTY HUNGER and TEENAGE DICK Set for Public Studio This Spring


The Public Theater announced the third season line-up for PUBLIC STUDIO, which will present two new plays this spring by emerging and up-and-coming playwrights.

In this third year, PUBLIC STUDIO will present PRETTY HUNGER by Public Theater Emerging Writers Group alumna Patricia Ione Lloyd, directed by Martha Banta, running March 10 through March 19. The second show, TEENAGE DICK by Mike Lew, will be directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel and run March 24 through April 2. TEENAGE DICK is originally commissioned by The Apothetae Theatre Company, which is dedicated to the production of full-length plays that explore and illuminate the "Disabled Experience" through works featuring characters with disabilities or dealing with "disabled" themes.

Continuing Oskar Eustis' 10th Anniversary season, the two plays will run in succession in The Public's Shiva Theater and be presented as pared-down productions with the low ticket price of only $10, building on The Public's mission of accessibility for all and supporting emerging artists to continue making new work accessible to all audiences.

"We are excited to welcome Patricia Ione Lloyd and Mike Lew to Public Studio this season," said Associate Artistic Director Mandy Hackett. "Both writers have written explosive plays - Ione's Pretty Hunger exploring race and identity in a bold, electrifying fashion and Mike's Teenage Dick taking a brilliant, fresh look at Shakespeare's Richard III to spin a contemporary tale of adolescence, disability and bullying. These are two thrilling writers to watch."

The cast of PRETTY HUNGER features Tony Gonzalez (Bette Davis Dancer), Meredith Holzman (Tammy), Mel Johnson Jr. (Old Black Man), Maurice Jones (James), Martin LaPlatney (Old Jew), Matthew Steffens (Bette Davis Dancer), David Turner (Bette Davis), and Kara Young (Lea). The cast of TEENAGE DICK features Apothetae member Shannon DeVido (Buck), and Apothetae Artistic Director Gregg Mozgala (Richard). Complete casting will be announced at a later date.

All tickets for PUBLIC STUDIO are only $10. Member tickets are available now and single tickets will be available on Monday, February 22 by calling (212) 967-7555,, or in person at The Taub Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street. There will be a Talk Back discussion immediately following the performance of TEENAGE DICK on Thursday, March 31 at 7:00 p.m. which will include Michael Sexton from the Shakespeare Society, as well as Gregg Mozgala from The Apothetae Theatre Company.

PUBLIC STUDIO features scenic coordination by Ryan Howell, costume design by Montana Levi Blanco, lighting design by Lucrecia Briceno, and sound design by M. Florian Staab.

PUBLIC STUDIO is a performance series dedicated exclusively to developing the work of emerging writers. In a laboratory environment, writers rehearse 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. Previous Public Studio plays include Ping Pong by Rogelio Martinez, Fidelis by Christina Gorman, Manahatta by Mary Kathryn Nagle, and The Urban Retreat by A. Zell Williams.

PUBLIC STUDIO was founded with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Time Warner, Inc. Continued support for Public Studio is provided by The Time Warner Foundation. The Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Development Fund at The Public Theater supports the creation and development of new plays.

ABOUT PRETTY HUNGER: Lea is a biracial kid with a big imagination. But her wildest dreams can't prepare her for the day when her mother brings home a stranger to babysit. With the help of her imaginary friend, Bette Davis and the Classic Movie Channel, Lea must navigate the space between her mother's savage love and her father's wandering heart. Martha Banta directs Public Theater Emerging Writers Group alum Patricia Ione Lloyd's moving and hilarious new play about growing up, carrying our parents' baggage, and what it means to be a woman of color.

PATRICIA IONE LLOYD (Pretty Hunger Playwright) is a current New York Theater Workshop fellow and alumna of the 2015 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater. She is resident playwright at the University of Mumbai, Brown University (through the Africana Studies Department), and the International Theatre & Literacy Project in Tanzania. Her work has been developed by The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Red Bull Theatre, Dixon Place, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, New York LGBTQ Center, Fire This Time Festival, and others. She is the recipient of New Professional Theatre's Emerging Playwright Award, and best play award from DUTF for her play Train Bound for Glory.

MARTHA BANTA (Pretty Hunger Director)'s select New York productions include new work at Rattlestick EST, New York Theater Workshop, New Georges, Lambs Theater, Clark Theater/Lincoln Center, and Urban Stages. Her regional credits include productions at Portland Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theater, St. Louis Rep, Westport Playhouse, Merrimack Rep, Capital Rep., Vineyard Arts, Berkshire Theater Festival, as well as University productions at Juilliard, NYU Graduate, Stony Brook, Ramapo, and Dartmouth. Banta is the founding Artistic Director for first 13 years of the Adirondack Theater Festival in Glens Falls, and served many years as Artistic Associate at New York Theater Workshop. She was Assistant Director for the original production of RENT, directed RENT in Germany and Japan, as well as supervised London, Broadway and tour productions, as well as the Associate Director for MAMMA MIA! on Broadway and the national tour.

ABOUT TEENAGE DICK: A brilliantly hilarious take on Shakespeare's classic tale of power lust, TEENAGE DICK reimagines the most famous disabled character of all time as a 16-year-old outsider in the deepest winter of his discontent: his junior year at Roseland High. Picked on because of his cerebral palsy (as well as his sometimes creepy Shakespearean way of speaking), Richard is determined to have his revenge and make his name by becoming president of the senior class. But as he manipulates and crushes the obstacles to his electoral success, Richard finds himself faced with a decision he never expected would be his to make: is it better to be loved or feared? Tony-nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel directs Mike Lew's devastatingly funny, sharply written new play about perception, disability and the lengths we're willing to go to rise above our station in life... and high school.

MIKE LEW (Teenage Dick Playwright)'s plays include Tiger Style! (Alliance and La Jolla Playhouse productions; O'Neill, CTG, Huntington, and Juilliard workshops); Teenage Dick (Public Studio; O'Neill, FST, and PF workshops); Bike America (Ma-Yi and Alliance productions); microcrisis (Ma-Yi, InterAct, and Next Act productions); Stockton (AracaWorks and EST workshops); People's Park (Victory Gardens workshop); In Paris You will Find Many Baguettes... (Humana); Roanoke (Humana); and Moustache Guys. He is a Tony voter, Dramatists Guild Council member, and recipient of a NYFA fellowship as well as the Lanford Wilson, Helen Merrill, Heideman, and Kendeda Awards. He is co-director of Ma-Yi Writers Lab and trained at Juilliard and Yale.

MORITZ VON STUELPNAGEL (Teenage Dick Director) directed Robert Askins' Hand to God on Broadway earning five Tony nominations, including Best Director and Play. His other NYC credits include Hand to God (MCC Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre; SDC Callaway nomination, Lortel nomination); Nick Jones' Important Hats of the Twentieth Century (MTC); Mike Lew's Bike America (Ma-Yi); Nick Jones' Verite (LCT3); Robert Askins' Love Song of the Albanian Sous Chef (EST); Nick Jones' Trevor (Lesser America); Mel & El (Ars Nova); Mike Lew's The Roosevelt Cousins Thoroughly Sauced (EST); Michael Mitnick's Spacebar (Studio 42); and Adam Szymkowicz's My Base and Scurvy Hear (Studio 42). He is the former Artistic Director of Studio 42.

The Apothetae is a company dedicated to the production of full-length plays that explore and illuminate the "Disabled Experience." To do this they will focus on newly commissioned works by both established and up and coming playwrights, and plays that already exist in the theatrical canon featuring characters with disabilities or dealing with "disabled" themes. By making visible the human impact of Disabled people throughout history, they believe empathy can be practiced, perceptions changed, and new communities forged through the collaborative and transformative power of the artistic process.

The Public Theater, under the leadership of Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. Celebrating his 10th anniversary season at The Public, Eustis has created new community-based initiatives designed to engage audiences like Public Lab, Public Studio, Public Forum, Public Works, and a remount of the Mobile Unit. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues-including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe's Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City's five boroughs. The Public's wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company's dedication to making theater accessible to all; Public Works, an expanding initiative that is designed to cultivate new connections and new models of engagement with artists, audiences and the community each year; and audience and artist development initiatives that range from Emerging Writers Group and to the Public Forum series. The Public is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and in October 2012 the landmark building downtown at Astor Place was revitalized to physically manifest the Company's core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences, by dramatically opening up the building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. The Public is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning Fun Home and Lin-Manuel Miranda's acclaimed American musical Hamilton. The Public has received 47 Tony Awards, 167 Obie Awards, 52 Drama Desk Awards, 48 Lortel Awards, 31 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics Awards, and four Pulitzer Prizes.

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