The 2013-2014 Public Theater Season
“This season - whether classics, new plays, musicals or experimental ensembles - speaks to the way we live now."
- Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director
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THE 2013-2014 SEASON
World Premiere Musical
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book and Lyrics by Lisa Kron
Based on the Alison Bechdel book
Directed by Sam Gold
September 30 - January 12, 2014
From four-time Tony Award-nominated composer Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change) and Tony-nominee Lisa Kron (In The Wake, Well) comes a fresh, daring new musical based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires. Directed by Sam Gold, FUN HOME is a groundbreaking, world-premiere musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.
The Foundry Theatre's
GOOD PERSON OF SZECHWAN
By Bertolt Brecht
Translation by John Willett
Directed by Lear deBessonet
Featuring Kate Benson, Ephraim Birney, Vinie Burrows, Clifton Duncan, Jack Allen Greenfield, Annie Golden, Brooke Ishibashi, Paul Juhn, Mia Katigbak, Lisa Kron, Taylor Mac, David Turner, and Darryl Winslow
With Original Live Music by César Alvarez with The Lisps
October 18 - December 8, 2013
Can we practice goodness and create a world to sustain it? In this comic and complex play, one of Brecht's most entertaining characters, Shen Tei, the good-hearted, penniless, cross-dressing prostitute, is forced to disguise herself as a savvy businessman named Shui Ta to master the ruthlessness necessary to be a "good person" in a cruel world of limited resources. The award-winning Foundry Theatre and Director Lear deBessonet bring this theatrical classic to life for the 21st century with Taylor Mac in the lead and original live music by César Alvarez with The Lisps.
In Repertory and World Premiere
THE APPLE FAMILY
Scenes From Life In The Country
Written and Directed by Richard Nelson
October 22 - December 15, 2013
“Mr. Nelson’s series is quietly turning into one of the great accomplishments in American theater to date in this century.” – Ben Brantley, The New York Times
Each year since 2010, Tony Award winner Richard Nelson has premiered a new play at The Public about the fictional, liberal Apple family of Rhinebeck, New York. This year, the award-winning ensemble that has come to embody Nelson's fascinating family will be reunited once more as the first three Apple plays triumphantly return, in repertory, along with the world premiere of the fourth and final play in this powerful and timely series.
These plays about family, politics, change, and the way we live today burst with remarkable immediacy. Each of THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS originally premiered on the night on which it is set. In THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING, the Apples reflect on the state of their family and discuss memory, manners and politics as polls close on mid-term election night 2010 and a groundswell of conservative sentiment flips Congress on its head. In SWEET AND SAD (The New York Times, New York Magazine, Bloomberg, Top 10 of 2011) a family brunch stirs up discussions of loss, remembrance and a decade of change. And SORRY (The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Daily News, Bloomberg, Top 10 of 2012) which premiered last fall, finds the Apples sorting through family anxieties and confusion on the day of electing the President.
The fourth and final play in this captivating series, REGULAR SINGING, will open on November 22, 2013 – the 50th Anniversary of JFK's assassination that shocked the world. REGULAR SINGING is a Public Lab production.
The Public Theater's Mobile Shakespeare Unit
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
Choreography by Chase Brock
Original Music by Shane Rettig
Featuring Michael Braun, Rosal Colón, Ramsey Fargallah, Marc Damon Johnson, A.Z. Kelsey, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Samantha Soule, Kerry Warren
November 25 - December 15
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is a production of The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit, a reinvention of Joseph Papp’s Mobile Shakespeare program – the original impulse of the New York Shakespeare Festival that would grow over decades into Shakespeare in the Park and The Public Theater. The three-week mobile tour will bring free Shakespeare to audiences who have limited or no access to the arts by visiting prisons, homeless shelters, centers for the elderly, and other community venues, including stops at our Public Works community partner venues: Brownsville Recreation Center in Brooklyn, Fortune Society in Queens and DreamYard Project in the Bronx before playing at The Public for this very limited run.
UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL
January 8 - 19, 2014
This acclaimed 12-day festival, curated by Mark Russell and Meiyin Wang, showcases cutting-edge theater from around the U.S. and the world, with all performances at The Public Theater’s downtown home at Astor Place.
New York Premiere
ANTONY & CLEOPATRA
By William Shakespeare
Edited and Directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney
February 18 - March 23, 2014
In an exciting international collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and GableStage, Miami, The Public welcomes back writer/director Tarell Alvin McCraney (The Brother/Sister Plays) as its new artist in residence with ANTONY & CLEOPATRA. At the fringes of a war-torn empire, a man and a woman have fallen desperately, passionately in love. But for a soldier set to enforce the imperial will and the queen of a people intent on throwing off the yoke of empire, there is no place for personal desire. McCraney creates a stripped down, radical new version of Shakespeare’s gripping story of romance set against a world of imperial politics and power play and transports us to 18th century, sun-soaked Saint-Domingue on the eve of revolution. RSC in America is presented in collaboration with The Ohio State University.
FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3)
By Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Jo Bonney
March 11- March 30, 2014
Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, The Book of Grace) continues her longstanding residency as The Public’s Master Writer Chair with FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3), an explosively powerful drama about the mess of war, the cost of freedom, and the heartbreak of love. PART 1 introduces us to Hero, a slave who must choose whether or not to join his master on the Confederate battlefield. In PART 2, a band of rebel soldiers test Hero's loyalty as the cannons approach. PART 3 finds Hero's loved ones anxiously awaiting his return. FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3) is a profound and powerful tale about love and hope in a world of impossible choices.
New York Premiere
A SECOND CHANCE
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Ted Shen
Directed by Jonathan Butterell
March 18 - April 13, 2014
A stirring musical journey, A SECOND CHANCE is the story of a recent widower and a divorcée who meet in mid-life. Presented with the overwhelming challenge of freeing themselves from their painful pasts, neither feels they deserve to find new love and happiness. Yet, unanticipated feelings awaken within them both, passionately drawing them together and leading them to uncover something they both least expected to find.
New York Premiere - Public Lab
THE GREAT IMMENSITY
Written and Directed by Steven Cosson
Songs by Michael Friedman
April 8 - April 27, 2014
In a thrilling and timely production, presented in association with the celebrated investigative theater company, The Civilians, THE GREAT IMMENSITY is a continent-hopping thriller following a woman, Phyllis, as she pursues someone close to her who disappeared from a tropical island while on an assignment for a nature show. Through her search, Phyllis uncovers a mysterious plot surrounding the upcoming international climate summit in Auckland. As the days count down to the Auckland Summit, Phyllis must decipher the plan and possibly stop it in time. With arresting projected film and video and a wide-ranging score of songs, THE GREAT IMMENSITY is a highly theatrical look into one of the most vital questions of our time: how can we change ourselves and our society in time to solve the enormous environmental challenges that confront us?
Stay tuned to find out when tickets will be available for our new season. Become a Public Theater Member today and you'll be the first to know!
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First New York Revival
THE DESIGNATED MOURNER
Written by Wallace Shawn
Directed by André Gregory
Featuring Deborah Eisenberg, Larry Pine and Wallace Shawn
June 21 - August 25, 2013
THE DESIGNATED MOURNER is a monologue-triptych in which three artist-intellectuals recount their experiences as their once-liberal country sinks into political crisis. A famous poet-intellectual, his daughter, and her husband—people made of very different moral fiber despite their shared highbrow interests—witness the subtle and flagrant transformations of everyday life, public affairs and personal relationships until they finally are dragged into the middle of things themselves. This searing and disturbing drama, prescient of much that occurred during the Bush/Obama years, has been called Shawn’s masterpiece.
THE DESIGNATED MOURNER is part of THE WALLACE SHAWN-ANDRÉ GREGORY PROJECT, a co-production with Theatre for a New Audience and retrospective in celebration of the remarkable 40-year theatrical collaboration between Wallace Shawn and André Gregory. For more information, click here.
ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON
Created and Performed by Mike Daisey
Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory
September 5 - October 3, 2013
Mike Daisey returns to The Public with a breathtakingly epic theatrical event: a story told over the course of a lunar month, a new monologue every night, in 29 unique consecutive performances. Each evening stands alone as a single episode, but together they create a living theatrical novel set against the secret history of New York City – a city that is loved and loathed and larger than life. From Pentecostal church services held in IKEA showrooms to Nikola Tesla's laboratories in the Lower East Side, from the infamous Mole People's convocations deep beneath the subway lines to the hidden and terrifying plans of Robert Moses, Daisey weaves a story of ordinary magic in a most extraordinary city. Night after night he will strive like Scheherazade to tell the largest story ever attempted in the American theater.
For a full schedule and titles of the 29 monologues in ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON, click here.
"The master storyteller...what distinguishes him from most solo performers is how elegantly he blends personal stories, historical digressions and philosophical ruminations. He has the curiosity of a highly literate dilettante and a preoccupation with alternative histories, secrets large and small, and the fuzzy line where truth and fiction blur."
– The New York Times
Each night Daisey will be joined onstage by one of 29 oil paintings commissioned and created for this show by the Russian artist Larissa Tokmakova, illustrating and illuminating the story he's telling. Audiences can experience these performances live, and also follow online by listening to the free podcast as the story unfolds.
Elevator Repair Service's
Created and Performed by Elevator Repair Service
Directed by John Collins
September 10 - October 27, 2013
Last year, The Public Theater co-produced, to great acclaim, GATZ (a unique word-for-word staging of The Great Gatsby) created and performed by Elevator Repair Service (ERS), one of America's most acclaimed theater ensembles. This season, The Public reunites with ERS for a co-production of ARGUENDO, a playful riff on the 1991 Supreme Court case Barnes v. Glen Theatre. In this provocative case, a group of exotic dancers, citing the First Amendment, challenged a ban on public nudity. ERS stages the oral argument of the case verbatim with their signature theatricality, wit and physical precision. The production design features a breathtaking swirl of animated text projections by celebrated visual artist, Ben Rubin.
ARGUENDO was co-commissioned by The Public Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage and Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University. ARGUENDO was workshopped at The Public's 2013 Under the Radar Festival and was developed in part at New York Theatre Workshop, Abrons Art Center and Vineyard Arts Project.
GRASSES OF A THOUSAND COLORS
Written by Wallace Shawn
Directed by André Gregory
Featuring Julie Hagerty, Emily McDonnell, Wallace Shawn, and Jennifer Tilly
October 7 - December 1, 2013
Shawn’s most outlandish work to date, GRASSES OF A THOUSAND COLORS, is a disturbing and anomalously beautiful play that explores the role of human beings in nature and the role of nature in human beings, sexuality being as Shawn says, “nature’s most obvious footprint in the human soul.” The play’s central character is a doctor who believes he has solved world hunger when he figures out how to rejigger the metabolisms of animals to tolerate eating their own kind. This has unexpected consequences. The play tells a story about the doctor, his wife, and his lovers, that is also a story about human beings and animals and the planet we live on.
GRASSES OF A THOUSAND COLORS is part of THE WALLACE SHAWN-ANDRÉ GREGORY PROJECT, a co-production with Theatre for a New Audience and retrospective in celebration of the remarkable 40-year theatrical collaboration between Wallace Shawn and André Gregory. For more information, click here.
*An initial service fee of $5 applies to Membership purchases. All ticket fees are then waived for the duration of your Membership.
Memberships are non-refundable. The exclusive Member ticket discount is valid for all regular Public Theater Membership shows and excludes rentals and other special events, such as benefits. Memberships are valid for one year from the date of purchase. All productions, announced cast and directors are subject to change and tickets are subject to availability.