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YOUR 19/20 SEASON

Under The Radar Festiavl

Begins January 8

UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL, over the past 15 years, has presented over 229 companies from 42 countries. It has grown into a landmark of the New York City theater season and is a vital part of The Public's mission, providing a high-visibility platform to support artists from diverse backgrounds who are redefining the act of making theater. 

COAL COUNTRY

Begins February 18

World Premiere

Written by Jessica Blank & Erik Jensen 
Original Music by Steve Earle
Directed by Jessica Blank

In this riveting, emotionally stunning new work based on first-person accounts by survivors and family members, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, award-winning writers of The Exonerated, and three-time Grammy Award-winning country/folk legend Steve Earle, dig deep into the lives and loss of the most deadly mining disaster in recent U.S. history.

The Vagrant Trilogy

Begins March 17

New York Premiere
Written by Mona Mansour
Directed by Mark Wing-Davey

Commissioned by The Public Theater


In 1967, Adham, a Palestinian Wordsworth scholar, goes to London with his new wife to deliver a lecture. When war breaks out at home, he must decide in an instant what to do – a choice that will affect the rest of his life. The two parts that follow explore alternate realities based on that decision. Each part in the trilogy speaks to the others, together painting a rare and moving picture of Palestinian displacement and a refugee’s life of permanent impermanence.

The Visitor

Begins March 24

World Premiere Musical
Music by Tom Kitt
Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Book by Kwame Kwei-Armah & Brian Yorkey
Choreography by Lorin Latarro
Directed by Daniel Sullivan
Based on the Groundswell Productions and Participant Media motion picture written by Thomas McCarthy


Widowed and living alone, Walter is a college professor whose life has lost a sense of purpose. When he discovers two young undocumented immigrants living in his New York apartment, the drummer Tarek and jewelry maker Zainab, Walter finds himself in the middle of their battle to stay in an America that’s lost its better angels.

CULLUD WATTAH

Begins July 7

World Premiere
Written by Public Studio Alum Erika Dickerson-Despenza
Directed by Candis C. Jones


It’s been 936 days since Flint has had clean water. Marion, a third generation General Motors employee, is consumed by layoffs at the engine plant. When her sister, Ainee, seeks justice and restitution for lead poisoning, her plan reveals the toxic entanglements between the city and its most powerful industry, forcing their family to confront the past-present-future cost of survival. As lead seeps into their home and their bodies, corrosive memories and secrets rise among them. Will this family ever be able to filter out the truth?

SOFT POWER

September 24 - November 17, 2019

New York Premiere Musical

Play & Lyrics by David Henry Hwang    
Music & Additional Lyrics by Jeanine Tesori
Choreography by Sam Pinkleton
Directed by Leigh Silverman

A co-commission and co-production with Center Theatre Group


One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, SOFT POWER is an exploration of America's current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China's point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. SOFT POWER is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all – why do we love democracy? And should we?

 

THE MICHAELS

October 19 - December 1, 2019

World Premiere

Written and Directed by Richard Nelson

Commissioned by The Public Theater

Dinner is cooked, modern dances are rehearsed, and the meal is eaten — all amidst conversations about art, death, family, dance, politics, the state of America, and how the world sees our country... and a host of everyday questions that make up the richness of ordinary life.

Measure for Measure

October 24 - December 8, 2019

This season, The Public’s acclaimed Mobile Unit transports communities of the five boroughs to the vibrant streets of New Orleans for a bold new production of Shakespeare’s MEASURE FOR MEASURE directed by LA Williams.

It’s 1979, Mardi Gras has been officially cancelled, yet the community is still celebrating. Temporarily left in charge by the Duke, the upright and uptight Lord Angelo has decided to crack down on the city’s debauchery, arresting young Claudio for impregnating his fiancée Juliet before their wedding. When virtuous Isabella, Claudio’s sister, hears of his death sentence, she begs Lord Angelo for mercy. But hypocritical Angelo propositions her instead, leaving Isabella with an impossible choice: save her soul or her brother’s life.

In this timely production, lovers and leaders in disguise reveal how those in power take advantage of those without it – asking the question, can the law be both just and merciful?

FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF

October 8 - December 13, 2019

Written by Ntozake Shange
Directed by Leah C. Gardiner
Choreography by Camille A. Brown

Filled with passion, humor, and raw honesty, legendary playwright/poet Ntozake Shange’s form-changing choreopoem tells the story of seven women of color using poetry, song, and movement. With unflinching honesty and emotion, each woman voices her survival story of getting by in a world shaped by sexism and racism.

A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY

October 29 - December 22, 2019

Written by Tony Kushner
Directed by Oskar Eustis


Agnes, an actress in Weimar Germany, and her cadre of passionate, progressive friends, are torn between protest, escape, and survival as the world they knew crumbles around them. Her story is interrupted by an American woman enraged by the cruelty of the Reagan administration, and a new character, grappling with the anxiety, distraction, hope, and hopelessness of an artist facing the once unthinkable rise of authoritarianism in modern America.

Funny, brilliant, and devastating, this new production of A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY revisits an epic work that takes a piercing look at the vulnerability of American democracy, and demands to know: when the devil takes up residence in your country… will you act?

 

Public Forum

PUBLIC FORUM, now in its tenth season, brings together surprising combinations of artists, audiences, and experts to explore the issues and ideas raised on our stages. Through one-of-a-kind events, Public Forum engages both the world of our plays and the world at large with some of the most original thinkers of today.

Public Shakespeare Initiative

PUBLIC SHAKESPEARE INITIATIVE offers a wide range of programming which includes Public Shakespeare Presents evenings, intimate Public Shakespeare Talks, Artist Development Programs, and Education Programs, specifically the Hunts Point Children’s Shakespeare Ensemble. The Public Shakespeare Initiative’s programs engage audiences, develop artists, educate young people, support their teachers, and, in all, are as multidimensional as the community of Shakespeare-lovers we serve.

Emerging Writers Group

EMERGING WRITERS GROUP is a component of The Public Writers Initiative, a long-term program that provides key support and resources for writers at every stage of their careers. In just 10 years, it has nurtured numerous playwrights who have gone on to have their plays staged at The Public and elsewhere around the country. Time Warner is the Founding Sponsor of the Emerging Writers Group.

Joe's Pub

Named for Public Theater founder Joe Papp, Joe's Pub at The Public opened in 1998 and plays a vital role in The Public's mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space and superior acoustics to perform and develop new work. Joe's Pub consistently presents the best in live music and performance nightly, continuing its commitment to diversity, production values, community and artistic freedom. In addition, Joe’s Pub features seasonal dinner and bar menus from acclaimed Chef Andrew Carmellini.

Join In Today

When you support The Public, you unlock early access to the season, savings on tickets and transaction fees, and a host of special benefits. Above it all, your support fuels The Public’s mission to provide theater of, by, and for all people.

Become a Public Supporter with a gift of $100 or more for early access and savings.

As a Public Supporter at the $300 level and above, enjoy even earlier access and join us as a guest at Free Shakespeare in the Park.

Become a Partner with a gift starting at $3,500 and enjoy insider access, complimentary tickets, and invitations to special events.