2018-2019 Season

 

Welcome to the 2018/19 season, featuring an exciting variety of artistic programming and a vibrant community of artists including Luis Alfaro, Jane Anderson, Jo Bonney, Glenn Close, Jordan E. Cooper, Carrie Cracknell, Bob Dylan, Oskar Eustis, Jake Gyllenhaal, Doug Hughes, Hansol Jung, Jenny Koons, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Conor McPherson, Tim Blake Nelson, Suzan-Lori Parks, Nick Payne, Matthew Penn, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Leigh Silverman, Simon Stephens, Tom Sturridge, Stevie Walker-Webb, Chay Yew, and more!

Girl from the North Country

Girl from the North Country

North American Premiere
Written by Conor McPherson
Directed by Conor McPherson
Music & Lyrics by Bob Dylan

Following a critically acclaimed sold-out run at London’s Old Vic and a West End transfer, the “astonishing” (The Guardian) new show from Olivier winner and Tony Award nominee Conor McPherson (The Weir, Shining City, The Seafarer) and music icon Bob Dylan will make its American premiere.

Dylan’s inimitable songbook is authentically transformed into this achingly beautiful story of a down-on-its-luck community on the brink of change in Duluth, Minnesota in 1934.

Named “one of the greatest playwrights working today” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times, McPherson has created a new show, weaving the music of our greatest poet singer-songwriter into a piercing drama about home, heart, and the searching determination of the American soul.

Mother of the Maid

Mother of the Maid

New York Premiere
Written by Jane Anderson
Directed by Matthew Penn

Six-time Academy Award nominee and three-time Tony and Emmy winner Glenn Close (Sunset Boulevard, "Damages") returns in a breathtaking new play by Emmy winner Jane Anderson ("Olive Kitteridge," The Baby Dance, Defying Gravity).

MOTHER OF THE MAID tells the story of Joan of Arc's mother (Glenn Close), a sensible, hard-working, God-fearing peasant woman whose faith is upended as she deals with the baffling journey of her odd and extraordinary daughter. This riveting play is an epic tale told through an unexpected and remarkable perspective.

Emmy nominee Matthew Penn ("Law and Order," "The Sopranos," "Damages") directs this deeply moving drama about the glories and challenges of raising an exceptional child.

Mother of the Maid
Eve's Song

Eve's Song

World Premiere
Written by Patricia Ione Lloyd
Directed by Jo Bonney

From The Public’s Emerging Writers Group alum and 2017-18 Tow Playwright-in-Residence Patricia Ione Lloyd (Pretty Hunger) and Obie Award-winning director Jo Bonney (Mlima's Tale) comes a stunning, genre-bending new drama about the haunting of a black family in America.

In the aftermath of a messy divorce and a daughter coming out as queer, Deborah is trying to keep things normal at home. But as black people continue to be killed beyond their four walls, the outside finds its way in, blurring the lines between family dynamics, politics, and the spirit world. How long can family dinners keep the dangers outside at bay?

Filled with dark humor and boiling suspense, EVE’S SONG examines our present racial climate through the eyes of a regular American family.

Wild Goose Dreams

Wild Goose Dreams

New York Premiere
Written by Hansol Jung
Directed by Leigh Silverman

A co-production with La Jolla Playhouse

After its initial run in Public Studio, Hansol Jung’s fascinating and unforgettable new play WILD GOOSE DREAMS returns to The Public in a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, where it had a critically-acclaimed run last season.

Minsung is a “goose father,” a South Korean man whose wife and daughter have moved to America for a better life. Deeply lonely, he escapes onto the internet and meets Nanhee, a young defector forced to leave her family behind in North Korea. Amidst the endless noise of the modern world, where likes and shares have taken the place of love and touch, Minsung and Nanhee try their best to be real for each other. But after a lifetime of division and separation, is connection possible?

Tony nominee Leigh Silverman (Violet, Chinglish, The Outer Space) directs this strikingly original play with music, about two people, from two cultures, forced to choose between family and freedom.

Wild Goose Dreams
Mobile Unit: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Mobile Unit: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Jenny Koons

This fall, a classic New York City block party becomes the enchanted setting where fairies work their mischief in Shakespeare’s beloved play A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.

Acclaimed director Jenny Koons takes you to the royal wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta, where a celebratory play is being rehearsed. But the real drama is unfolding in the concrete jungle of fairy King Oberon. There, four young New Yorkers discover the course of true love runs anything but smooth, as supernatural sprites and the lovable Puck conspire to reveal what fools we mortals be, and draw us all into the collective dream of romance and merriment.

Sea Wall / A Life

Sea Wall / A Life

New York Premiere
Written by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne, respectively
Directed by Carrie Cracknell
Featuring Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal, respectively

Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Sunday in the Park with George, ConstellationsIf There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet) and Tony Award nominee Tom Sturridge (Orphans, 1984, On The Road) make their Public Theater debuts in an unforgettable and incredibly intimate evening of theater.

Sturridge, in his third collaboration with Tony and Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens (HeisenbergThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), performs SEA WALL, an astonishing monologue about love and the human need to know the unknowable.

Gyllenhaal continues his artistic collaboration with Olivier Award-nominated playwright Nick Payne (ConstellationsIf There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet) in A LIFE, a meditation on how we say goodbye to those we love most.

Directed by Carrie Cracknell (A Doll’s HouseThe Deep Blue Sea), this heart-filled exploration of the beauty of life and meaning of love, SEA WALL / A LIFE is a must-see evening of dramatic storytelling at its best.

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Sea Wall / A Life
White Noise

White Noise

World Premiere
Written by Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Oskar Eustis

Following her critically-acclaimed trilogy FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS PART 1, 2, AND 3, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, In The Blood) returns with a world premiere play about race, friendship, and our rapidly unraveling social contract.

Long-time friends and lovers Leo, Misha, Ralph, and Dawn are educated, progressive, cosmopolitan, and woke. But when a racially motivated incident with the cops leaves Leo shaken, he decides extreme measures must be taken for self-preservation.

The Public’s Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis (Julius Caesar, Public Works Twelfth Night), directs this fierce new drama about what happens when the unspoken and the unspeakable come head-to-head.

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Ain't No Mo'

Ain't No Mo'

World Premiere
Written by Jordan E. Cooper
Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb

AIN’T NO MO’ is a vibrant satirical odyssey portraying the great exodus of black Americans out of a country plagued with injustice.

In a kaleidoscope of scenes of the moments before, during, and after this outrageous departure, Jordan E. Cooper’s masterful new work explores the value of black lives in a country hurtling away from the promise of a black president.

Stevie Walker-Webb directs this wildly imaginative and emotionally charged play. 

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Ain't No Mo'
Socrates

Socrates

World Premiere
Written by Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by Doug Hughes

In collaboration with the Onassis Cultural Center NY, with support of Onassis Foundation USA

SOCRATES is a witty and endlessly fascinating new drama about a complicated man who changed how the world thought.

This powerful new play by actor, director, and writer Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Holes) is an intellectual thrill ride from the philosopher’s growing prominence in democratic Athens through the military and social upheavals that led to one of the most infamous executions in Western history.

Tony Award winner Doug Hughes (Doubt, Junk) directs SOCRATES, a timely and timeless new work that serves as a passionate tribute to the man who continues to inspire us to question authority and defend freedom of belief.

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Mobile Unit: The Tempest

Mobile Unit: The Tempest

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Lucas Caleb Rooney

Magic and mayhem continue their wicked work in THE TEMPEST, directed by Obie Award winner Lucas Caleb Rooney. When a storm shipwrecks King Alonso and his royal entourage on the island home of Prospero and his daughter Miranda, secrets and suspicions lead to drunken distrust and murderous plots. But love plays games with revenge, and the stuff of nightmares becomes the stuff of dreams in this magical comedy about the human heart, lost at sea.

Mobile Unit: The Tempest
Mojada

Mojada

New York Premiere
Written by Luis Alfaro
Directed by Chay Yew

MacArthur Genius Award-winning playwright Luis Alfaro returns with the New York premiere of his stirring drama about love, immigration, and sacrifice, inspired by the Ancient Greek story of Medea. Helmed by Chay Yew (Oedipus El Rey), this play masterfully combines ancient storytelling with the most pressing issues facing our country today, following a young Mexican mother who gives up everything to bring her son to America, only to find America demands even more.

Alfaro’s OEDIPUS EL REY, produced last season in collaboration with the Sol Project, was hailed by The New York Times as a “dynamic reminder that we are living in a political moment when stories matter.”

With great poetry, humor, and heart, MOJADA is a bold new telling of a story as old as tragedy itself.

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Public Forum

Public Forum

Now in its Ninth Season

Public Forum 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 and our digital engagement platform Digiturgy, Public Forum engages both the world of our plays and the world at large with some of the most original thinkers of today.

Public Forum
Public Shakespeare Initiative

Public Shakespeare Initiative

In its Second Year at The Public

Public Shakespeare Initiative offers a wide range of programming which includes larger Public Shakespeare Presents evenings, blending incisive commentary by scholars and other thinkers with compelling live performances by artists of all disciplines; intimate Public Shakespeare Talks, giving audiences unique insight into the artistic and intellectual processes of leading Shakespeare practitioners working in the theater; Artist Development Programs, to cultivate some of the most visionary artistic minds working on Shakespeare today; and Education Programs, specifically the Hunts Point Children’s Shakespeare Ensemble, which The Shakespeare Society co-founded with the Hunts Point Alliance for Children over a decade ago, and which has offered hundreds of elementary and middle school students the opportunity to develop their confidence, knowledge, and creativity through the transformative experience of bringing Shakespeare’s words to life onstage in the 10 Shakespeare productions the Ensemble has presented.

Under the Radar Festival

Under the Radar Festival

15th Annual Festival
Featuring FRANKENSTEIN by Manual Cinema
Full line up to be announced at a later date

Over the past 15 years, Under the Radar Festival (UTR) 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. 

Widely recognized as a premier launching pad for new and cutting-edge performance from the U.S. and abroad, UTR has presented works by such respected artists as 600 HIGHWAYMEN, Elevator Repair Service, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Belarus Free Theatre, Guillermo Calderón, and Young Jean Lee. These artists provide a snapshot of contemporary theater: richly distinct in terms of perspectives, aesthetics, and social practice, and pointing to the future of the art form. 

The Under the Radar Festival is made possible with the generous support of the Ford Foundation.

Under the Radar Festival
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