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Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Yellow Face) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home; Violet; Caroline, or Change) bring their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere.
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?
Featuring the choreography of Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), Tony nominee Leigh Silverman (Violet, Yellow Face, Wild Goose Dreams) directs this exhilarating new show The Los Angeles Times calls “smart & wonderfully funny. A meeting of dauntingly innovative theatrical minds.”
A groundbreaking work in modern American theater, FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF, returns to The Public for the first time since it premiered in 1976, before its breakthrough run on Broadway.
Filled with passion, humor, and raw honesty, legendary playwright/poet Ntozake Shange’s form-changing choreopoem tells the stories of seven women of color using poetry, song, and movement. With unflinching honesty and emotion, each woman voices her survival story of having to exist in a world shaped by sexism and racism.
Obie Award winner Leah C. Gardiner (Born Bad, generations, If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka) directs this seminal work that speaks to our world today about women’s struggles, strength, desires, resilience, and the sanctified magic of love and possibility.
Tony Award-winning playwright/director Richard Nelson returns to The Public with the world premiere of THE MICHAELS. Part of Nelson’s critically acclaimed RHINEBECK PANORAMA, which includes The Apple Family and The Gabriels, this new drama places the audience directly into the kitchen of Rose Michael, a celebrated choreographer. 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.
With grace and depth, Nelson once again creates an intricate, moving snapshot of modern-day America. Laced with humor and heartbreak, THE MICHAELS is a beautiful new play, illustrating the rich humanity within the incidental moments of one day.
Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (Caroline, Or Change; Angels in America), reunites with longtime collaborator and The Public Theater’s Artistic Director Oskar Eustis (White Noise) in a scorching new version of his first play, the prescient 1985 masterwork suggesting the possibility of the Reagan counter-revolution eventually giving rise to American fascism.
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?
The Public Theater’s initiative that invites communities across New York to create ambitious works of participatory theater is closing out the summer in truly epic fashion. Public Works will present the glorious story of HERCULES, brought to vibrant life by professional actors and community groups from across the city. Directed by Public Works Founder and Resident Director Lear deBessonet, this summer’s production, based on the Disney animated film, will feature the film’s beloved score, plus additional original songs by the film’s composer Alan Menken and lyricist David Zippel, with a new book by Kristoffer Diaz and choreography by Chase Brock. Journey with Hercules in this new stage adaptation that invites New Yorkers from all five boroughs to participate in a joyous musical that celebrates the heroes found in all of us.
200+ New Yorkers including
Jelani Alladin (Hercules), Roger Bart (Hades), Jeff Hiller(Panic), James Monroe Iglehart (Philoctetes), Ramona Keller (Thalia), Tamika Lawrence (Calliope), Krysta Rodriguez (Megara), Rema Webb (Terpsichore), cameo groups 10 Hairy Legs, Passaic High School Marching Band, and a special featured performance by Broadway Inspirational Voices.
PUBLIC WORKS is a national and international initiative of The Public Theater that seeks to engage the people of New York by making them creators and not just spectators. Led by Founder Lear deBessonet and Director of Public Works Laurie Woolery, Public Works deliberately blurs the line between professional artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but by and of the people as well.