Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Public Theater: 2013-2014 Season

The 2013-2014 Season at The Public Theater is shaping up to be outstanding.  There are LOTS of reasons to become a member next season...


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. 

World Premiere 


Created and Performed by Mike Daisey 

Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory 

September 5 - October 3, 2013

Provocative monologist Mike Daisey, hailed as “the master storyteller” by The New York Times, 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 performances. Each evening works alone as a single episode, but together they tell a vast story that spans the globe and stretches across the 20th century to the present day and beyond, weaving together the secret history of the space race, notorious art forgeries, the angry ghosts of class and communism, and the still-beating heart of the military industrial complex. With hilarity and biting satire he will strive like Sheherazade to tell a story night after night, using our American empire as a backdrop to illuminate our moment here at the dawn of the corporate age. Audiences can be part of this epic experience as well as tune in online to experience the largest story ever attempted in the American theater.

World Premiere 


Created and Performed by Elevator Repair Service 

Directed by John Collins 

September 10 - October 6, 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 and Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University.

World Premiere Musical 


Music by Jeanine Tesori 

Book and Lyrics by Lisa Kron 

Based on the Alison Bechdel book 

Directed by Sam Gold 

October 1 - November 3, 2013 

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.

American Premiere 


Written by Wallace Shawn 

Directed by André Gregory 

Featuring Julie Hagerty, Emily McDonnell, Wallace Shawn, and Jennifer Tilly 

October 8 - November 10, 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. 

The Foundry Theatre's Production of 


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 - November 24, 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.

World Premiere 


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.

10th Anniversary 


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 


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.

Public Lab


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 

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


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?

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