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Thursday, 09 September 2010 14:22

The Public Theater Announces 2010-11 Public LAB Line-Up

The Public Theater


2010-2011 Public LAB Line-Up


Fourth Season Features Premieres

By Richard Nelson,

Emerging Writer Alumna Mona Mansour,

and Jonathan Marc Sherman

Tickets are $15

To All Public LAB Shows

September 9, 2010 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) announced the line-up today for the 2010-2011 Public LAB season.  Beginning in October, the fourth season will include a world premiere by Richard Nelson, a world premiere by Public Theater Emerging Writer alumna Mona Mansour, and a New York premiere by Jonathan Marc Sherman. This year, Public LAB will move from the 99-seat Shiva Theater to the 275-seat Anspacher Theater. Tickets are $15 to all Public LAB shows.

The season will kick off in the fall with THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING,written and directed by Richard Nelson (October 26 to November 14). In the spring, Public LAB will present URGE FOR GOING by Mona Mansour, directed by Hal Brooks (March 25 to April 17) and KNICKERBOCKER by Jonathan Marc Sherman, directed by Pippin Parker (May 6 to May 29). An additional Public LAB show, opening this winter, will be announced at a later date.

Tickets for the first Public LAB production, THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING, will go on sale on Tuesday, September 28.

Public LAB, conceived in association with LAByrinth Theater Company, is an annual series of new plays that lets New Yorkers see more of the work they love from The Public in scaled-down productions. Public LAB allows The Public to support more artists, and gives audiences immediate access to new plays in development.  The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported Public LAB with one of the largest grants ever received by the Public Theater.

In its first three years, Public LAB has produced a diverse range of works by emerging and established playwrights, including Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles? by Adrienne Kennedy, The Poor Itch by John Belluso, Paris Commune by Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman, The Fever Chart by Naomi Wallace, The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson, Penalties and Interest by Rebecca Cohen, Sweet Storm by Scott Hudson, Philip Roth in Khartoum by David Bar Katz, Tales of an Urban Indian by Darrell Dennis, Knives and Other Sharp Objects by Raúl Castillo, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson by Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman; Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 8 & 9) by Suzan-Lori Parks; Juan and John by Roger Guenveur Smith; and Neighbors by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

“Nelson, Sherman and up-and-comer Mona Mansour bring us three distinct yet equally powerful plays that will entertain and challenge,” said Associate Artistic Director Mandy Hackett. “We are thrilled to share the work of three singular and enormously talented writers with our audiences in Public LAB.”


Written and Directed by Richard Nelson

October 26 – November 14

Press opening: November 2

“A year later, I gotta ask the supporters of all that: How's that hopey changey thing workin’ for ya?” —Sarah Palin, February 6, 2010.

Election day, November 2, 2010.  Uncle Benjamin’s dog has died and his nieces and nephew have gathered for dinner in Rhinebeck, New York, to surprise him with a new one.  As they anxiously wait for the polls to close, the Apple family discusses memory, manners, and politics. Richard Nelson (Conversations in Tusculum at The Public, James Joyce’s The Dead) returns to The Public with a timely new play that examines the state of the nation at this pivotal moment in our history.

URGE FOR GOING (World Premiere)

By Mona Mansour

Directed by Hal Brooks

March 25 – April 17, 2011

Jamila, a 17-year-old Palestinian girl growing up in a Lebanese refugee camp, is desperate to escape the small and impoverished world she calls home but her greatest source of inspiration may also prove to be her biggest obstacle. Mona Mansour, a member of The Public’s Emerging Writers Group making her major debut with this production, fuses global politics with the intimacy of family life in this searing new play.

KNICKERBOCKER (New York Premiere)

By Jonathan Marc Sherman

Directed by Pippin Parker

May 6 – May 29, 2011

"Are you ready?" Jerry confronts this question from the womb of his favorite restaurant booth while the months pass by and the son he and his wife Pauline are expecting grows from the size of a peach to the size of...a baby. As the due date approaches, can friends and family members help Jerry feel prepared, or just feel worse, like some un-anonymous sperm donor terrified of making the transition from being the son of a father to being the father of a son? Staged just blocks from the titular restaurant where it is set, the latest play by Jonathan Marc Sherman (Things We Want, Sophistry) is sharp, funny, and deeply felt.

RICHARD NELSON (Playwright and Director) is the recipient of a Tony Award, two other Tony nominations, an Olivier Award for Best Play, another Olivier nomination for Best Comedy, two Obie Awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, a Lortel Award, Time Out/London Award for Best Play, An Academy Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the PEN/Laura Pels 'Master Playwright' Award and others.  His plays includes Conversations In Tusculum, Frank’s Home, Rodney’s Wife, Franny’s Way, Madame Melville, Goodnight Children Everywhere, The General From America, Left, New England, Misha’s Party (with Alexander Gelman),  Columbus and The Discovery of Japan, Two Shakespearean Actors, Some Americans Abroad, Principia Scriptoraie, The Vennia Notes, among many others.

MONA MANSOUR (Playwright). Her play Urge For Going was read at The Public Theater’s New Work Now! series, Theater J in Washington, DC, and at the 2010 Ojai Playwrights Conference. She completed a year in the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, where her play The Hour of Feeling was read in The Public’s Spotlight Series. As an actor, Mona was a member of the Sunday Show at L.A.’s famed Groundlings Theater. Her first play, Me and the S.L.A., focused on her ongoing obsession with Patricia Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army and was performed at the Groundlings and Seattle Fringe Festival.Girl Scouts of America (co-written with Andrea Berloff) was read at NYTW, The Public's New Work Now! series, and was produced in NYC Fringe 2006. Television writing credits: “Dead Like Me” (Showtime) and “Queens Supreme” (CBS). Mansour was named One of 50 to Watch by the Dramatists Guild.

HAL BROOKS (Director for Urge For Going) is a Brooklyn-based freelance director and the Associate Artistic Director the Ojai Playwrights Conference. He directed the Obie-winning No Child… by Nilaja Sun as well as the world premiere of Will Eno's Pulitzer Prize finalist Thom Pain (based on nothing). His recent projects include Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Two River), Sam Hunter’s The Whale (PlayPenn) and Mona Mansour’s Urge For Going (Ojai Playwrights Conference). A Drama League Fellow, Brooks is also a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, SDC and a recipient of the 2007-09 NEA TCG Career Development Program for Directors.

JONATHAN MARC SHERMAN (Playwright) is the author of plays including Serendipity and Serenity, Women and Wallace, Jesus on the Oil Tank, Veins and Thumbtacks, Sophistry, Sons and Fathers, Wonderful Time, Evolution, and Things We Want.

PIPPIN PARKER (Director for Knickerbocker) is a founding member and former artistic director of Naked Angels Theater Company, where he'll be directing Bekah Brunstetter's new play A Long and Happy Life in 2011. He recently directed George Packer’s critically acclaimed play Betrayed at The Culture Project and a new version of References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot by Jose Rivera for ABroad Stage Company.   He has written numerous works, including radio plays for NPR and episodes of the animated series “The Tick.”  He is currently the chair of the graduate Playwriting Department at the New School for Drama at the New School University.

THE PUBLIC THEATER (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Andrew D. Hamingson, Executive Director)was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals, and productions of classics at its downtown headquarters and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public’s mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day onstage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, over 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe’s Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public has won 42 Tony Awards, 151 Obies, 41 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. The Public has brought 54 shows to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk; On the Town; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Well; Passing Strange; the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair;and this fall, the rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and the 2010 Shakespeare in the Park production of The Merchant of

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street. The performance schedule for each show varies and may be obtained at

All tickets for Public LAB are $15. Tickets for the first Public LAB show, THAT HOPEY CHANGEY THING, can be purchased, beginning on Tuesday, September 28 at (212) 967-7555, by visiting, or in person at The Public Theater box office.

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The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater’s year-round activities.

Public LAB is made possible with the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

Additional support is provided by The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

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