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Monday, 09 April 2012 16:08

The Public Theater Announces 2012-13 Season

The Public Theater

2012-2013 SEASON




WILD WITH HAPPY by Colman Domingo
SORRY by Richard Nelson
THE TWENTY-SEVENTH MAN by Nathan Englander
DETROIT 67 by Dominique Morisseau
NEVA by Guillermo Calderón/Translation by Andrea Thome



October Rededication Planned To Celebrate
Revitalization of Historic Downtown Building

April 9, 2012 – Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham announced the line-up today for The Public’s 2012-2013 Season, beginning in the fall with an October rededication of The Public’s historic downtown building. The season continues the theater’s nearly 60 year tradition of developing new theatrical voices and presenting Shakespeare to the entire New York community.

{module ad_left_body}In the spirit of A Chorus Line; HAIR; Caroline, or Change; and Passing Strange, The Public’s 57th season will premiere two new musicals, beginning in October with GIANT, an epic love story with book by Sybille Pearson, music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa and directed by Michael Greif.

April will feature the world premiere of the new musical, HERE LIES LOVE about Filipina First Lady, Imelda Marcos, with concept and lyrics by David Byrne, music by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, and directed by Alex Timbers.

The Downtown Season will present world premiere plays by acclaimed actor/playwright Colman Domingo; best-selling author Nathan Englander; renowned international writer/director Guillermo Calderón; and theatrical genius Richard Foreman.

Award-winning playwright Richard Nelson returns to The Public in the fall with SORRY, the third in a series of plays about the Apple family that will open on election night, November 6, 2012. Original cast members from That Hopey Changey Thing and Sweet and Sad will reunite for this world premiere Public Lab production: Jon DeVries, Maryann Plunkett, Laila Robins, Jay O. Sanders, and J. Smith-Cameron.

The sixth Public Lab season will also include DETROIT 67, a world premiere by Dominique Morisseau and directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Morisseau wrote this new play in The Public’s 2011 Emerging Writers Group. Tickets to all Public Lab productions are $15.

While Shakespeare in the Park celebrates 50 years at the Delacorte Theater this summer with AS YOU LIKE IT and INTO THE WOODS, The Public’s Mobile Shakespeare Unit will be presenting RICHARD III downtown in August in the LuEsther Theater for a limited run following three weeks of touring the free professional production to prisons, homeless shelters, centers for the elderly, and other community venues in the five boroughs.

“These plays, explosive and lyrical, raw and sophisticated, by young artists and masters, are a rich expression of the huge range of theater that finds a home at The Public,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “We mix artists and we mix audiences, creating a community that is as rich as America itself. In this season, where we are revitalizing our building, our lobby will be the most exciting place to be in New York.”

The Public Theater will continue its successful MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM, which offers patrons the opportunity to purchase significantly discounted tickets to shows and events throughout the year for an annual $55 (tax-deductible) donation. Single tickets for the 2012-2013 Season will go on sale later this year.


Mobile Shakespeare Unit: All tickets $15


By William Shakespeare

Directed by Amanda Dehnert

July 17-August 5 (touring throughout the five boroughs)

August 7-26, 2012 (LuEsther Theater)

One of Shakespeare’s most charismatic villains cuts a scorched-earth swath through the politicos, power-mongers, and even family members who stand between him and the crown.  But before King Richard III can enjoy the fruits of his ill-gotten gain, something stirs that freezes him in his tracks: conscience. Shakespeare’s bracingly theatrical, surprisingly moral exploration of violence and its consequences is a production of The Public Theater’s Mobile Shakespeare Unit. 

This reinvention of Joseph Papp’s Mobile Shakespeare program—the original impulse of the New York Shakespeare Festival that would grow over decades into Shakespeare in the Park and The Public Theater—takes professional Shakespeare for free to prisons, homeless shelters, centers for the elderly, and other community venues throughout the five boroughs before playing at The Public for a limited run. 

The Mobile Shakespeare Unit is made possible with the generous support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.  Additional support is provided by Bloomberg.

World Premiere


By Colman Domingo

Directed by Robert O’Hara

October 9-November 11, 2012 (LuEsther Theater)

Colman Domingo, star of Passing Strange, explores the surreal, bizarre, and outrageous comedy that lies in dealing with death and healing. WILD WITH HAPPY follows the journey of a young man named Gil who plans to scatter his mother’s ashes in the place where she was the most happy. The Tony Award nominee is also featured in this four person, multi-character, wild magic ride of a play.

New York Premiere

Book by Sybille Pearson

Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa

Based on the novel by Edna Ferber

Directed by Michael Greif
Choreography by Alex Sanchez

October 26-December 2, 2012 (Newman Theater)

Based on the classic novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edna Ferber, GIANT spans generations in an epic chronicle of Texas, our “Heartbreak Country.”  Amid a tumultuous culture of big-business greed, racial bigotry, and unyielding family allegiance, a cattleman and ranch heir, his East Coast sophisticate wife, their family and friendsas well as their enemies – embrace and confront the joys and sorrows that loom as large as the landscape of America’s Lone Star State. GIANT is a co-production with Dallas Theater Center.

A Public Lab Production: All tickets $15

World Premiere

Play Three of The Apple Family Plays

Written and Directed by Richard Nelson

October 30-November 18, 2012 (Anspacher Theater)

Opening Night: November 6, 2012

A year after Sweet and Sad, the Apple family again share a meal in Rhinebeck, as they sort through  personal and political feelings of loss and confusion on the morning of the day the country will choose the next president. Like the first two plays, Sweet and Sad and That Hopey Changey Thing, SORRY will open on the day that it is set, November 6, 2012 – Election Day.  Original cast members from That Hopey Changey Thing and Sweet and Sad will reunite for this world premiere Public Lab production: Jon DeVries, Maryann Plunkett, Laila Robins, Jay O. Sanders, and J. Smith-Cameron.

World Premiere


By Nathan Englander
Directed by Barry Edelstein

November 7-December 9, 2012 (Martinson Theater)

Best-selling author Nathan Englander (What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank) adapts this warm and deeply moving new play from his acclaimed short story of the same name. Set in a Soviet prison in 1952, Stalin's secret police have rounded up twenty-six writers, the giants of Yiddish literature in Russia. As judgment looms, a twenty-seventh suddenly appears: Pinchas Pelovits, unpublished and unknown. Baffled by his arrest, he and his cellmates wrestle with the mysteries of party loyalty and politics, culture and identity, and with what it means to write in troubled times. When they discover why the twenty-seventh man is among them, the writers come to realize that even in the face of tyranny, stories still have the power to transcend.

A Public Lab Production: All tickets $15

World Premiere


By Dominique Morisseau

Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah

February 26-March 17, 2013 (Shiva Theater)

It’s 1967 in Detroit and Motown music gets the party started. Chelle and her brother Lank transform their basement into an after-hours joint to make ends meet. But when a mysterious woman winds her way into their lives, the siblings clash over much more than family business. As their pent-up feelings erupt, so does their city, and the flames of the ’67 Detroit riots engulf them all. DETROIT 67 is presented in association with the Classical Theatre of Harlem.

English Language Premiere


Written and Directed by Guillermo Calderón
Translation by Andrea Thome

March 1-March 31, 2013 (Anspacher Theater)

In a politically charged, haunting yet humorous meditation on theater and the revolutionary impulse, Chilean writer-director Guillermo Calderón’s NEVA tells the story of Anton Chekhov’s widow, the actress Olga Knipper, who arrives in a dimly lit rehearsal room in St. Petersburg in the winter of 1905. As Olga and two other actors await the rest of the cast, they huddle together, act out scenes from their lives and muse on their art form and love – while, unseen, striking workers are being gunned down in the streets by the Tsarist regime. Calderón savagely examines the relationship between theater and historical context in this ominous and tightly crafted work that allows a palpable terror to creep through the theater walls. Calderón’s Diciembre was a hit at the Under Radar Festival in 2011.

World Premiere


Concept and Lyrics by David Byrne
Music by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim

Directed by Alex Timbers
Choreography by Annie-B Parson

April 2-May 5, 2013 (LuEsther Theater)

Within a throbbing dance club environment, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim deconstruct the astonishing journey of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos and her meteoric rise and subsequent descent into infamy. This wholly immersive spectacle combines disco beats, adrenaline-fueled choreography, and a remarkable 360-degree scenic and video environment – to go beyond Imelda’s near-mythic obsession with shoes and explore true questions of power and responsibility.

Directed by two-time Obie Award-winner Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Peter and the Starcatcher), HERE LIES LOVE is a unique theatrical experience that raises the pulses and quickens the blood – all filtered through the remarkable vision of David Byrne, one of the great American artists of the last half century.

World Premiere


Written, Directed, and Designed by Richard Foreman

April 30-June 2, 2013 (Martinson Theater)

Snapshots from an enigmatic fairy-tale in which Suzie, the elusive coquette, brings Samuel to his knees – from where he worships a life he only half understands. OLD FASHIONED PROSTITUTES (A TRUE ROMANCE) is an expressionistic chamber-play that twists emotional heartache into a landscape of continual mental invention, marking the return to theater of a celebrated artist who the New York Times has dubbed “the Godfather of the American avant-garde.” Itis presented in association with Ontological-Hysteric Theater.


PUBLIC LAB, now in its sixth season, provides thrilling opportunities for both our audiences and artists. Our AUDIENCE gains access to more of the theater they love from The Public at the affordable price of only $15. Our ARTISTS, both emerging and established, gain a new platform to further develop their work on stage and in performance. With scaled-down productions (shorter rehearsal periods and smaller budgets), PUBLIC LAB brings audiences and artists together on an adventurous ride of creating new theater. Past PUBLIC LAB shows include Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson by Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman; The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson; Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 8 & 9) by Suzan-Lori Parks; Neighbors by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins; the introduction of Shakespeare into PUBLIC LAB with Richard Thomas in Timon of Athens and Jay O. Sanders in Titus Andronicus; Urge for Going by Mona Mansour; Sweet and Sad by Richard Nelson; and The Total Bent by Stew and Heidi Rodewald.

The acclaimed UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL will return for its ninth year (January 9-20, 2013), showcasing cutting-edge theater from around the U.S. and the world.

THE PUBLIC FORUM will launch a third season of high-profile lectures, debates, and conversations that connect the plays in The Public’s season to the issues of the day.

NEW WORK NOW!, a popular festival of readings featuring new work from emerging and established artists, will return for another successful line-up at The Public.

JOE’S PUB at The Public Theater presents more than 800 performances a year and serves more than 100,000 audience members annually. Since its debut in 1998, Joe’s Pub has quickly become one of New York City's most celebrated and in demand showcase venues for live music and performance. It is open seven days a week, regularly hosting as many as three shows a day. Dinner and drink service is available during every performance.

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The only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare and the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure, The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day.  Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues—including its landmark downtown home, which houses five theaters and Joe’s Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to the beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Shakespeare Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City’s five boroughs.  The Public’s wide range of programming includes free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company’s dedication to making theater accessible to all, new and experimental stagings at its downtown home, and a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions.  The Public Theater receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

For an annual tax-deductible donation of $55, Public Theater Members enjoy significant discounts and priority ordering to shows and events at The Public Theater (425 Lafayette Street). For more information, contact the box office at 212-967-7555 or visit

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

Time Warner is the Supporting Sponsor of The Public’s 2012-2013 downtown season.

 Bank of America is the proud Season Sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park.  Additional generous support for Shakespeare in the Park is provided by Bloomberg.

Major support for The Public Theater is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Susan Stein Shiva Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Shen Family Foundation, the George T. Delacorte Fund at the New York Community Trust—Fund for Performances at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and by Warren Spector and Margaret Whitton.  Additional generous support is provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation

The Public Theater’s 2012-2013 season is made possible with the generous support of The Ian Madover and Arielle Tepper Madover Family Foundation.

New York Magazine is the official print and online sponsor of The Public Theater’s 2012-2013 downtown season.

Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Art; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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