Public Theater announce their 2010/11 season

The Public Theater has announced the line-up for The Public’s 55th Anniversary Season beginning in Sep 2010 with the New York premiere of Elevator Repair Service’s Gatz, a literary tour de force where 13 actors and an audience experience every word of The Great Gatsby in a two-part, 6 1/2-hour theatrical event.


The 2010-2011 season will continue with the New York premiere of Lisa Kron’s In the Wake, directed by Well collaborator Leigh Silverman. In December, The Public Theater will present the New York premiere of The Tricycle Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of The Great Game: Afghanistan at NYU Skirball Center. Nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement, this acclaimed political and theatrical event will explore Afghanistan’s culture and history in three parts, over three separate and provocative evenings.

In the winter, Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis will reunite with Rinne Groff to direct the world premiere production of Compulsion. Eustis directed Groff’s 'The Ruby Sunrise' at The Public Theater in 2005.

In March, Tony Kushner returns to The Public Theater with his newest play, The Intellient Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, directed by Michael Greif.

The season will conclude with a co-production with the LAByrinth Theater Company of the world premiere of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Mother F**ker with the Hat, a new comedy about love and its consequences.

The Public Theater recently kicked off the “Going Public” building renovation campaign. Beginning this month, the building at 425 Lafayette Street will be under construction to implement necessary improvements such as a refurbished lobby, restored building façade, an upgraded heating/air conditioning system, an expanded and centrally located box office, significantly increased restrooms, and improved and expanded concessions service. During the construction, The Public Theater will continue to present a full downtown season as well as summer seasons of Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater.

“The Public’s season is as sweeping and remarkable as the country in which we live,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “These artists are tackling the biggest and most exciting issues of our time – from the west’s relationship to Afghanistan to the legacy of the Holocaust, from the American Dream of the Great Gatsby to the calamitous years of the Bush Presidency. This season is, above all, a ‘public’ season – and it promises to be thrilling.”

“We could not have asked for a better line-up for our 55th Anniversary Season,” said Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson. “We are working with world class companies and world class artists. In addition, we are making theater more affordable for our members with a top ticket price of $40. That’s a landmark program for a landmark building!”

New York Premiere
By Elevator Repair Service
Text: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Directed by John Collins
26 Sep - 31 Oct 2010

Synopsis: One morning in the low-rent office of a mysterious small business, an employee finds a copy of The Great Gatsby in the clutter of his desk. He starts to read it out loud, and doesn’t stop. At first his coworkers hardly notice. But after a series of strange coincidences, it’s no longer clear whether he’s reading the book or the book is transforming him.

“One of the most exciting and improbable accomplishments in theater in recent years” (The New York Times), Gatz is a theatrical and literary tour de force, not a retelling of the Gatsby story but an enactment of the novel itself. Over the course of 6 1/2 hours, Fitzgerald’s American masterpiece is delivered word for word, startlingly brought to life by a low-rent office staff in the midst of their inscrutable business operations. The cast of 13 actors includes Scott Shepherd (The Wooster Group’s Hamlet).

Gatz will be presented as a marathon theatrical event, with two intermissions and a dinner break, four times per week.

New York Premiere
In the Wake
By Lisa Kron
Directed by Leigh Silverman
19 Oct - 21 Nov 2010

Synopsis: "I’ve lost my bearings. I don't know how to evaluate what's happening. None of my tools seem to be working... How do we know when the worst is over?" Is Ellen referring to her relationship with Danny, or her hope for change? Obie Award winners Lisa Kron and Leigh Silverman (creators of Well) return to The Public with a meditation on love and country.

In the Wake was originally commissioned by Center Theatre Group where it is currently receiving its world premiere in Los Angeles.

New York Premiere
The Tricycle Theatre Company presents
The Great Game: Afghanistan
By Richard Bean, Lee Blessing, David Edgar, David Greig, Amit Gupta, Ron Hutchinson, Stephen Jeffreys, Abi Morgan, Ben Ockrent, Simon Stephens, Colin Teevan, and Joy Wilkinson
Directed by Nicolas Kent and Indhu Rubasingham
30 Nov - 19 Dec 2010

Synopsis: Through the eyes of 12 leading British and American playwrights and the voices of those actively involved in the war and on U.S. & NATO policy in Afghanistan, The Tricycle Theatre Company’s The Great Game: Afghanistan explores, in three separate evenings, the culture and history of Afghanistan since Western involvement in 1842 to the present day.

All three parts can be seen separately and do not need to be experienced in chronological order. This ambitious political and theatrical event was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement and unanimously awarded four stars (out of four) by 11 British newspapers. It was proclaimed “an inspirational highlight of the year!” by The Independent.

Part 1: Invasions & Independence – 1842-1930
Starts with the first Anglo-Afghan War of 1842 and moves to Afghan independence in the 1920s.

Part 2: Communism, The Mujahideen & The Taliban – 1979-1996
Continues the story from the Russian invasion, through to US/CIA arming of the Mujahideen to the coming of the Taliban.

Part 3: Enduring Freedom – 1996-2010
Starts with the events of 7/11 in Northern Afghanistan, through to the overthrow of Taliban, the aid agencies working in the country and the current war against the insurgents.

Parts 1, 2, and 3 can be seen separately and not necessarily in chronological order. Trilogy days will be held on weekends.

World Premiere
By Rinne Groff
Directed by Oskar Eustis
A co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Yale Repertory Theatre
1 Feb - 6 Mar 2011

Synopsis: It is 1951 and Sid Silver is on a mission to be the guardian of one of the most moving and provocative accounts of the 20th century. Deeply moved by Anne Frank's diary, he is driven to bring her story to the American masses by promoting the book's publication and adapting the diary into a work of theater.

Inspired by the story of Meyer Levin, Compulsion brings playwright Rinne Groff and The Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis (The Ruby Sunrise) together again with a complex and inventive telling that is part historical fiction, part investigation into what makes a man obsess, and part exploration of an untold dimension of Anne Frank's powerful and enduring legacy. "An enthralling drama of immense imagination, of emotional and moral complexity, and sparkling humor." (Hartford Courant)

New York Premiere
The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide To Capitalism And Socialism With A Key To The Scriptures
By Tony Kushner
Directed by Michael Greif
A co-production with Signature Theatre Company in association with The Guthrie Theater
22 Mar - 12 Jun 2011

Synopsis: In the summer of 2007, Gus Marcantonio, a retired longshoreman and card-carrying member of the CPUSA (the American Communist Party), summons his children to the family’s Brooklyn brownstone for a series of shocking announcements. As Gus’s kids attempt to address a profound crisis in their difficult father’s difficult life, their own spectacularly messy problems – and spectacularly messed-up lovers, spouses and exes - follow them home.

The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide To Capitalism And Socialism With A Key To The Scriptures explores revolutionary versus evolutionary change, the history of Italian-American radicalism, sex, sexual identity, prostitution, parenting, politics, theology, real estate, unions of all kinds, and debts both repaid and unpayable.

World Premiere
The Motherf**Ker With The Hat
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Presented by LAByrinth Theater Company and The Public Theater
Spring 2011

Synopsis: Jackie and Veronica have been in love since the 8th grade. But now, Jackie is on parole and living clean and sober under the guidance of his sponsor, Ralph D, while still living and loving with his volatile soul mate Veronica who is fiercely loving, but far from sober. Still, their love is pure. And true. Nothing can come between them -- except a hat.

The 2010-2011 Season will see the fourth year of Public LAB, the annual series conceived with LAByrinth Theater Company that lets New Yorkers see new work in stripped-down productions.

Under the Radar will return for its seventh year (5 - 16 Jan 2011), showcasing theater from around the world on the many stages of The Public.

The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 as the Shakespeare Workshop and is now one of the nation’s preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals, productions of Shakespeare, and other classics at its headquarters on Lafayette Street and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

The Public’s mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues on stage and through its 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, 149 Obies, 40 Drama Desk Awards, 24 Lucille Lortel Awards and 4 Pulitzer Prizes.

The Public has brought 52 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,' and, most recently, the current Tony Award-winning revival of 'Hair'