Public Theater's 2009-2010 Season to include 3 world and 1 New York premiere

The Public Theater has announced that the 2009-2010 Season will feature premieres by Peter Sellars, Richard Foreman, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Mike Daisey and Suzan-Lori Parks and include performances by John Ortiz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Willem Dafoe.

The Public�s season will open in September with Othello, directed by Peter Sellars, and featuring John Ortiz as 'Othello' and Philip Seymour Hoffman as 'Iago.' Willem Dafoe will make his Public Theater debut in October with the world premiere of Idiot Savant, written and directed by Richard Foreman.

Tarell Alvin McCraney, one of America�s acclaimed young writers, will return to The Public in October to complete his trilogy with the world premiere of The Brother/Sister Plays Part 1 & Part 2. Tina Landau will direct Part 1: 'In The Red and Brown Water' and Robert O�Hara will direct Part 2: 'The Brothers Size' and 'Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet.' These three plays will be presented in two separate shows to be enjoyed independently, in any order, or experienced together. Marathon performances will be scheduled for weekends so audiences can experience all three plays in one day.

Mike Daisey will return to The Public in December with a new monologue The Last Cargo Cult, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks will premiere her newest play Snake in March.

�This ambitious season spans the breadth of The Public�s mandate from thrilling Shakespeare produced by some of our greatest American artists to groundbreaking new plays by writers young and old,� said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis.

�We are honored and thrilled to be producing such a broad array of playwrights, directors, actors, and theater artists,� said Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson. �Even in these challenging times, The Public�s stages will be filled with the artists that best uphold the mission of this 54-year old institution.�

2009-2010 Season:

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Peter Sellars
12 Sep - 4 Oct 2009 at NYU Skirball Center
Cast to features John Ortiz as 'Othello' and Philip Seymour Hoffman as 'Iago.'

synopsis: Passed over for promotion within the Venetian army, Iago's twisted yet ingenious plot sets in motion a chain of events that will destroy the lives of his general, Othello, Othello's faithful wife Desdemona and ultimately himself in this tale of political and sexual jealousy.

Peter Sellars explores the new prospects for hope in 21st-century America giving the play a modern resonance that raises a mirror to our culture's racial struggles and achievements, both darkened and illuminated by overwhelming personal and political yearning. Presented by The Public Theater and LAByrinth Theater Company in association with Wiener Festwochen and K15 Festival and by special arrangement with NYU Skirball Center.

Idiot Savant (World Premiere)
Written and Directed by Richard Foreman
27 Oct � 13 Dec 2009
Cast to feature Willem Dafoe
Synopsis: Marie asks the Idiot Savant, �But what makes certain words � magic?� This new work is a philosophical comedy, in the tradition of Ionesco and Preston Sturges. From precise existential and metaphysical acrobatics, to a ridiculous game of inter-species golf with a Giant Duck, Idiot Savant is an exploration of the boundaries of the legitimate. Presented in association with Ontological-Hysteric Theater.

The Brother/Sister Plays Part 1 & Part 2. (World Premiere)
By Tarell Alvin McCraney
21 Oct - 13 Dec 2009 (Marathon performances on weekends)

Part 1: In the Red and Brown Water
Directed by Tina Landau
Synopsis: How far will Oya go to make a mark in the world? Fast, beautiful Oya is a young runner with enormous promise, forced to choose between her ailing mother and her own dreams. The story charts a young girl�s thrust into womanhood and her subsequent fall into the murky waters of life.

Part 2: The Brothers Size and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet
Directed by Robert O�Hara

The Brothers Size
Reconceived as part of the trilogy since it premiered as part of The Public�s 2007-2008 season, the drama follows two brothers as they walk the line between law and liberty, locked in a fierce tug-of-war for their own souls and a test of their fraternal bond.

Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet:
A tale of a young man's awakening to his tenuous connections with his history, his friends, his sexuality, and himself. Tarell Alvin McCraney, winner of the inaugural New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, returns to The Public with a trilogy of modern-day stories of kinship, love, heartache and coming-of-age centered around an extended family and community in the Bayou.

This trilogy, offered over two performances, can be viewed independently, or in either order.

Presented by The Public Theater in association with McCarter Theatre.

The Last Cargo Cult (New York Premiere)
Created and Performed by Mike Daisey
Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory
Dec 2009
Synopsis: The true-life story of the playwright's time on a remote South Pacific island whose inhabitants worship America at the base of a constantly erupting volcano. Their religion is explored alongside our own to form a sharp and searing examination of the international financial crisis. Daisey wrestles with the largest questions of what the collapse means, and what it says about our deepest values.

Snake (World Premiere)
By Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by James Macdonald
2 Mar � 4 Apr 2010
In this new play, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog) has drawn a family portrait shattered by issues of rage, revenge, power and betrayal. When a young man returns home to South Texas to confront his father, everyday life erupts into a battle for personal survival. The drama weaves the story of three people bound together by passion and ambition, love and longing. Currently, Parks is the Master Writer Chair at The Public Theater.

The 2009-2010 Season will see the third 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 sixth year (6 - 17 Jan 2010), showcasing theater from around the world on the many stages of The Public.

The 2009-10 Season will also feature the return of New Work Now!, the free readings series that showcases new work.

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 41 Tony Awards, 149 Obies, 40 Drama Desk Awards, 24 Lucille Lortel Awards and 4 Pulitzer Prizes.