Public Theater

Public Theater sets 2024-25 Off-Broadway season

Home to multiple New York premieres this season, The Public is a prominent nonprofit theatre company that has launched shows including Hamilton and Hair.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

The Public Theater has announced its 2024-25 season, which includes eight productions, seven of which are North American or New York premieres, taking place off Broadway.

The season begins with the North American premiere of Counting and Cracking, playing at the NYU Skirball center from September 6-22. The play, written by S. Shakthidharan with Eamon Flack, follows the multi-generational journey of a Sri-Lankan Australian family from 1956-2004. Counting and Cracking is a co-production between the Public, Belvoir St Theatre, and Kurinji.

The Counting and Cracking cast includes Rodney Afif, Prakash Belawadi, Antonythasan Jesuthasan, Nadie Kammallaweera, Ahi Karunaharan, Abbie-Lee Lewis, Gandhi MacIntyre, Radhika Mudaliyar, Shiv Palekar, Dushan Philips, Sukhbir Singh Walia, Nipuni Sharada, Kaivu Suvarna, Raj Velu, Sukania Venugopal, and musicians Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda, Janakan Raj, and Venkhatesh Sritharan.

The creative team includes director Eamon Flack, set and costume designer Dale Ferguson, lighting designer Damien Cooper, sound designer and composer Stefan Gregory, and costume and cultural advisor Anandavalli.

The season's next production is the New York premiere of Good Bones by James Ijames, a Pulitzer Prize winner for Fat Ham. Initially set to premiere in 2023, Good Bones follows Aisha, who gets a chance to renovate her dream home in the blighted neighborhood where she grew up. The task, however, forces her to reckon with gentrification and sparks tension between Aisha, her husband, and their community.

Good Bones will run from September 19 to October 13, with opening night on October 1. Saheem Ali directs; he also staged Fat Ham at the Public and on Broadway.

Next is Deep History, written and performed by David Finnigan from October 5-27. Opening is October 10. The North American-premiere play ties together a sweeping, 75,000-year story of climate change with the personal narrative of his best friend's escape from Finnigan's hometown of Canberra, Australia, during devastating bushfires.

From November 1 to December 1 is the final New York production of Gatz, created by theatre company Elevator Repair Service. Opening is November 10. The Public presented two previous productions of the show, a 6.5-hour, verbatim staging of F. Scott Fitzgerald's entire novel The Great Gatsby. The show is directed by Elevator Repair Service artistic director John Collins.

The Gatz cast, many of whom return from the previous productions, includes Laurena Allan, Jim Fletcher, Ross Fletcher, Maggie Hoffman, Mike Iveson, Vin Knight, Aaron Landsman, Annie McNamara, Scott Shepherd, Pete Simpson, Susie Sokol, Tory Vazquez, and Ben Jalosa Williams.

In winter 2025 is the New York premiere of Lisa Sanaye Dring's play Sumo, a co-production of the Public and Ma-Yi Theatre Company. Directed by Ralph B. Peña, the show follows an ambitious 18-year-old boy named Akio, who puts his body and livelihood on the line at an elite sumo wrestling training facility.

The final staged production in the Public's regular season is Glass. Kill. What If If Only. Imp., a collection of four short plays by Caryl Churchill all performed together. The plays respectively center on a girl made of glass, gods and murders, a group of ghosts, and a secret in a bottle. The North American-premiere show, directed by James Macdonald, marks the first time all four plays are being performed together.

Additional programming in the Public's 2024-25 season includes Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, which will reopen the Delacorte Theater in Central Park following renovations. Saheem Ali will direct the production in summer 2025 as part of the Public's annual Free Shakespeare in the Park program.

The Public will also present a world-premiere audio play titled Let's Keep Dancing: A Death Row Story by John Purugganan. The show centers on conversations between a newly imprisoned 21-year-old man on death row and his 67-year-old neighbor, who's been incarcerated for most of his life. Oskar Eustis, the Public's artistic director, directs.

The Public has also announced the first play in its 2025-26 season: Initiative by Else Went, which follows the intertwined lives of seven teenagers in “Coastal Podunk, California.” Emma Rosa Went directs.

Additional dates, cast, and creative team members for the Public's productions have yet to be announced.

Originally published on

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