Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis announced the line-up today for The Public's 2011-2012 Season. The 56th Season will feature new works by Mike Daisey, Nathan Englander, David Henry Hwang, Richard Nelson, and Stew and Heidi Rodewald, as well as the premiere of FEBRUARY HOUSE, a new musical by Gabriel Kahane and Seth Bockley that is the first commission of The Public's Musical Theater Initiative.
Shakespeare abounds at The Public this fall. After his lauded performance as Polonius in Hamlet in Shakespeare in the Park in 2008, Sam Waterston returns to play King Lear, directed by James Macdonald. Following the success of this season's Timon of Athens, Public LAB SHAKESPEARE will continue with LOVE'S LABOR'S LOST, directed by Karin Coonrod, and TITUS ANDRONICUS, featuring Jay O. Sanders as Titus and directed by Michael Sexton.
"Next year at The Public, we are going to have an explosion of Shakespeare activity that is going to demonstrate the breadth and quality of the work that we can do with the greatest writer in the English language," said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "We also believe that The Public must be part of the ongoing civic dialogue, that we should talk about the big issues of our time, and that theater has something to bring to that conversation that can't be gotten in any other way."
September will see the world premiere of Richard Nelson's SWEET AND SAD in Public LAB. The second in a series of plays about the Apple family and the immediate and ever-changing state of the nation, the original cast from last season's That Hopey Changey Thing will reunite for this world premiere Public LAB production: Jon DeVries, Shuler Hensley, Maryann Plunkett, Laila Robins, Jay O. Sanders, and J. Smith-Cameron.
Mike Daisey returns in October with his latest show, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS, hailed by The Washington Post as "hands-down Daisey's most effective performance yet." Daisey's long-time collaborator Jean-Michele Gregory directs this hilarious and harrowing tale of pride, beauty, lust, and industrial design.
GOB SQUAD'S KITCHEN (You've Never Had It So Good), a hit at the 2011 Under the Radar Festival, will kick off 2012 with a limited three week run at The Public Theater in January.
In February, best-selling author Nathan Englander adapts his warm and deeply moving new play, THE TWENTY-SEVENTH MAN, from his acclaimed short story of the same name. Barry Edelstein helms this world premiere.
Public LAB will present a new musical by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, THE TOTAL BENT, directed by Joanna Settle, also in February. The creators of the Tony Award-winning Passing Strange will develop their latest musical about a black gospel prodigy and a white music producer who meet in a recording studio just south of the Twilight Zone.
Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang returns next season with his latest play, CHINGLISH, directed by Yellow Face director Leigh Silverman. CHINGLISH is a funny, sexy portrait of our Pacific Century that reveals what gets lost -- and found -- in translation.
FEBRUARY HOUSE, the first commission of The Public's Musical Theater Initiative, will premiere in May/June 2012, with music and lyrics by Gabriel Kahane and book by Seth Bockley. Directed by Davis McCallum, this powerful and funny new musical set in Brooklyn in the 1940s is inspired by true events and features a cast of characters that includes novelist Carson McCullers, composer Benjamin Britten, poet W.H. Auden, and the infamous Gypsy Rose Lee.
The Public Theater will continue offering Anniversary Memberships for an annual $55 (tax-deductible) donation, which entitles patrons to purchase significantly discounted tickets to shows and events throughout the year. Single tickets for the 2011-2012 Season will go on sale later this summer.
2011-2012 DOWNTOWN SEASON:
New York Premiere
THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS
Created and Performed by Mike Daisey
Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory
October 11 - November 13, 2011
Following the success of The Last Cargo Cult, Mike Daisey turns his razor-sharp wit to America's most mysterious technology icon in this hilarious and harrowing tale of pride, beauty, lust, and industrial design. He illuminates how the CEO of Apple and his obsessions shape our lives, while sharing stories of his own travel to China to investigate the factories where millions toil to make iPhones and iPods. Daisey's dangerous journey shines a light on our love affair with our devices and the human cost of creating them. The New York Times has hailed Mike Daisey as "the master storyteller" and "one of the finest solo performers of his generation."