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Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Yellow Face) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home; Violet; Caroline, or Change) bring their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere.
One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, SOFT POWER is an exploration of America's current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China's point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. SOFT POWER is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all – why do we love democracy? And should we?
Featuring the choreography of Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), Tony nominee Leigh Silverman (Violet, Yellow Face, Wild Goose Dreams) directs this exhilarating new show The Los Angeles Times calls “smart & wonderfully funny. A meeting of dauntingly innovative theatrical minds.”
A groundbreaking work in modern American theater, FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE/WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF, returns to The Public for the first time since it premiered in 1976, before its breakthrough run on Broadway.
Filled with passion, humor, and raw honesty, legendary playwright/poet Ntozake Shange’s form-changing choreopoem tells the stories of seven women of color using poetry, song, and movement. With unflinching honesty and emotion, each woman voices her survival story of having to exist in a world shaped by sexism and racism.
Obie Award winner Leah C. Gardiner (Born Bad, generations, If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka) directs this seminal work that speaks to our world today about women’s struggles, strength, desires, resilience, and the sanctified magic of love and possibility.
Tony Award-winning playwright/director Richard Nelson returns to The Public with the world premiere of THE MICHAELS. Part of Nelson’s critically acclaimed RHINEBECK PANORAMA, which includes The Apple Family and The Gabriels, this new drama places the audience directly into the kitchen of Rose Michael, a celebrated choreographer. Dinner is cooked, modern dances are rehearsed, and the meal is eaten — all amidst conversations about art, death, family, dance, politics, the state of America, and how the world sees our country... and a host of everyday questions that make up the richness of ordinary life.
With grace and depth, Nelson once again creates an intricate, moving snapshot of modern-day America. Laced with humor and heartbreak, THE MICHAELS is a beautiful new play, illustrating the rich humanity within the incidental moments of one day.
Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (Caroline, Or Change; Angels in America), reunites with longtime collaborator and The Public Theater’s Artistic Director Oskar Eustis (White Noise) in a scorching new version of his first play, the prescient 1985 masterwork suggesting the possibility of the Reagan counter-revolution eventually giving rise to American fascism.
Agnes, an actress in Weimar Germany, and her cadre of passionate, progressive friends, are torn between protest, escape, and survival as the world they knew crumbles around them. Her story is interrupted by an American woman enraged by the cruelty of the Reagan administration, and a new character, grappling with the anxiety, distraction, hope, and hopelessness of an artist facing the once unthinkable rise of authoritarianism in modern America.
Funny, brilliant, and devastating, this new production of A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY revisits an epic work that takes a piercing look at the vulnerability of American democracy, and demands to know: when the devil takes up residence in your country… will you act?
This season, The Public’s acclaimed Mobile Unit transports communities of the five boroughs to the vibrant streets of New Orleans for a bold new production of Shakespeare’s MEASURE FOR MEASURE directed by LA Williams.
It’s 1979, Mardi Gras has been officially cancelled, yet the community is still celebrating. Temporarily left in charge by the Duke, the upright and uptight Lord Angelo has decided to crack down on the city’s debauchery, arresting young Claudio for impregnating his fiancée Juliet before their wedding. When virtuous Isabella, Claudio’s sister, hears of his death sentence, she begs Lord Angelo for mercy. But hypocritical Angelo propositions her instead, leaving Isabella with an impossible choice: save her soul or her brother’s life.
In this timely production, lovers and leaders in disguise reveal how those in power take advantage of those without it – asking the question, can the law be both just and merciful?
Over the last 16 years, The Public’s UNDER THE RADAR FESTIVAL has grown into a landmark of the New York City theater season and is a vital part of The Public's mission, providing a high-visibility platform to support artists from diverse backgrounds who are redefining the act of making theater. Widely recognized as a premier launching pad for new and cutting-edge performance from the U.S. and abroad, UTR has presented works by such respected artists as Elevator Repair Service, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, 600 HIGHWAYMEN, Belarus Free Theatre, Guillermo Calderón, Toshi Reagon, Taylor Mac, and Daniel Fish. These artists provide a snapshot of contemporary theater: richly distinct in terms of perspectives, aesthetics, and social practice, and pointing to the future of the art form.