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PRESS ROOM

A RAISIN IN THE SUN

Lorraine Hansberry’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN comes to Astor Place this fall in Hansberry’s Public Theater debut. Directed by Tony Award nominee Robert O’Hara, this fresh look at a classic proves to be as provocative and powerful today as it was in 1959. Lena Younger has decided to use her late husband’s life insurance to move her family out of their cramped apartment on Chicago’s South Side. Her son, Walter Lee, has other ideas. This innovative new production of an American classic fearlessly interrogates the American dream in the face of racial and economic strife.

The cast of A RAISIN IN THE SUN will include Francois Battiste (Walter Lee Younger), Toussaint Battiste (Travis Younger), Almeria Campbell (Understudy Ruth Younger/Mrs. Johnson), John Clay III (Joseph Asagai), Vann Dukes (Understudy Moving Man), Bjorn Dupaty (Moving Man), Calvin Dutton (Bobo), Mister Fitzgerald (George Murchison), Perri Gaffney (Mrs. Johnson), Skyler Gallun (Understudy), Paige Gilbert (Beneatha Younger), Christopher Marquis Lindsay (Moving Man), Mandi Masden (Ruth Younger), Camden McKinnon (Travis Younger), Jesse Pennington (Karl Lindner), Tonya Pinkins (Lena Younger), and N’yomi Stewart (Understudy).

WHERE WE BELONG

In 2015, Mohegan theatre-maker Madeline Sayet moved to England to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare, grappling with the question of what it means to remain or leave, as the Brexit vote threatens to further disengage the UK from the wider world. Moving between nations that have failed to reckon with their ongoing roles in colonialism, she finds comfort in the journeys of her Native ancestors who had to cross the ocean in the 1700s to help her people. In this intimate and exhilarating solo piece directed by Mei Ann Teo, Sayet asks us what it means to belong in an increasingly globalized world.

WHERE WE BELONG is performed by Madeline Sayet and Emily Preis serves as standby.

PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR

On March 13, 2020, as theaters shut their doors and so many of us went into lockdown, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and The Public’s Writer-in-Residence Suzan-Lori Parks picked up her pen and her guitar and set out to write a play every day. What emerged is a breathtaking anthology of plays and songs that chronicle our collective experience and the hope and perseverance that occurred throughout that troubling year. Performed in the intimate music venue, Joe's Pub, PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR is a theatrical concert featuring the music and plays of Suzan-Lori Parks, and is both a personal story of one family's daily lives, as well as a sweeping account of all we faced as a city, a nation, and a global community. Niegel Smith directs this life-affirming new work that beams with humor and humanity, bears witness to what we’ve experienced, and offers inspiration as we shape our future.

The complete cast of PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR includes Edward Astor Chin (Understudy), Leland Fowler (Actor 2), Danyel Fulton (Understudy), Greg Keller (Actor 1), Orville Mendoza (Actor 5), Kenita Miller (Actor 3), Lauren Molina (Actor 6), Suzan-Lori Parks (The Writer), Martín Solá (Actor 7), Will Stone (Understudy), and Pearl Sun (Actor 4).

UNDER THE RADAR 2023

PRESS RELEASES

The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival 2023 will reflect the enormous changes in the field of live theater and performance since 2020. Joyous, outrageous, witty, and powerful, UTR 2023 will partner with stages across the city to highlight national and international artists bursting with innovation, provocation, and celebration.

A highlight of the winter season, the innovative festival returns to in-person performances at The Public Theater’s flagship building at Astor Place and five partner venues: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Chelsea Factory, La MaMa, the New York Public Library, and NYU Skirball Center. Curated by UTR Festival Director Mark Russell, the festival will feature 36 artists and companies from across the U.S. and around the world.

THE HARDER THEY COME

PRESS RELEASES

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and The Public’s Writer-in-Residence, Suzan-Lori Parks, brings to The Public a new musical adaptation of the 1972 movie, THE HARDER THEY COME. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the breakthrough film, produced and directed by Perry Henzell and co-written with Trevor Rhone, tells the story of Ivan, a young singer who arrives in Kingston, Jamaica, eager to become a star. After falling in love and cutting a record deal with a powerful music mogul, Ivan soon learns that the game is rigged, and as he becomes increasingly defiant, he finds himself in a battle that threatens not only his life, but the very fabric of Jamaican society. Featuring Grammy Award winner Jimmy Cliff’s hits, “You Can Get It If You Really Want” and "Pressure Drop," former Artistic Director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre Tony Taccone directs this new musical, with co-direction by Tony Award winner Sergio Trujillo and choreography by Edgar Godineaux.

The cast of THE HARDER THEY COME will include Jeannette Bayardelle (Daisy), Shawn Bowers (Ensemble), Andrew Clarke (Lyle), Jamal Christopher Douglas (Ensemble), Dana Marie Ingraham (Ensemble), Dominique Johnson (Jose), Chelsea-Ann Jones (Ensemble), Dudney Joseph Jr (Ray), Dwight Xaveir Leslie (Understudy), Morgan McGhee (Ensemble), Meecah (Elsa), Jacob Ming-Trent (Pedro), Alysha Morgan (Ensemble), Ken Robinson (Hilton), and Housso Semon (Ensemble). Complete casting will be announced at a later time.

FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK

FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is one of the cornerstones of The Public Theater’s mission. Since 1962, over five million people have enjoyed more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals. 

THE PUBLIC THEATER

THE PUBLIC continues the work of its visionary founder Joe Papp as a civic institution engaging, both on-stage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today. Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation’s first nonprofit theaters, The Public has long operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public’s wide breadth of programming includes an annual season of new work at its landmark home at Astor Place, Free Shakespeare in the Park at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, the Mobile Unit touring throughout New York City’s five boroughs, Public Forum, Under the Radar, Public Lab, Public Works, Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Joe’s Pub. Since premiering HAIR in 1967, The Public continues to create the canon of American Theater and is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda and the upcoming production of Ain’t No Mo’ by Jordan E. Cooper. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 60 Tony Awards, 184 Obie Awards, 56 Drama Desk Awards, 59 Lortel Awards, 34 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, 58 AUDELCO Awards, 6 Antonyo Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes. publictheater.org

The Public Theater stands in honor of the first inhabitants and our ancestors. We acknowledge the land on which The Public and its theaters stand--the original homeland of the Lenape people. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory. We honor the generations of stewards and we pay our respects to the many diverse indigenous peoples still connected to this land. The Public Theater honors and celebrates the people and legacy of Seneca Village, one of the earliest free Black communities in New York City, which was located in what is now Central Park from 1825–1857.