The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, Interim Executive Director Joey Parnes) starts the 2011-2012 season with the return of NEW WORK NOW!, the popular reading series that allows audiences an opportunity to experience new work by a diverse selection of established and emerging theater artists. NEW WORK NOW! runs September 7-18 in The Public's Martinson Theater (425 Lafayette Street). All readings are free and open to the public. Member tickets are available now and single ticket reservations will be available on Monday, August 22 by contacting the box office at (212) 967-7555.
This year's 11 playwrights are Christina Anderson, Daniel Berrigan, Colman Domingo, Danai Gurira, Dawn Jamieson, Lisa Kron, Itamar Moses, Tanya Saracho, S.M. Shephard-Massat, Julian Sheppard, and Alena Smith.
"NEW WORK NOW! has always been a highlight of The Public Theater's play development programming," said Associate Artistic Director Mandy Hackett. "This year's line-up is chock-full of extraordinary writers and thrilling new plays and they're all for free."
Previous NEW WORK NOW! series have included the world premieres of Urge for Going by Mona Mansour; In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney; The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson; Paris Commune by Steven Cosson and Michael Friedman; The Poor Itch by John Belluso; In Darfur by Winter Miller; Durango by Julia Cho; Measure for Pleasure by David Grimm; Satellites by Diana Son; Well by Lisa Kron; Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori; and the Pulitzer Prize-winning plays Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz and Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks.
This year's NEW WORK NOW! series also includes the return of New Work Then, an opportunity for The Public to celebrate seminal works from the past. The Public presented a 10 play New Work Then series in 2005, in honor of its 50th anniversary, and continues the tradition this year with a reading of The Trial of the Catonsville Nine by Daniel Berrigan, with text prepared by Saul Levitt. The play draws on court transcripts from the trial of nine Catholic peace activists who, in 1968, seized 378 draft documents from Local Board No. 33 in Catonsville, Maryland and publicly burned them to protest the napalming of innocent people during the Vietnam War. Directed by Gordon Davidson, the play premiered at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles as part of its New Theatre For Now Festival in August 1970. It subsequently moved to New York - first to the Good Shepherd-Faith Church near Lincoln Center in January 1971 and then on to the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway that same year. It returned to the Mark Taper Forum for a full subscription run in the 1971 season. The Public remembers the nine's courageous actions and this vital American play via a New Work Then presentation, helmed by the director of the original production.
2011 NEW WORK NOW! Schedule
Wednesday, September 7 at 7 PM
By Julian Sheppard
Directed by Leigh Silverman