The Public Theater has revealed its lineup for the 2018–2019 season, which will kick off in September with the North American premiere of Bob Dylan and Conor McPherson’s new West End musical Girl From the North Country.
The season will also include plays by Suzan-Lori Parks, Simon Stephens, Nick Payne, Hansol Jung, Luis Alfaro, and Patricia Ione Lloyd, among others; as well as the return of Oscar nominee and three-time Tony and Emmy Award winner Glenn Close, along with Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Tony nominee Tom Sturridge in their Public Theater acting debuts.
Following a critically acclaimed, sold-out run at London’s Old Vic and a subsequent West End transfer, Girl From the North Country will make its Off-Broadway debut at The Public beginning September 11. Drawing on Dylan’s iconic songbook, the story brings to life the tales of a local community on the brink of change in Dylan’s hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, in 1934. McPherson is the show's writer and director; performances will run through November 4.
Also in September, Close will return to the Public Theater in a new play by Emmy winner Jane Anderson (Looking for Normal, Olive Kitteridge). Mother of The Maid tells the story of Joan of Arc’s mother (Close), a sensible, hard-working, God-fearing peasant woman whose faith is upended as she faces the challenges of raising an exceptional daughter. Emmy nominee Matthew Penn will direct the New York premiere, scheduled to play September 25–November 18.
Next up, the Off-Broadway theatre will present the world premiere of Eve’s Song by The Public’s Emerging Writers Group alum and 2017-18 Tow Playwright-in-Residence, Lloyd. Directed by Obie winner Jo Bonney (Mlima’s Tale), the new genre-bending drama examines the haunting of a black family in America’s present racial climate. Performances will run October 23–December 2.
Also in October will be the New York premiere of Jung’s Wild Goose Dreams, directed by Leigh Silverman. The story follows a South Korean man and a North Korean woman who connect online—both from different cultures, both forced to choose between family and freedom. The play with music is a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, where Wild Goose Dreams received an acclaimed run last season. Performances will run October 30–December 9.
In the new year, Sturridge and Gyllenhaal will make their Public Theater debuts in Stephens' Sea Wall and Payne's A Life, respectively. Both monologue plays, directed by Carrie Cracknell, will be presented as an evening of theatre. Performances will run January 26–March 24, 2019.
In February, the Public will present the world premiere of Parks' White Noise, directed by Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. Following her critically acclaimed trilogy Father Comes Home From The Wars, Parts 1, 2, & 3, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and The Public’s Master Writer Chair returns with a world-premiere play about race, friendship, and our rapidly unraveling social contract. Performances will run February 19–March 31.
Following White Noise will be the world premiere of Ain’t No More by Jordan E. Cooper and directed by Stevie Walker-Webb. First seen in The Public’s Public Studio, the play is a satirical odyssey portraying the great exodus of black Americans out of a country plagued with injustice. Performances will run March 12–April 21.
In April, The Public will present Tim Blake Nelson’s Socrates, a tribute to the philosopher and a retelling of his journey from democratic Athens through the military and social upheavals that led his infamous execution by poison. Directed by Doug Hughes, and presented in collaboration with the Onassis Cultural Center NY, the world premiere will run April 2–May 19.
Closing out the season next summer will be the New York premiere of Mojada by MacArthur Genius Award-winning playwright Alfaro, directed by Chay Yew (the two previously collaborated on last season’s Oedipus El Rey). Inspired by Medea, the new work combines ancient storytelling and contemporary hot-button issues to tell a tale of love, immigration, and sacrifice. Performances will run July 2–August 11.
The lineup also includes the 15th annual Under the Radar Festival (January 3–13, 2019); a Mobile Unit production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Jenny Koons in the fall; and a Mobile Unit run of The Tempest, directed by Lucas Caleb Rooney next spring. The lineup for the 2019 summer Free Shakespeare in the Park will be announced at a later date.
For more information visit PublicTheater.org.