In a statement Public Theater executive director Andrew D. Hamingson said, "We are honored and thrilled to be producing such a broad array of playwrights, directors, actors, and theatre artists. Even in these challenging times, The Public's stages will be filled with the artists that best uphold the mission of this 54-year old institution."
Artistic director Oskar Eustis added, "This ambitious season spans the breadth of The Public's mandate from thrilling Shakespeare produced by some of our greatest American artists to groundbreaking new plays by writers young and old."
The new season will kick off Sept. 12 with the classic Shakespeare tragedy Othello starring John Ortiz in the title role and Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman as Iago. Directed by Peter Sellars, the production — presented by The Public and LAByrinth Theater Company in association with Wiener Festwochen and K15 Festival — will play the NYU Skirball Center through Oct. 4.
Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe will star in the world premiere of Richard Foreman's Idiot Savant, running Oct. 27-Dec. 13 at the downtown venue. Foreman will also direct the production, which is described as "a philosophical comedy, in the great tradition of Ionesco and Preston Sturges." The new work will be presented in association with Ontological-Hysteric Theater.
The Public will also offer Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays Part 1 & Part 2, a co-production with New Jersey's McCarter Theatre Center, where the trilogy is currently enjoying its world premiere. The first part of the trilogy, In the Red and Brown Water, features direction by Tina Landau; Robert O'Hara stages the other two parts, The Brothers Size and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet. Performance dates are Oct. 21-Dec. 13. "This trilogy, offered over two performances, can be viewed independently, or in either order, but have a special resonance when experienced together," according to the Public. Mike Daisey will present his latest monologue, The Last Cargo Cult, in December 2009 at the famed New York theatre. Directed by long-time collaborator Jean-Michele Gregory, Daisey's newest work concerns "his time on a remote South Pacific island whose inhabitants worship America at the base of a constantly erupting volcano. Their religion is explored alongside our own to form a sharp and searing examination of the international financial crisis. Daisey wrestles with the largest questions of what the collapse means, and what it says about our deepest values. Part adventure story and part memoir, he uses each culture to illuminate the other to find, between the seemingly primitive and the achingly modern, a human answer."
The final production of the season will be the premiere of Snake, penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. James Macdonald will direct the explosive drama, which is described as a "family portrait shattered by issues of rage, revenge, power and betrayal. When a young man returns home to South Texas to confront his father, everyday life erupts into a battle for personal survival." Performance dates are March 2-April 4, 2010.
The 2009-2010 season will also include the return of Public LAB, the annual series conceived with LAByrinth Theater Company that lets theatregoers see new work in stripped-down productions; Under the Radar, which showcases cutting-edge theatre from around the world; and New Work Now!, the free readings series of new works.
Ticket information will be announced shortly. For further information visit PublicTheater.
The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.