Hoch, Ortiz, Murphy Featured in "New Work Now!" Readings

News   Hoch, Ortiz, Murphy Featured in "New Work Now!" Readings New casting has been announced for "New Work Now!," the Public Theater's annual spring reading series of edgy and odd new scripts by familiar and unknown playwrights.

Solo artist Danny Hoch will star in the May 6 reading of Brendan Cochrane and Joseph Assadourian's Joey Shakespear, about two prisoners who, to prove that only the worst script will succeed in Hollywood, write a terrible screenplay—which proves a huge success. Michael John Barces directs.

John Ortiz, who acted in Stephen Adly Guirgis' Jesus Hopped the A Train will star as Wheelchair, and Guirgis himself will be Sampson, two of the street corner characters in Bodega Lung Fat by Mike Batistick. Jo Bonney directs. The reading is on May 7.

On May 12, Sally Murphy of A Man of No Importance will play Saint Lucy in the new Donna Di Novelli-David Rodwin "song cycle," No God but Yearning. The performance is at Joe's Pub and costs $15 admission.

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A reading of Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winner Anna in the Tropics kicked off the series on April 26, with Cruz himself directing. The Public's description of the play ran thus: "A lector arrives to read 'Anna Karenina' to the factory workers as they roll hundreds of cigars each day in the summer heat. The exotic cold of Anna's Russia ignites their hidden desires and passions with tragic results." The centerpiece of the series is the new play by Lisa Kron, Well, which will be offered in five workshop presentations. Leigh Silverman directs the piece, which asks the question: Are we responsible for our own illnesses? The remaining dates are May 11 at 7 PM and May 12 at 7 PM.

All play readings are free and open to the public, unless otherwise indicated. Call The Public Theater box office at (212) 260-2400. Limit four reservations per reading. Reserved tickets must be picked up 15 minutes prior to starting time, at which time unclaimed tickets will be released to people on the waiting list. For a complete schedule, check on line at www.publictheater.org.