The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival is still dotting the i's and crossing the t's on plans for its 2000-2001 season, but four of the expected six major productions there have been confirmed, following a preliminary announcement in April.
Brian Kulick and Michael Greif have been announced as directors. John Moran will perform in and direct the multimedia piece he created, Book of the Dead. Other directors and productions are expected to be named shortly.
The Off-Broadway nonprofit on Lafayette Street in Manhattan will offer:
• John Moran's Book of the Dead, a musical-multimedia rumination on American spirituality in the digital age, at the Martinson Theater in the fall. Moran will also perform in the piece, which is called "genre-exploding" in its style, traveling from "the sunlit optimism of Ancient Egypt, through a day in the life of New York City's Second Avenue...to a Tibetan vision of the afterworld." It is Moran's first New York production in four years.
• Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters, based on her novel of the same name, explores life in the Philippines in the 1980s. This New York premiere, directed by Michael Greif (Rent), will play the Anspacher Theater and mix "tales of politicians, hustlers, beauty queens and radicals...from the excesses of Imelda Marcos to the horrors of assassination." • Kit Marlowe, by David Grimm, is a "raw, contemporary take" on the life of Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe (Dr. Faustus, Tamburlaine, The Jew of Malta), directed by Public artistic associate Brian Kulick. The lover, playwright and spy will be revealed at the Newman Theater.
• Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks is a "darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity," a tale of two brothers -- one named Lincoln and one Booth. Their names "foretell a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment." Parks' In the Blood (a Pulitzer finalist) played the Public in 1999-2000.
-- By Kenneth Jones