Liev Schreiber is not what he is this season at the Public Theater as he takes on the role of Iago in a new production of Othello. He will play opposite the already announced Moor of Keith David. Mark Lamos directs. No dates have been announced.
Schreiber is becoming a New York stage regular. During the 1999-2000 season, he starred as Hamlet in the Andrei Serban production at the Public. And last season, he acted with Juliette Binoche in Harold Pinter's Betrayal at the Roundabout Theatre Company. Schreiber emerged as an alternative film mainstay in the mid-90s. Among his indy credits are "Daytrippers," "Walking and Talking" and the film "Hamlet" starring Ethan Hawke, in which he played Laertes (the movie was released around the same time he was playing the Dane on stage).
Keith David appeared in two Public Theater productions in the last season alone: David Grimm's Kit Marlowe and A Winter's Tale in Central Park. No Desdemona, Cassio or Emilio have been announced.
A one-woman show starring Elaine Stritch and new plays by Ellen McLaughlin and Suzan-Lori Parks are on the roster for the Public Theater's 2000-01 season. The Stritch show is an autobiographical work called Elaine Stritch at Liberty. The piece is “constructed by Elaine Stritch, reconstructed by John Lahr” and directed by George C. Wolfe. A legendary theatre veteran, Stritch has starred in such shows as Pal Joey, Bus Stop, Sail Away, Company, Show Boat and A Delicate Balance, all on Broadway.
Suzan-Lori Parks' new play, called Fucking A, will be the playwright's third work at the Public in as many seasons. Topdog/Underdog, starring Don Cheadle and Jeffrey Wright, bowed this past summer, while In the Blood played in fall 1999. Like In the Blood, A takes as its inspiration Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter." In 17 scenes and seven songs, A tells of an illiterate abortionist whose goal is to buy her wayward son out of prison. Parts of the play are written in an invented language called "Talk," which is used by the undereducated women of the piece to talk about sex and reproduction. Parks also penned the music and lyrics for the story's songs, a first for the playwright. Parks directed the play for Houston's DiverseWorks Artspace in early 2000.
If Parks is obsessed with "The Scarlet Letter," then Ellen McLaughlin is fixated on the Battle of Troy. An earlier play, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, which played Off-Broadway's CSC, was a post-modern look at Agamemnon's wife and his daughters, including the title character, who was sacrificed to the gods so that Agamemnon's forces might sail to and engage rival Troy. McLaughlin's new work, Helen, is about the woman whose face launched those one thousand ships in the first place. In the world of Helen, however, the woman in question is not in Troy but in Cairo having protein shakes and facials . Tony Kushner, taking a break from playwriting, will direct the show.
Completing the line-up is 36 Views by Naomi Iizuka, directed by Mark Wing-Davey. The show is a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.