Public Theater Explores Final Frontier, Space, Beginning Nov. 16

News   Public Theater Explores Final Frontier, Space, Beginning Nov. 16 Writer-director Tina Landau's Space, an image-rich rumination on the beyond, a hit at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, begins previews at the Public Theater's Martinson Hall in Manhattan Nov. 16. Official opening is Dec. 5.

Writer-director Tina Landau's Space, an image-rich rumination on the beyond, a hit at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, begins previews at the Public Theater's Martinson Hall in Manhattan Nov. 16. Official opening is Dec. 5.

The cast of Space, about a scientist grappling with the idea of worlds beyond our own (and patients with experiences beyond), includes Teagle F. Bougere, Andersen Gabrych, Tom Irwin, Larry Keith, Theresa McCarthy, Amy Morton, Kristine Nielsen and Dan Smith. Irwin, Morton and Smith appeared in the original Steppenwolf staging.

Landau directed a separate staging of Space (running to Nov. 14) at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Landau's story involves a neuro-psychiatrist who has suddenly become a magnet for patients claiming to be alien abductees, drawing him into the strangely overlapping worlds of extraterrestrials and hard science.

Designers for the Public staging of Space are James Schuette (set), Melina Root (costume), Scott Zielinski (lighting), Rob Milburn & Michael Bodeen (sound design/original music) and Jan Hartley (projection design). Landau's writing/directing credits include Floyd Collins, Stonewall, States of Independence and 1969.

Tickets are $45. The Public Theater is at 425 Lafayette Street. Call (212) 260-2400.

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Meanwhile, In the Blood, Suzan-Lori Parks' modern take on "The Scarlet Letter," featuring Charlayne Woodard in the Hester role, began performances Nov. 2 at the Public's Susan Stein Shiva Theater and continues to Dec. 5.

The In the Blood cast, directed by David Esbjornson, includes Rob Campbell, Gail Grate, Bruce MacVittie, Reggie Montgomery and Dierdre O'Connell.

Woodard is known for her roles in Broadway's Ain't Misbehavin', the Public's Twelfth Night, and her one-woman shows, Neat and Pretty Fire.

Hamlet, the Shakespeare classic, is now in rehearsal toward a Nov. 22 first preview at the Newman Theatre. It will feature Liev Schreiber as the melancholy Dane and Diane Venora as mother Gertrude. Andre Serban directs. Opening night is Dec. 12.

The cast of Hamlet includes David Wilson Barnes, Christian Camargo (Horatio), Justin Campbell, Lynn Collins (Ophelia), Michael Early, Colm Feore (Claudius), Dion Flynn, Jonathan Fried, Andrew Garman, Adam Greer, Marc Gwinn, Francis Jue, Richard Libertini (Polonius), Hamish Linklater (Laertes), George Morfogen (The Player King), Robert Alexander Owens, Jeremy Shamos, Wendy Rich Stetson and Robin Weigert.

-- By Kenneth Jones