Translated by John Willett and directed by Lear deBessonet (The Tempest), the production officially opened Off-Broadway Oct. 29 after previews that began Oct. 18 at the Public Theater. Performances were originally scheduled through Nov. 24. The imaginative staging was presented to acclaim earlier this year at La MaMa e.t.c.
Mac stars in the title role in a cast that also includes Kate Benson (Mrs. Shin); Ephraim Birney (The Nephew); Vinie Burrows (God #1); Clifton Duncan (Grandfather, Yang Sun); Jack Allen Greenfield (Boy, Carpenter’s Son); Brooke Ishibashi (The Woman); Paul Juhn (The Man, Mr. Shu Fu); Mia Katigbak (God #2); Lisa Kron, (Mrs. Mi Tzu. Mrs. Yang); Taylor Mac (Shen Tei); Mary Shultz (God #3); David Turner (Wang, Waiter); and Darryl Winslow (Unemployed Man, Carpenter, Policeman).
Here's how it's billed: "Can we practice goodness and create a world to sustain it? In this comic and complex play, one of Brecht's most entertaining characters, Shen Tei, the good-hearted, penniless, cross-dressing prostitute, is forced to disguise herself as a savvy businessman named Shui Ta to master the ruthlessness necessary to be a 'good person' in a cruel world of limited resources."
The production has set design by Matt Saunders, costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Tyler Micoleau, sound design by Brandon Wolcott and choreography by Danny Mefford.