David Byrne, Harvey Fierstein, Nia Vardalos and Lynn Nottage Tapped For Public Season | Playbill

News David Byrne, Harvey Fierstein, Nia Vardalos and Lynn Nottage Tapped For Public Season The downtown theatre has announced its 2016-17 season.
David Byrne, Liesl Tommy, Nia Vardalos and Harvey Fierstein
David Byrne, Liesl Tommy, Nia Vardalos and Harvey Fierstein Monica Simoes, Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The Public Theater has announced its 2016-17 season. The slate is set to feature new works by Here Lies Love’s David Byrne and Alex Timbers; Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage; My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s Nia Vardalos; and Hamilton director Thomas Kail. Harvey Fierstein, Rachel Weisz and Corey Stoll are all tapped to perform.

The Public has had a run of hits in recent seasons, hosting first New York productions or world premieres of Hamilton, Here Lies Love and Fun Home.

Lynn Nottage
Lynn Nottage

As previously announced, the Public will mount the first major New York revival of David Hare's Plenty, beginning October 4. The award-winning, post-World War II drama will be directed by five-time Tony nominee David Leveaux and will feature Oscar winner Rachel Weisz and the newly-announced Stoll. Performances are set to run through November 6.

Also slated for October is the New York premiere of Nottage’s Sweat, directed by Kate Whoriskey. The work, set in a small Pennsylvania town affected by factory lay-offs, debuted at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival amid critical acclaim. Performances are set to run October 18 through November 20.

In November, Eclipsed director Liesl Tommy returns to the Public to direct the New York premiere of Party People by Universes, the award-winning ensemble made up of Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, Steven Sapp and William Ruiz aka Ninja. The group is known for their fusion of theatre, poetry, jazz , hip-hop and politics. Featuring choreography by Millicent Johnnie, performances are set to run November 1 through December 4.

Beginning November 15, the theatre will present the world premiere of Tiny Beautiful Things, based on the book by Cheryl Strayed, and adapted for the stage and featuring Oscar-nominated writer and actress Vardalos. The new work is co-conceived by Vardalos, Kail and Marshall Heyman, featuring direction by Kail. The My Big Fat Greek Wedding star will play Sugar, an online advice columnist to thousands of people.

David Byrne and Alex Timbers
David Byrne and Alex Timbers

In February 2017, the duo behind Here Lies Love reunites at the Public for the world premiere of Saint Joan, a rock musical concert chronicling the rise of Joan of Arc. The new work is billed as “thrilling and provocative new show about challenging the powerful and believing in the impossible.”

Slated for next spring is another world premiere: Martin Sherman’s Gently Down the Stream, directed by Sean Mathias and featuring Fierstein. The Broadway vet will play Beau, a pianist expat living in London who meets an eccentric young lawyer at the dawn of the internet dating revolution. The Public bills it as a “remarkably moving, brilliantly funny love story that reflects the triumphs and heartbreaks of the entire length of the gay rights movement.”

The 2016-17 season will also feature the finale of Richard Nelson’s three-play cycle, The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family, in time for the Presidential election, November 4-27; the previously-announced New York premiere of John Leguizamo: Latin History for Morons; a free Public Works musical adaptation of Twelfth Night at the Delacorte with music and lyrics by Shaina Taub and direction by Kwei-Armah; the annual Under the Radar Festival; and the New York premiere of The Outer Space at Joe’s Pub, written by Ethan Lipton, featuring music composed and performed by Lipton, Vito Dieterle, Eben Levy and Ian Riggs, directed by Leigh Silverman.

Memberships are available at publictheater.org or by calling (212) 967-7555. Single tickets for the 2016-17 season will go on sale later this year.

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