Public Adds Bill Heck, S. Epatha Merkerson, Veanne Cox and Richard Thomas to New Work Now! Readings

News   Public Adds Bill Heck, S. Epatha Merkerson, Veanne Cox and Richard Thomas to New Work Now! Readings
Donald Moffat, Richard Thomas, Michael Cristofer, Veanne Cox, Bill Heck and S. Epatha Merkerson have been cast in the upcoming presentations of the Public Theater's New Work Now! series.

Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas

The free series launched Sept. 7 and continues through Sept. 18 in the Martinson Theater. Playwrights represented include Tony Award nominees Lisa Kron and Colman Domingo, as well as Christina Anderson, Danai Gurira, Dawn Jamieson, Itamar Moses, Tanya Saracho, S.M. Shephard-Massat, Julian Sheppard and Alena Smith.

Here's a look at the schedule and newly announced casting; casting has not been announced for every play:

The Convert (Sept. 12 at 7 PM)
By Danai Gurira
Directed by Emily Mann
With Christoph Abeil, Saidah Arrika Ekulona, William Jackson Harper, Zainab Jah, 
Russell G. Jones and Kevin Mambo
"Set amid the scramble for sovereignty in southern Africa (now Zimbabwe) in 1895, The Convert tells the tale of a young girl who escapes a forced marriage with the help of a stalwart black African catechist. Indebted to this new Christian god, she shuns her culture to become his protégé, but when an anti-colonial uprising erupts she must decide where her heart truly belongs."

The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (Sept. 13 at 7 PM)
By Daniel Berrigan
Directed by Gordon Davidson
With Cox, Cristofer, Heck, Moffat and Thomas, as well as Gwen Arner, Veanne Cox, Michael Cristofer, Quincy Dunn-Baker, Kevin Geer, Bill Heck, Korey Jackson, Peter Francis James, Joanna Merlin, Donald Moffat and Matt Servitto.
"On May 17, 1968, Father Daniel Berrigan, his brother Father Philip Berrigan and seven other Catholic peace activists seized 378 draft documents from Local Board No. 33 in Catonsville, Maryland and publicly burned them to protest the napalming of innocent people during the Vietnam War."

Mala Hierba (Sept. 14 at 7 PM)
By Tanya Saracho
Directed by Jerry Ruiz
With Sarah Nina Hayon, Ana Noguiera, Emma Ramos and Socorro Santiago
"Set in the South Texas of her youth and written in the Windy City, where Chicago Magazine called her Best New Playwright of 2010, Tanya Saracho’s Mala Hierba focuses on the trophy wife of a border magnate who wavers between her wifely duty and the love of her life as she navigates the dangerous waters between desire and obligation." Yellowjackets (Sept. 15 at 7 PM)
By Itamar Moses
Directed by Liesl Tommy 
"Politics. Race. Class. Welcome to Berkeley High School, 1994: the most diverse public high school in America…and as divided as America itself. But when an on-campus brawl sets in motion a chain of events that effects newspaper nerds and gang members alike, loyalties will be tested, identities questioned, and a community that prides itself on always being ahead of the political curve will be forced to face how far it still has to go. And then there's P.E."

Starvings (Sept. 16 at 7 PM)
By S.M. Shephard-Massat
Directed by Delroy Lindo
With Merkerson, Alena Arenas, Rosalyn Coleman, Barry Shabaka Henry, 
Tiffany Michelle Thompson and Craig Wallace
"World War II is over, and Bettie and Meeker have moved from rural Florida to urban Atlanta to join a small but up-and-coming black community. But as pressure mounts at Meeker’s workplace and Bettie’s expectations become bigger than both of them, the better life they dreamed of seems less than certain to be on the horizon."

Wild With Happy (Sept. 17 at 7 PM)
By Colman Domingo
Directed by Robert O’Hara
With Domingo, Maurice McRae and Sharon Washington
"Colman Domingo explores the surreal, bizarre and outrageous comedy that can stem from loss via the story of Gil: a young man who plans to scatter his mother’s ashes in the place where she was most happy, Disney World."

Mangled Beams (Sept. 18 at 7 PM)
By Dawn Jamieson
Directed by James Fall Shubinski
"Iroquois ironworkers built New York's skyscrapers and on 9/11 many returned to the World Trade Center to remove the mangled beams raised up by those who came before them. In this new play by Dawn Jamieson, these Native men seek rescue and redemption as they try to untangle the beams and their own lives, as well."

For reservations phone (212) 967-7555. Visit PublicTheater. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.

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