Public Theater 2024-25 Season To Include Reopening Of Renovated Free Shakespeare Central Park Stage

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New York’s Public Theater announced its upcoming season at their Astor Place home as well as Central Park’s to-be-reopened Delacorte Theater where the Public will stage Twelfth Night, directed by Saheem Ali, in summer 2025.

In its 2024-25 season, the Public will feature productions by playwrights Caryl Churchill, Lisa Sanaye Dring, David Finnigan, James Ijames, John Purugganan and S. Shakthidharan. The line-up will include partnerships with theater companies Belvoir St Theatre, Kurinji, and NYU Skirball; Elevator Repair Service; and Ma-Yi Theatre Company and La Jolla Playhouse.

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See the entire line-up below.

“In my 20th season at The Public Theater, I’m overjoyed to share programming that is as bold and ambitious as The Public’s mission,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, adding, “The season finishes with the reopening of The Delacorte Theater. We’re counting down the minutes until we can celebrate our revitalized home with a joyful production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.” The production is expected to feature an all-star cast of Public alumni.

THE PUBLIC THEATER’S 2024-25 SEASON:

North American Premiere
COUNTING AND CRACKING
Presenting a Belvoir St Theatre & Kurinji Co-Production By S. Shakthidharan with Eamon Flack
In Partnership with NYU Skirball. Performances at NYU Skirball September 6–22, 2024 (Opening: September 12)

Belvoir St Theatre’s COUNTING AND CRACKING, by S. Shakthidharan and directed by Eamon Flack, comes to NYU Skirball this fall for its North American Premiere after critically acclaimed productions in Australia and the United Kingdom. The sweeping, episodic play features 19 actors from across the globe on a multi-generational journey of a Sri-Lankan Australian family from 1956-2004. Radha fled Sri Lanka with her unborn child as the nation struggled with conflict. Two decades later, her son Siddhartha, now an Australian man who knows little of his family’s background, receives a call from the past that changes everything he thought he knew, and who he thought he was.

The cast includes Rodney Afif, Prakash Belawadi, Antonythasan Jesuthasan, Nadie Kammallaweera, Ahi Karunaharan, Abbie-Lee Lewis, Gandhi MacIntyre, Radhika Mudaliyar, Shiv Palekar, Dushan Philips, Sukhbir Singh Walia, Nipuni Sharada, Kaivu Suvarna, Raj Velu, and Sukania Venugopal. They will be joined by musicians Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda, Janakan Raj, and Venkhatesh Sritharan.

New York Premiere
GOOD BONES
By James Ijames Directed by Saheem Ali
September 19–October 13, 2024 (Opening: October 1)

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright James Ijames explores gentrification and the growing price of the American dream in his sharp, funny new play, GOOD BONES. A work opportunity to revitalize the blighted neighborhood she grew up in has led Aisha and her chef husband Travis to buy and renovate a charming old house. But as everyone knows, renovation is expensive and stressful—both for buildings and the communities that surround them. The Public’s Associate Artistic Director Saheem Ali directs this New York premiere play about community, change, and the soul of our cities.

North American Premiere
DEEP HISTORY
Written and Performed by David Finnigan October 5–27, 2024 (Opening: October 10)

At the end of 2019, in the English countryside, Australian playwright David Finnigan began writing a play about the six turning points that have brought us to this moment in time—our ecosystems transformed, our planet on the brink of unthinkable climate disaster. But then Finnigan’s hometown of Canberra was hit by bushfires. An extraordinary ride through human history, DEEP HISTORY is shot through with humor and glowing with hope.

Final NYC Encore of Acclaimed Production
GATZ
By Elevator Repair Service
Text: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Directed by John Collins
November 1–December 1 (Opening: November 8)

Elevator Repair Service’s GATZ returns to The Public for a thrilling and final New York City encore of the acclaimed production. One morning in the office of a mysterious small business, an employee finds a copy of The Great Gatsby in the clutter of his desk. He starts to read it out loud and doesn’t stop. At first his coworkers hardly notice. But after a series of strange coincidences, it’s no longer clear whether he’s reading the book, or the book is transforming him. Scott Shepherd reprises his award-winning role as the Narrator and is joined by most of the original New York cast. Cast includes Laurena Allan, Jim Fletcher, Ross Fletcher, Maggie Hoffman, Mike Iveson, Vin Knight, Aaron Landsman, Annie McNamara, Scott Shepherd, Pete Simpson, Susie Sokol, Tory Vazquez, and Ben Jalosa Williams.

Ma-Yi Theatre Company and The Public Theater Present the New York Premiere
SUMO

By Lisa Sanaye Dring
A Co-Production of Ma-Yi Theater Company and La Jolla Playhouse Directed by Ralph B. Peña
Winter 2025

Entrenched in an elite sumo training facility in Tokyo, six men practice, eat, love, play, and ultimately fight. Akio arrives as an angry, ambitious 18-year-old with a lot to learn. Expecting validation, dominance, and fame, and desperate to move up the ranks, he slams headlong into his fellow wrestlers. Obie Award winner Ralph B. Peña directs this powerhouse drama.

North American Premiere of All Four Plays Presented Together
GLASS. KILL. WHAT IF IF ONLY. IMP.
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by James Macdonald Spring 2025

A girl made of glass. Gods and murders. A pack of ghosts. And a secret in a bottle. A kaleidoscope of stories, each short play is a testament to how playwright Caryl Churchill has “remade the landscape of contemporary drama—and earned herself a place among the greats” (The Guardian). James Macdonald directs these wildly inventive new works.

Free Shakespeare in the Park
TWELFTH NIGHT
Directed by Saheem Ali Summer 2025

The Public Theater will celebrate the opening of the newly revitalized Delacorte Theater with a Free Shakespeare in the Park all-star cast of Public alumni in a production of TWELFTH NIGHT. Join us to revel in the midsummer madness as twins Sebastian and Viola survive shipwreck, revenge plots, and the trick doors of love. The Public’s Associate Artistic Director and Resident Director, Tony Award nominee Saheem Ali directs.

World Premiere
LET’S KEEP DANCING: A Death Row Story
By John Purugganan Directed by Oskar Eustis Audio Play

Incarcerated since 1989, John Purugganan is committed to reaching past the prison walls, becoming a tutor, mentor, and prolific writer. His audio play LET’S KEEP DANCING: A Death Row Story was a prizewinner in the first annual Arts in Corrections Playwriting Contest. Michael Green is 21 years old and has just arrived in the cell he’ll inhabit for the rest of his life. His neighbor, Hap Embleton, is 67 and has been imprisoned for most of his life. Over Green’s first day and night on death row, he and Hap discuss their fears, their past, and the 50,000 people currently serving life without the possibility of parole—many for non-violent crimes. The Public’s Artistic Director Oskar Eustis directs this compelling, world premiere audio play about two souls fighting to survive the row.

FIRST PRODUCTION OF FALL 2025 SEASON:

World Premiere
INITIATIVE
By Else Went
Directed by Emma Rosa Went Fall 2025

A bittersweet reflection on adolescence at the dawn of the new millennium, INITIATIVE charts the intertwined lives of seven teens from 2000-2004, as they become friends and more than friends, wrestle with their potential, face incalculable loss, and struggle to find their way in (and get out of) “Coastal Podunk, California.” Emma Rosa Went directs this world premiere.

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