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Public Theater Promises Powerful, Passion-Filled 2022-23 Season with 5 World Premieres, 'Raisin' Revival

The 55-year-old New York theater continues next season with a revival by Lorraine Hansberry, a new musical, and plays by Erika Dickerson-Despenza, Ryan J. Haddad, James Ijames, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Madeline Sayet. The Bushwick Starr, Elevator Repair Service, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company will also perform this season.

"We need artists' voices in these turbulent times. They can show us who we are and what we could be "Oskar Eustis stated. "The Public's season artists offer sustenance, vision, and provocation. Suzan-Lori Parks, James Ijames, and Erika Dickerson-Despenza are great modern writers. Ryan J. Haddad challenges conventional ideas about disabilities, while Madeline Sayet looks at Shakespeare through her Mohegan identity."

Joe's Pub, Mobile Unit, Public Works, Under the Radar, Public Shakespeare Initiative, Emerging Writers Group, Devised Theater Initiative, and #BARS Workshop keep The Public engaged year-round. These projects and efforts provide free and low-cost tickets, establish community via theater, and train future theater artists. This season will offer a new Joe's Pub Working Group cohort, Vanguard Residency, and New York Voices commissions. Mobile Unit goes on two city tours, Under the Radar returns after a year off, and Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble performs a new adaptation.

Joseph Papp Free Performance Initiative will return for all 2022-23 Public performances. The Public's internet partner,TodayTix, will run a digital lottery for free tickets to every production.

Access to the facility, theaters, and restaurant requires documentation of a complete COVID-19 immunization by the date of attendance. CDC guidelines suggest but do not necessitate boosters. Approved face masks are always necessary, even when seeing a performance, except in Joe's Pub and The Library at The Public, where people are eating and drinking. Safe At The Public has safety guidelines. The Public may amend any policy without warning.

2022-23 SEASON: The Public Theater


September 24-October 16, 2022

In 1965, two intellectual heavyweights debated whether "the American Dream is at the expense of the American Negro," highlighting our country's fundamental differences. BALDWIN AND BUCKLEY AT CAMBRIDGE, a reenactment of the iconic debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, Jr. The production concludes with an imagined scene between Baldwin and his close friend Lorraine Hansberry, researched and written by long-time ERS company members April Matthis and Greig Sargeant. Elevator Repair Service uses their characteristic verbatim textual inquiry and rigorous collaboration to re-create Baldwin and Buckley's scathing dissection of race, racism, and human worth. Greig Sargeant created and directed BALDWIN AND BUCKELY AT CAMBRIDGE. Daphne Gaines (Lorraine Hansberry), Gavin Price (Mr. Heycock), Greig Sargeant (James Baldwin), Christopher-Rashee Stevenson (Mr. Burford), and Ben Williams (William F. Buckley, Jr.).


September 27-November 6, 2022

Lorraine Hansberry's RAISIN Hansberry's Public Theater debut at Astor Place. This new production of a 1959 classic is directed by Tony Award contender Robert O'Hara. Lena Younger is using her late husband's life insurance to relocate out of their cramped Chicago apartment. Walter Lee, her son, disagrees. This creative new staging of an American classic questions the American dream amid racial and economic conflict.


October 28-November 27, 2022

Madeline Sayet traveled to England to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare in 2015, dealing with what it means to remain or leave as the Brexit decision threatens to further disconnect the UK from the globe. She finds solace in her Native ancestors' voyages across the seas to help her people in the 1700s. Sayet questions what it means to belong in a globalized world in this intimate, exciting solo piece. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Folger Shakespeare Library.


World Premiere: November 4-November 27, 2022

Suzan-Lori Parks, The Public's Writer-in-Residence, began writing a play a day on March 13, 2020, while theaters closed and many of us went into lockdown. What emerged is a stunning diary of our troubled days and nights. PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR is a personal story of one family's daily life and a broad account of what we faced as a city, nation, and global community. Parks' new piece, directed by Niegel Smith, is filled with empathy and offers optimism for the future.


January 4-22, 2023

Under the Radar Festival 2023 will represent live theater and performance innovations since 2020. UTR 2023 will work with stages across the city to feature innovative, provocative, and celebratory national and international artists.


World Premiere: Winter 2023

Suzan-Lori Parks is The Public's Writer-in-Residence. Lori Parks adapts THE HARDER THEY COME for The Public. The groundbreaking film, produced, directed, and co-written by Perry Henzell and Trevor Rhone, follows the story of Ivan, a teenage singer who arrives in Kingston, Jamaica, wanting to become a star. After falling in love and signing a record deal with a powerful music tycoon, Ivan realizes the system is rigged. As he gets more defiant, he finds himself in a conflict that threatens his life and Jamaican culture. Tony Taccone, former Artistic Director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre, directs this new musical with Tony Award winner Sergio Trujillo and choreography by Edgar Godineaux.


World Premiere: Winter 2023

Ryan J. Haddad's DARK DISABLED STORIES is his off-Broadway playwriting debut. Haddad's latest personal piece is a collection of merciless vignettes about strangers he encounters with his walker and cerebral palsy. DARK DISABLED STORIES, directed by Jordan Fein, examines implicit ableism and assumptions about unknown persons. Every performance will include ASL, open captions, and audio description. Produced by The Bushwick Starr, Presented by The Public Theater.


World Premiere: Spring 2023

James Ijames' new play, GOOD BONES, tackles gentrification and the rising cost of the American ideal. Aisha and her chef husband Travis bought a wonderful old house to rehabilitate the neighborhood she grew up in. Everyone knows that building and community renovations are expensive and difficult. Earl, Aisha's young contractor, grew up in the region, but he remembers more than scary streets and abandoned houses. Aisha must face the decisions she's made to go ahead and the painful, joyous, convoluted ghosts that haunt her dreams...and her dream house. This world premiere play is helmed by The Public's Associate Artistic Director and Resident Director Saheem Ali.


World Premiere: Spring 2023

2021 Susan Blackburn Prize recipient Erika Dickerson-SHADOW/LAND Despenza's premiered as an audio play at The Public. Magalee and her daughter Ruth face the topic of legacy after Hurricane Katrina destroys their family company. SHADOW/LAND, directed by Lilly Award winner Candis C. Jones, is the first of a 10-play cycle examining the Katrina diaspora's repercussions on New Orleans and beyond.


MOBILE UNIT is excited to hit the road with two new tours. Mobile Unit will work with Joe's Pub for JOE'S PUB IN TRANSIT in the fall, and it will tour with Shakespeare's THE COMEDY OF ERRORS in Spring 2023. This new adaptation by director Rebecca Martinez and composer Julián Mesri has music from all throughout Latin America. This new musical interpretation of the classic tale of two sets of twins separated by stormy seas brings an exciting tone to the mayhem and uncertainty that follows a case of mistaken identity.