The Public Theater has announced its 2014-15 season, which will include the world premieres of three new musicals: Stew and Heidi Rodewald’s The Total Bent, Michael Friedman and Itamar Moses' The Fortress of Solitude, and the previously announced Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton. Also joining the lineup will be Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks' Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3).
The season kicks off in September with a free Public Works musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, featuring a score by Todd Almond. Helmed by Lear deBessonet, the production will run for three nights only from September 5 through September 7 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
Michael Friedman and Daniel Aukin’s musical The Fortress of Solitude will run from September 30 through November 2. Conceived and directed by Daniel Aukin and based on the Jonathan Lethem novel, the tuner tells the coming-of-age story of two superhero-obsessed teenagers who believe that maybe, just maybe, they could fly.
Following The Fortress of Solitude will be the Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks. Jo Bonney directs the drama, which is comprised of three plays presented in a single performance, following a slave who must decide whether to join his master on the Confederate battlefield in exchange for a promise of freedom.
Straight White Men, written and directed by Young Jean Lee, will receive its New York Premiere from November 6 through December 7. With a cast featuring Austin Pendleton, Scott Shepherd, Pete Simpson and James Stanley, the play explores the value of being a straight white man when identity is the cornerstone of ones worth and privilege is increasingly problematic.
Stew and Heidi Rodewald, the creators of Passing Strange, will reunite to bring the world premiere of their new musical The Total Bent to the Public stage from March 3, 2015 through April 5. Directed by Joanna Settle, the tuner explores the passions that divide a gospel star and his songwriting son as they make their music and make their choice between salvation and selling out.
Finally, spoken word artist and Tony winner Lemon Anderson’s Toast will return to the Public after previously being presented at The Public’s Under the Radar Festival. Directed by Elise Thoron, the play weaves characters from black oral narratives into a story about men trying to live free in a system—and a world—designed to keep them chained. Toast will run from April 2, 2015 through April 19.
Additionally, the Under the Radar Festival, now in its 11th season, will present a 12-day international theater collective showcasing cutting-edge plays from around the world. The Public’s Public Forum series will return for its fifth season, and the Public’s Mobile Shakespeare Unit will once again tour in November, bringing free Shakespeare to the community prior to a sit-down engagement at The Public.
The 2014-15 season will also include a theatrical run of Rock Bottom, a musical by Bridget Everett, Tony-winning songwriting duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Adam Horovitz and Matt Ray, at Joe’s Pub. The show was originally commissioned as part of The Joe’s Pub 2013 New York Voices series.