The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) will present the world premiere of FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 8 & 9), the fifth and final play of the 2008-2009 Public LAB season. Written by Public Theater Master Writer Chair Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by Jo Bonney, FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 8, & 9) will begin performances on Friday, June 5 and run through Sunday, June 28. Parks will play the guide in this Public LAB production with additional casting to be announced shortly. Tickets are $10 for all performances and are on-sale now.
In FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 8 & 9), Suzan-Lori Parks takes the stage to play the role of our guide leading through a multimedia epic tale about slavery, war, freedom, and the difficulty of family ties. Part I tells the story of Penny, a slave, awaiting her husband's return from the Civil War while resisting her own desire to flee with a band of runaway slaves. Parts 8 & 9, set in present day, follow a Poet-General struggling with the reality of his impending death while he plans his annual celebration for the army troops.
Currently, Suzan-Lori Parks is the Master Writer Chair at The Public Theater, where she premiered The America Play, Venus, In the Blood, Fucking A, 365 Days/365 Plays, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog. The play shares a title with a series of short plays in Parks' 365 Days / 365 Plays cycle, but is related in title only.
Public LAB is an annual series of new plays that lets New Yorkers see more of the work they love from The Public and LAByrinth Theater Company in stripped-down productions. Public LAB allows The Public Theater to support more artists, and gives audiences immediate access to new plays.
Suzan-Lori Parks(Playwright) is a playwright, screenwriter and novelist whose plays include 365 Days/365 Plays (produced simultaneously in over 700 theatres worldwide, creating one of the largest collaborations in theatre history), Topdog/Underdog (2002 Pulitzer Prize; Public Theater), Fucking A (Public Theater), Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (1990 Obie Award for Best New American Play), The America Play (Public Theater), Venus (Public Theater, 1996 Obie Award), The Death Of The Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, and In The Blood (Public Theater, 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist), among others. Her work is the subject of the PBS Film "The Topdog/Underdog Diaries." She is the current Master Writer Chair at The Public Theater and an alumnae of New Dramatists, and has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She was also the recipient of a Lila-Wallace Reader's Digest Award, a CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts (Drama) for 1996 and a Guggenheim Foundation Grant. Her work for film and television includes Girl 6 (directed by Spike Lee) and the adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God", for Oprah Winfrey Presents, which premiered in 2005 on ABC. Her first novel, Getting Mother's Body, is published by Random House. She is currently writing the book for the Ray Charles musical (for the film producers of "Ray"). A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Award, Parks received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Topdog/Underdog.
Jo Bonney (Director) returns to Public LAB after directing Naomi Wallace's The Fever Chart last spring. Her other recent New York theater credits include Michael Weller's Beast and Alan Ball's All That I Will Ever Be (New York Theater Workshop); Eric Bogosian's subUrbia (Second Stage); Neil LaBute's Some Girl(s) (MCC); Charles Fuller's A Soldier's Play (Second Stage); and The Seven (New York Theater Workshop), which she conceived and directed. At The Public, she has directed Jose Rivera's References To Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Diana Son's Stop Kiss, Anna Deveare Smith's House Arrest, and Danny Hoch's Some People. Also in New York, she won a Lucille Lortel award for the Signature Theatre Company's revival of Fifth of July and has directed On the Mountain for Playwrights Horizons; Fat Pig for MCC; Living Out for Second Stage; Universes' Slanguage for New York Theater Workshop; The Fastest Clock in the Universe, The Flatted Fifth, and Good Thing for The New Group; Look Back In Anger for Classic Stage; and Stray Cats for Naked Angels. Other noteworthy credits include Top Girls at Williamstown; Anna in the Tropics at Arena Stage; Adoration of the Old Woman at La Jolla Playhouse; and Humpty Dumpty at the McCarter. She received an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence and is the editor of Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the Twentieth Century.