The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Interim Executive Director Joey Parnes) began previews on Friday, March 25 for the world premiere of URGE FOR GOING, written by Mona Mansour and directed by Hal Brooks. The third show in the 2010-2011 Public LAB season, URGE FOR GOING will run Friday, March 25 through Sunday, April 17 at The Public Theater (425 Lafayette Street), with an official press opening on Sunday, April 10. Single tickets are on sale now; all tickets for Public LAB productions are $15.
Jamila, a 17-year-old Palestinian girl growing up in a Lebanese refugee camp, is desperate to escape the small and impoverished world she calls home but her greatest source of inspiration, her father, may also prove to be her biggest obstacle. Mona Mansour, a member of The Public's Emerging Writers Group making her major debut with this production, fuses global politics with the intimacy of coming of age in this searing new play.
The complete cast for URGE FOR GOING features Omid Abtahi (Jul), Jacqueline Antaramian (Abir), Tala Ashe (Jamila), Demosthenes Chrysan (Hamzi), Ramsey Faragallah (Adham), and Ted Sod (Ghassan).
URGE FOR GOING features scenic design by Jason Simms; costume design by Jenny Mannis; lighting design by Tyler Micoleau; and music and sound design Ryan Rumery and Christian Frederickson.
The 2010-2011 Public LAB season will conclude in May with KNICKERBOCKER by Jonathan Marc Sherman, directed by Pippin Parker (May 6 to May 29).
Public LAB, conceived in association with LAByrinth Theater Company, is an annual series of new plays that lets New Yorkers see more of the work they love from The Public in scaled-down productions. Public LAB allows The Public to support more artists, and gives audiences immediate access to new plays in development. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supported Public LAB with one of the largest grants ever received by The Public Theater.
Mona Mansour (Playwright). Urge For Going was read at The Public (New Work Now!) and Theater J in Washington, D.C. and was part of last summer's Ojai Playwrights Conference. Mansour completed a year in The Public's Emerging Writers Group, where her play The Hour of Feeling was read in The Public's Spotlight Series (directed by MarK Wing-Davey). Mansour trained as an actor, studying at UCSD and SMU, and started writing when she performed in the Sunday Show at L.A.'s famed Groundlings Theater. Her first play, Me and the S.L.A., focused on her childhood obsession with Patricia Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army and was performed at the Groundlings and Seattle Fringe Festival. Girl Scouts of America (co-written with Andrea Berloff) had readings at The Public (New Work Now!), NYTW, and a production in NYC Fringe 2006. Her television writing credits include "Dead Like Me" (Showtime) and "Queens Supreme" (CBS). A Core Writer of Minneapolis' Playwright Center, Mansour was named "One of 50 to Watch" by the Dramatists Guild and was one of five "Talents to Watch" profiled by The New York Times. She is most proud of having curated, with Lisa Kron, Nuff Said, a piece for gay, lesbian, and transgender youth that was performed at Dance Theater Workshop in NYC. Honorable Mention, Middle East America Playwright Award.
Hal Brooks (Director) is a Brooklyn-based freelance director and the Associate Artistic Director at the Ojai Playwrights Conference. He directed the Obie winning No Child...by Nilaja Sun, which toured the country (Long Wharf, Center Theater Group, Berkeley Rep, Lookingglass, Woolly Mammoth, A.R.T.) and has played internationally as well (Edinburgh and Dublin). He also directed as the world premiere of Will Eno's Pulitzer Finalist Thom Pain (based on nothing). His recent projects include Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Two River), Sam Hunter's The Whale (PlayPenn), creative consultant on Colin Quinn's Long Story Short (Broadway), and Back Back Back (Dallas Theater Center). Brooks has developed new work at Ojai Playwrights Conference, The Public, PlayPenn, Cape Cod Theater Project, Sundance Theatre Lab, and other theaters around the country. A Drama League Fellow, Brooks is also a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, SDC, and was a recipient of the 2007-2009 NEA TCG Career Development Program for Directors. His other recent projects include Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris (Juilliard), Boom at NYU Graduate Acting, and The Fish Bowl by Fia Alvarez (Juilliard). He also taught as an adjunct professor at Yale College last fall.
The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Joey Parnes, Interim Executive Director) was founded by Joseph Papp in 1954 and is now one of the nation's preeminent cultural institutions, producing new plays, musicals and productions of classics at its downtown home and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public Theater's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, more than 250,000 people attend Public Theater-related productions and events at six downtown stages, including Joe's Pub, and Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater has won 42 Tony Awards, 151 Obies, 41 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. The Public Theater has brought 54 shows to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; For Colored Girls...; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Passing Strange; the revival of Hair; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice. www.publictheater.org.
URGE FOR GOING, a Public LAB production, begins performances on Friday, March 25 and continues through Sunday, April 17, with an official press opening on Sunday, April 10 at 7 p.m.
The performance schedule is Tuesdays at 7 p.m.; Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Please note there will be no matinee performances on Saturday, March 26 or Sunday, March 27.)
All tickets for Public LAB are $15. Single tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (212) 967-7555 , by visiting www.publictheater.org, or in person at The Public Theater box office. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street.
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg