The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Andrew D. Hamingson) announced today that it will present TIMON OF ATHENS as the inaugural production of Public LAB SHAKESPEARE, a vital new platform for The Public's ongoing exploration of the Shakespeare canon that will continue the growth of The Public's Shakespeare Initiative and expand the many ways The Public produces American interpretations of Shakespeare.
Directed by Shakespeare Initiative Director Barry Edelstein, TIMON OF ATHENS will feature Richard Thomas as Timon and will run February 15 through March 6 in The Public's Anspacher Theater, with an official press opening on Tuesday, March 1. All tickets for TIMON OF ATHENS are $15 and are on sale now to Public Theater Members. Single tickets go on sale on Tuesday, January 18 at (212) 967-7555 or at www.publictheater.org.
For four seasons, Public LAB has premiered exciting new works in scaled-down productions and at affordable prices. Now Public LAB expands to bring this approach to the Bard, where the focus with be on the actor, the text, and the story. It will broaden the ranks of artists who work on Shakespeare in America, and it will bring Shakespeare at his most spare, clear, and muscular to a wider community of theatergoers.
"It is a momentous moment for us to expand the scope of Public LAB to present Shakespeare - seeing the Bard in this most essential and immediate form will be so thrilling for us all," said Public Theater Associate Artistic Director Mandy Hackett. "I can't imagine a better way to launch this than with our esteemEd Barry Edelstein directing the deeply relevant and chilling Timon of Athens."
TIMON OF ATHENS is Shakespeare's play for the post-Bailout Age. Its central concern--money's dark potential to corrupt every human interaction--couldn't be more timely or fascinating. As one of Shakespeare's least-familiar works, it is also one of his most unique: a comedy written with an acid pen, a morality tale told in a fury.
TIMON OF ATHENS will feature set design by Neil Patel; costume design by Katherine Roth; lighting design by Russell Champa; and music composition by Curtis Moore.
The Public LAB season will continue this spring with URGE FOR GOING by Mona Mansour, directed by Hal Brooks (March 25 to April 17) and 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.
Barry Edelstein (Director). His credits for The Public Theater include Julius Caesar, Merchant of Venice (1995), and WASP and Other Plays (director). Edelstein is in charge of The Public's Shakespeare Initiative, which oversees all Shakespeare production in Central Park and downtown--including the newly launched Mobile Unit tour to prisons, shelters, etc.--and which runs the Shakespeare Lab professional training program and The Public's Shakespeare-related education and outreach programs. For The Shakespeare Initiative, Edelstein has shepherded The Merchant of Venice (also Associate Producer of the Broadway transfer), The Winter's Tale, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and Othello. Edelstein was the dramaturg for three seasons of Joseph Papp's "Shakespeare Marathon." He was the Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company from 1998-2003. He has staged many productions of Shakespeare and others in NYC and around the country. As an author, his credits include Thinking Shakespeare (2007), and Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions (2009).
Richard Thomas (Timon) was last seen by Public Theater audiences in As You Like It at The Delacorte Theater. His Broadway credits include David Mamet's Race, Sunrise at Campobello, Strange Interlude, The Playroom, Everything in the Garden, Fifth of July, The Front Page, Democracy, and A Naked Girl On The Appian Way. His additional New York and US credits include The Seagull, Richard II, Richard III, Hamlet, Peer Gynt, Tiny Alice, Love Letters, Measure For Measure, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Saint Joan, Merton of the Movies, Square One, The Count of Monte Cristo, Citizen Tom Paine, Streamers, Danton's Death, Arms and the Man, The Barbarians, La Ronde, Vieux Carre, The Devil's Disciple, The Lisbon Traviata, The Stendhal Syndrome, and Art (London). His most recent performances include Twelve Angry Men (National Tour), and Terrence McNally's Unusual Acts of Devotion. He regularly performs around the country A Distant Country Called Youth and Blanche and Beyond, from the letters of Tennessee Williams. Over 50 films for television include "The Red Badge of Courage," "Roots: The Next Generations," "All Quiet on the Western Front," "Living Proof: The Hank Williams Jr. Story," "Common Ground" and "Andre's Mother." His TV series include "It's a Miracle," "Just Cause" and "The Waltons," for which he received the Emmy Award. Thomas' films include Winning, Last Summer, Red Sky at Morning, You'll Like My Mother, 9/30/55, Battle Beyond the Stars, Wonder Boys, Taking Woodstock and The Beaver.
The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Andrew D. Hamingson, 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 headquarters and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Public's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day onstage and through extensive outreach and education programs. Each year, over 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 has won 42 Tony Awards, 151 Obies, 41 Drama Desk Awards and four Pulitzer Prizes. The Public has brought 54 shows to Broadway, including Sticks and Bones; That Championship Season; A Chorus Line; The Pirates of Penzance; The Tempest; Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk; On the Town; The Ride Down Mt. Morgan; Topdog/Underdog; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Take Me Out; Caroline, or Change; Well; Passing Strange; the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; and currently, the 2010 Shakespeare in the Park production of The Merchant of Venice. www.publictheater.org.