A Final Encore for Elevator Repair Service's Gatz, James Ijames' Good Bones, More in Public Theater's 2024-2025 Season | Playbill

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Off-Broadway News A Final Encore for Elevator Repair Service's Gatz, James Ijames' Good Bones, More in Public Theater's 2024-2025 Season

The Off-Broadway company will reopen its Free Shakespeare in the Park season with a new staging of Twelfth Night in 2025.

Laurena Allan, Gary Wilmes, Scott Shepherd, Annie McNamara, Kate Scelsa, and Vin Knight in Elevator Repair Service's Gatz Mark Barton

Off-Broadway's Public Theater has unveiled its 2024-2025 season, which includes a final encore run for Elevator Repair Service's Gatz. Performances will run November 1-December 1, with John Collins back to direct.

The work, which uses the complete and unabridged text of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby as its script over its eight-hour running time (including a two-hour intermission and several smaller breaks), played two earlier runs at the Public, in 2010 and 2012. The upcoming encore staging, described in press notes as its "Final NYC Encore," will be the piece's first since the source material passed into public domain in 2021.

The cast will comprise members of both earlier stagings, including Laurena Allan, Jim Fletcher, Ross Fletcher, Maggie Hoffman, Mike Iveson, Vin Knight, Aaron Landsman, Annie McNamara, Scott Shepherd, Pete Simpson, Susie Sokol, Tory Vazquez, and Ben Jalosa Williams.

The company will also give a New York premiere to James Ijames (Fat Ham)'s Good Bones, which made its world premiere at Washington, D.C.'s Studio Theatre last year. The work centers on a woman who gets a chance to revitalize the troubled neighborhood in which she grew up, a process that quickly devolves into painful and hard conversations about who gets to stay and who must go. Public Associate Artistic Director Saheem Ali will direct the Public's staging, running September 19-October 13 and opening October 1.

Jumping to summer 2025, Free Shakespeare in the Park will triumphantly return in Central Park's newly renovated Delacorte Theater with a new production of Twelfth Night. Ali will direct an all-star cast of Public alumni to be announced. The annual outdoor theatre series is currently on hold as the venue continues refurbishments.

The season will kick off with a North American premiere for S. Shakthidharan's Counting and Cracking. Directed by Eamon Flack, the production will play NYU Skirball September 6-22, with opening night set for September 12. A production of Australia's Belvoir St Theatre, the work tracks a Sri-Lankan Australian family over multiple generations, from 1956 to 2004. The New York cast will include Rodney Afif, Prakash Belawadi, Antonythasan Jesuthasan, Nadie Kammallaweera, Ahi Karunaharan, Abbie-Lee Lewis, Gandhi MacIntyre, Radhika Mudaliyar, Shiv Palekar, Dushan Philips, Sukhbir Singh Walia, Nipuni Sharada, Kaivu Suvarna, Raj Velu, and Sukania Venugopal. 

The production will feature set and costume design by Dale Ferguson, lighting design by Damien Cooper, and sound design and music by Stefan Gregory. Musicians will include Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda, Janakan Raj, and Venkhatesh Sritharan, with Anandavalli serving as costume and cultural advisor.

Also making its North American premiere will be David Finnigan's solo play Deep History, running October 5-27 and opening October 10. The work explores a rapidly changing planet, taking audiences through all of human history right up to 2019, when Finnigan's hometown of Canberra was hit by bushfires that led to the death of a billion animals of a rash of rushed evacuations.

Ma-Yi Theatre Company and La Jolla Playhouse's Sumo will make its New York premiere via the Public in winter 2025, with Ralph B. Peña back to direct. Written by Lisa Sanaye Dring, the work centers on an elite sumo training facility in Tokyo.

Four short plays by Caryl Churchill will make their North American premiere in spring 2025, with James Macdonald staging Glass. Kill. What If If Only. Imp. The piece is described as "a kaleidoscope of stories," and follows a 2021 remote premiere of What If If Only that starred Les Waters and Jared Mezzocchi. Casting for the Public's run is to be announced.

Also part of the downtown theatre's upcoming offerings is a world premiere audio play titled Let's Keep Dancing: A Death Row Story. Artistic Director Oskar Eustis will direct the work, written by incarcerated tutor, mentor, and writer John Purugganan. The work finds Michael Green at age 21 as he arrives in the prison cell he'll inhabit for the rest of his life, and his neighbor, 67-year-old Hap Embleton who has already been imprisoned most of his life.

Looking forward to the 2025-2026 season, the company has revealed that it will give a world premiere to Else Went's Initiative, which follows seven teens over four years in a "bittersweet reflection on adolescence at the dawn of the new millennium," according to press notes. Emma Rosa Went will direct, with performances beginning fall 2025.

For more details, visit PublicTheater.org.

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