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Off-Broadway's Public Theater Announces New Public Studio Initiative

The program will present new plays, running in repertory, by emerging playwrights.

Kate Whoriskey is the director of Mary Kathryn Nagle's Manahatta, running as part of the Public Theater's new Public Studio initiative from May 15-25 in the Shiva Theater.
(© David Gordon)

The Public Theater has announced the inaugural entries into the new Public Studio writers' initiative, which will present two new plays this spring by emerging authors. A. Zell Williams' Urban Retreat, directed by Liesl Tommy, will run in repertory with Manahatta, written by Mary Kathryn Nagle and directed by Kate Whoriskey. Each play will receive seven performances over the course of 10 days in the Shiva Theater.

Urban Retreat follows Chaucher Mosley, a teacher and oft-rejected writer hired to turn a rap star's ramblings into a memoir, only to find out that that the performer is a student he unknowingly failed years earlier.

Manahatta tells the story of Jane Snake, a young Native American woman who must reconcile her new life with the traditions of the family she left behind after she moved to her ancestral homeland in New York.

The two plays will run in repertory from May 15–May 25.