Public Studio is a new performance series dedicated to developing the work of emerging writers. In a laboratory environment, writers will be in rehearsal with actors and a director, incorporate bare bones design elements, and open the process to an audience over a series of performances. More than a reading or workshop, but not a full production, this middle step affords early career writers the important opportunity to deepen their experience of working collaboratively over an extended rehearsal period and to see their work staged in front of an audience.
The Urban Retreat By A. Zell Williams, Directed by Liesl Tommy - Fiercely funny, gripping and raw, The Urban Retreat is a powerful new American play about Chaucher Mosley, an English teacher and long-rejected writer, hired by a publisher of Urban Lit to turn the ramblings of a rap superstar into a compelling memoir. Unimpressed by the material but desperate for money, Mosley takes on the assignment. But when the rapper turns out to be a former student that Mosley unknowingly failed, the writing process becomes a surprising and deeply honest exchange about survival, selling out and what it means to be a black man in America today.
Manahatta By Mary Kathryn Nagle, Directed by Kate Whoriskey - A gripping journey from the fur trade of the 1600s to the stock trade of today, Manahatta tells the story of Jane Snake, a brilliant young Native American woman with a Stanford MBA. Jane reconnects with her ancestral homeland, known as Manahatta, when she moves from her home with the Delaware Nation in Anadarko, Oklahoma to New York for a job at a major investment bank just before the financial crisis of 2008. Jane's struggle to reconcile her new life with the expectations and traditions of the family she left behind is powerfully interwoven with the heartbreaking history of how the Lenape were forced from their land.