Alicia Keys’ New Musical HELL'S KITCHEN Will Star Shoshana Bean, More Announced For Public’s 23/24 Season


Shoshana Bean and Michael Grief | Photos: Jason T. Haberman and Rebecca J. Michelson

Jordanna Brody
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June 1, 2023 2:00 PM

The Public Theater’s Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham announced the line-up today for The Public’s 2023-24 Season at their landmark Astor Place home on 425 Lafayette Street with an innovative and dynamic slate of new productions and ongoing mission-driven programming. An iconic New York theatrical institution producing revolutionary work downtown since 1967, The Public will premiere new musicals and plays by Pulitzer Prize finalist Kristoffer Diaz, 15-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys, Tony Award winner Itamar Moses, Emerging Writers Group alumni Mary Kathryn Nagle and Ife Olujobi, Pulitzer Prize winner and Writer-in-Residence Suzan-Lori Parks, and Jonathan Larson Grant recipient Benjamin Velez.

Free Public Works Musical Adaptation
The Tempest
By William Shakespeare, Music & Lyrics by Benjamin Velez Choreography by Tiffany Rea-Fisher Directed by Laurie Woolery
August 27, 2023–September 3, 2023

As we continue to rebuild out of the pandemic, Public Works enters its second decade by revisiting the play that launched the program, William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. In The Public’s decade-long tradition of bringing together a diverse ensemble of both professional and community members from all five boroughs of New York City, this Public Works production examines what it means to be isolated and how we find our way back to one another. With music and lyrics by Benjamin Velez and directed by Obie Award winner and Director of Public Works Laurie Woolery, this ambitious work of participatory theater explores the grief of being cut off from community, the desire for retribution, and the healing power of love.

Forced from their home, Prospero and her daughter Miranda have survived for 12 years among the ruins of an abandoned island. As Prospero grows closer to getting the justice she desires, she witnesses her daughter fall in love, listens to the wisdom of spirit ancestors, and discovers that sometimes forgiveness is the only way to break cycles and right the course for the next generation. Hilarious fools, magical spells, and ancestral spirits dance through this production as we all come together to celebrate what it means to be human.
The creative team of THE TEMPEST includes scenic design by Alexis Distler; costume design by Wilberth Gonzalez; lighting design by David Weiner; sound design by Jessica Paz; hair, wig, and makeup design by Krystal Balleza; orchestrations by Mike Brun; with Kristy Norter as music coordinator and Andrea Grody as music director. Roxana Khan will serve as production stage manager, with Janelle Caso and Jessie Moore as stage managers.

North American Premiere of Druid Theatre’s
Seán O’Casey’s Dublin Trilogy: The Plough and the Stars, The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock Directed by Garry Hynes; In Partnership with NYU Skirball
Performances at NYU Skirball – 566 LaGuardia Place October 4–14, 2023

A century ago, Ireland was reborn in the fires of rebellion and war. Ireland’s playwright Seán O’Casey bore witness to these seismic events and dramatized them as the Dublin Trilogy, three great works of Irish theater, full of history, humanity, and humor. A hundred years later, Druid Theatre will weave O’Casey’s three plays into an epic theatrical event of conflict, national identity, and the human toll of war: DruidO’Casey. Audiences will experience O’Casey’s work as never before; directed by Tony Award winner Garry Hynes, a company of 18 actors will perform over 40 roles in these three classic plays.

DruidO’Casey begins with The Plough and the Stars, the story of newlyweds Jack and Nora Clitheroe living in a city on the brink of rebellion in 1916. In The Shadow of a Gunman, Donal Davoren, Seumas Shields, and Minnie Powell find themselves tragically tangled up in the Irish War of Independence. The saga ends with Juno and the Paycock and the Boyle family who see their fortunes dashed amidst the upheaval of the Irish Civil War. Renowned for their previous play cycles, DruidO’Casey will be the most ambitious production in Druid’s history. Prior to the North American premiere in New York, the world premiere of DruidO’Casey will take place in Galway in July as part of Galway International Arts Festival, followed by performances in Belfast and Dublin. The production will tour to Ann Arbor, Michigan following its New York run.

World Premiere
Hell's Kitchen
Music & Lyrics by Alicia Keys, Book by Kristoffer Diaz Choreography by Camille A. Brown Directed by Michael Greif
October 24–December 10, 2023 (Opening: November 19, 2023)

Grammy Award-winning artist Alicia Keys and Pulitzer Prize-finalist playwright Kristoffer Diaz bring their exhilarating coming-of-age musical Hell's Kitchen to The Public this fall. In a cramped apartment hanging off the side of Times Square, 17-year-old Ali is desperate to get her piece of the New York dream. Ali’s mother is just as determined to protect her daughter from the same mistakes she made. When Ali falls for a talented young drummer, both mother and daughter must face hard truths about race, defiance, and growing up. Ali feels trapped, until the sound of a neighbor playing piano opens the door to an unexpected friendship and a radically different future. Choreographed by Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown and directed by Tony Award nominee Michael Greif, Hell's Kitchen is an unforgettable new show featuring both newly created music and the soulful, iconic songs of New York’s own Alicia Keys.

The cast of Hell's Kitchen includes Shoshana Bean , Chad Carstarphen, Reid Clarke, Chloe Davis, Nico DeJesus, Brandon Victor Dixon, Timothy L. Edwards, Badia Farha , Vanessa Ferguson, Crystal Monee Hall, Gianna Harris, Chris Lee, Jackie Leon, Kecia Lewis, Raechelle Manalo, Maleah Joi Moon, Onyxx Noel, Sarah Parker, William Roberson, Niki Saludez, Mariand Torres, Donna Vivino, and Lamont Walker II.

The creative team of Hell's Kitchen includes scenic design by Robert Brill, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Gareth Owens, projection design by Peter Nigrini, and hair and wig design by Mia Neal. Danny Maly will serve as production stage manager.

New York Premiere
By Mary Kathryn Nagle, Directed by Laurie Woolery
November 16–December 17, 2023 (Opening: December 5, 2023)

A gripping journey from the fur trade of the 1600s to the stock trade of today, Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Manhatta tells the story of Jane Snake, a brilliant young Native American woman with a Stanford MBA. Jane reconnects with her ancestral Lenape homeland, known as Manahatta, when she moves from Oklahoma to New York for a banking job just before the 2008 financial meltdown. Jane’s struggle to reconcile her new life with the expectations and traditions of her family and Nation are powerfully interwoven with the heartbreaking history of the Delaware Nation's expulsion from their land. Both old and new Manahatta converge in a lesson about the dangers of living in a society where there’s no such thing as enough. A stunning play about self-discovery, Manhatta was written as part of The Public’s prestigious Emerging Writers Group. Obie Award winner and The Public’s Director of Public Works, Laurie Woolery, directs.

World Premiere
The Ally
By Itamar Moses, Directed by Lila Neugebauer February 2024

Tony Award-winning playwright Itamar Moses returns to The Public with the world premiere of The Ally. When A saf (Josh Radnor) is asked to sign a social justice manifesto, he expects to be able to do so without hesitation. Instead, he becomes embroiled in an increasingly conflicted web of relationships that challenge his commitments as a liberal, a husband, an academic, an American, an atheist, and a Jew. With tensions at an all-time high, Asaf is forced to confront the age-old question: “If I am only for myself, what am I?” Directed by Drama Desk Award winner Lila Neugebauer, The Ally is a passionate,
provocative, and unflinching new play about the vanishing line between the personal and the political. The cast of THE ALLY includes Josh Radnor. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

New York Premiere
Sally & Tom
By Suzan-Lori Parks, Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, In Association with The Guthrie Theater, Joseph Haj, Artistic Director; James Haskins, Managing Director
March 2024

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, the author of last season’s The Harder They Come, returns to her artistic home with an edgy dramedy that celebrates the craft of theater while taking a hard look at history. The off-off-off-Broadway theater troupe Good Company is putting on a play about Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson. Writer Luce is cast as Sally; her romantic partner, and the play’s director, Mike, is cast as Tom—really, people, what could possibly go wrong? In association with Minneapolis’s acclaimed Guthrie Theater, this funny, ferocious new work is about art, politics, and the contradictions that make all of us. Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, Sally & Tom is an unmissable New York premiere from one of our finest and most daring playwrights.

World Premiere
By Ife Olujobi
Directed by Whitney White April 2024

A bitingly funny, wildly imaginative new play by The Public’s Emerging Writers Group alumnus Ife Olujobi, Jordans is a piercing exploration of assimilation, racial capitalism, success, and survival. At an overwhelmingly white workplace where appearance is everything, a long-suffering receptionist finds herself in personal, professional, and psychic jeopardy when her ruthless boss hires a hip new employee in an effort to improve the company’s image and “culture.” Suddenly, the two young, Black social climbers are forced together and torn apart by their race, ambition, and otherworldly circumstance. Jordans is a story of identity mistaken, power subverted, and rage unleashed. Don’t miss this bold new play directed by Obie Award winner Whitney White about the true cost of “diversity” in the workplace.

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Jordanna Brody

Originally from South Florida, Jordanna Brody graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Theatre Education and Performance in 2019. Her experience teaching, performing, directing, and working behind the scenes informs her perspective on theatre in every way. She is passionate about uplifting marginalized voices and innovative theatrical experiences.

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