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The world premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s “Soft Power” at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. (Photo by Craig Schwartz)

Public Theater to Present ‘For Colored Girls’ and ‘Soft Power’

The Off-Broadway theatre will present the new David Henry Hwang/Jeanine Tesori musical and a world premiere by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, and Kwame Kwei-Armah.

NEW YORK CITY: The Public Theater has announced its 2019-20 season, which features nine productions plus two free mobile unit tours.

The season opens with the New York premiere of Soft Power, a new musical by David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori (Sept. 24-Nov. 3). The musical, a coproduction with Center Theatre Group, is a musical about what happens when a theatre producer from Shanghai develops a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Leigh Silverman will direct and Sam Pinkleton will choreograph.

Then the Public will present the first major New York revival of for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange (Oct. 8-Nov. 17). The 1976 choreopoem will feature seven women of color telling their stories using poetry, song, and movement. Leah C. Gardiner will direct. Camille A. Brown will choreograph.

Next will be the world premiere of The Michaels by Richard Nelson, who will also direct (Oct. 19-Nov. 17). The play takes place in the kitchen of a choreographer, where conversations over art, death, family, dance, politics, and the state of America occurs over a dinner table.

After that will be the first major New York revival of A Bright Room Called Day by Tony Kushner (Oct. 29-Dec. 8), directed by Oskar Eustis. In Kushner’s first play, from 1985, Agness, an actress in Weimar Germany who encounters an American woman enraged by the Reagan administration.

Then the Public will present Adrienne Truscott’s (Still) Asking For It, written and starring Truscott (Sept. 20-Oct. 13). The show is a comedy about rape culture. It will be directed by Ellie Heyman.

In January the Public will present its 2020 Under the Radar Festival, the 16th edition of its festival featuring experimental work from around the world (Jan. 8-19, 2020).

After that will be the world premiere of Coal Country by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, with original music by Steve Earle (Feb. 18-March 29, 2020). The play is a about a mining disaster in 2010 that killed 29 men. Blank will direct.

Then the Public will present The Vagrant Trilogy by Mona Mansour (March 17-April 26, 2020). Featuring six actors in 19 roles, the play is about a Palestinian scholar who travels abroad and must decide whether or not he wants to go back home. Mark Wing-Davey will direct.

Next will be the world premiere of The Visitor by Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey, and Kwame Kwei-Armah (March 24-May 10, 2020). This new musical, based on the acclaimed independent film, is about a lonely college professor who encounters two young undocumented immigrants. Daniel Sullivan will direct.

The season will close with the world premiere of Cullud Wattah by Erika Dickerson-Despenza (July 7-August 16, 2020). The play isa bout three generations of Black women living through the current water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Founded more than 60 years ago, the Public premieres new work influenced by the social issues of today. It’s currently represented on Broadway with Hamilton. Its programming has received 59 Tony Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes for drama.

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