Thursday, February 26, 2009

Public Theater: A Couple of Bits of Good News

From our friends at The Public Theater:

First--announcement of some free talkbacks/discussions in conjunction with their current show Tales of an Urban Indian:
  • Tuesday, March 3: The post-show discussion will focus on “Native Theater in New York City Today.” Panelists for this introduction to New York’s local Native theater scene, moderated by The Public Theater’s Literary Associate Liz Frankel, include Steve Elm of Amerinda, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian’s Heye Center director John Haworth, Spiderwoman Theater’s Muriel Miguel, and Mixed Phoenix Theatre Group’s Danielle Soames.
  • Tuesday, March 10: Cherokee director Betsy Theobald Richards will join with artists from the formative years of the Native Theater movement to discuss “The Rise of Native Theater in New York City in the 1960s and 70s.” Panelists will include writer and advocate Suzan Shown Harjo, actor and producer Soni Moreno, and Spiderwoman Theater’s Muriel Miguel.

And second--an exciting announcement about the summer Shakespeare Lab at the Public:

The Public Theater announced today that The Shakespeare Lab, the theater’s professional actor development program, will be tuition-free in 2009. The decision to make the program free this year builds on The Public’s long tradition of free Shakespeare in the Park and the theater’s ongoing commitment to building a community of classically trained artists. Shakespeare Lab 2009 will run from June 15-July 24.

Under the direction of Barry Edelstein, The Shakespeare Lab immerses a carefully-selected company of professional, mid-career actors in a six-week intensive exploring the rigors, challenges, and joys of performing Shakespeare. The Shakespeare Lab is a unique opportunity for working American actors in mid-career to hone their craft and expand their classical skills. It aims to build a strong and diverse collective of classically trained actors which will expand The Public Theater’s community of artists.

“This is a major step for The Shakespeare Lab, and stems from the ongoing democratic nature of the Public Theater,” said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “We need to make the best training available to the most diverse group of artists, regardless of their ability to pay. I am proud that in this tough economic climate we are able to make this move.”

The Lab’s workshops in Shakespearean performance are led by some of the most respected figures in American classical theater training, including Christopher Bayes, Lisa Benevides, Barry Edelstein, Robert Perillo, J. Steven White, Grace Zandarski, Janet Zarish and others. Guest artists, including eminent members of The Public Theater community and other leading Shakespeareans, will frequently visit the Shakespeare Lab.

Shakespeare Lab 2009 will run from June 15 to July 24. Membership in the Shakespeare Lab Company is by audition only. Requirements and other information can be found at

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