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PRESS ROOM

UNDER THE RADAR 2023

PRESS RELEASES

The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival 2023 will reflect the enormous changes in the field of live theater and performance since 2020. Joyous, outrageous, witty, and powerful, UTR 2023 will partner with stages across the city to highlight national and international artists bursting with innovation, provocation, and celebration.

A highlight of the winter season, the innovative festival returns to in-person performances at The Public Theater’s flagship building at Astor Place and five partner venues: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Chelsea Factory, La MaMa, the New York Public Library, and NYU Skirball Center. Curated by UTR Festival Director Mark Russell, the festival will feature 36 artists and companies from across the U.S. and around the world.

THE HARDER THEY COME

PRESS RELEASES

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and The Public’s Writer-in-Residence, Suzan-Lori Parks, brings to The Public a new musical adaptation of the 1972 movie, THE HARDER THEY COME. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the breakthrough film, produced and directed by Perry Henzell and co-written with Trevor Rhone, tells the story of Ivan, a young singer who arrives in Kingston, Jamaica, eager to become a star. After falling in love and cutting a record deal with a powerful music mogul, Ivan soon learns that the game is rigged, and as he becomes increasingly defiant, he finds himself in a battle that threatens not only his life, but the very fabric of Jamaican society. Featuring Grammy Award winner Jimmy Cliff’s hits, “You Can Get It If You Really Want” and "Pressure Drop," former Artistic Director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre Tony Taccone directs this new musical, with co-direction by Tony Award winner Sergio Trujillo and choreography by Edgar Godineaux.

The complete cast of THE HARDER THEY COME will include Jeannette Bayardelle (Daisy), Shawn Bowers (Ensemble), J. Bernard Calloway (Preacher), Andrew Clarke (Lyle), Tyla Collier (Understudy), Jamal Christopher Douglas (Ensemble), Tiffany Francès (Understudy), Garfield Hammonds (Understudy), Dana Marie Ingraham (Ensemble), Dominique Johnson (Jose), Chelsea-Ann Jones (Ensemble), Natey Jones (Ivan), Dudney Joseph Jr (Ray), Dwight Xaveir Leslie (Understudy), Morgan McGhee (Ensemble), Meecah (Elsa), Jacob Ming-Trent (Pedro), Alysha Morgan (Ensemble), Ken Robinson (Hilton), Housso Semon (Ensemble), Denver Andre Taylor (Understudy), Sir Brock Warren (Ensemble), Carla Woods (Understudy), and Christopher Henry Young (Ensemble).

DARK DISABLED STORIES

PRESS RELEASES

Acclaimed writer and performer Ryan J. Haddad makes his off-Broadway playwriting debut with the hilarious and audacious DARK DISABLED STORIES

Haddad’s newest autobiographical play is a series of unforgiving vignettes about the strangers he encounters while navigating a city (and a world) not built for his walker and cerebral palsy. Directed by Jordan FeinDARK DISABLED STORIES probes implicit ableism and the assumptions we make about people we'll never really know.

FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK

FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is one of the cornerstones of The Public Theater’s mission. Since 1962, over five million people have enjoyed more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals. 

THE PUBLIC THEATER

THE PUBLIC continues the work of its visionary founder Joe Papp as a civic institution engaging, both on-stage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today. Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation’s first nonprofit theaters, The Public has long operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, The Public’s wide breadth of programming includes an annual season of new work at its landmark home at Astor Place, Free Shakespeare in the Park at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, the Mobile Unit touring throughout New York City’s five boroughs, Public Forum, Under the Radar, Public Lab, Public Works, Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Joe’s Pub. Since premiering HAIR in 1967, The Public continues to create the canon of American Theater and is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda and the upcoming production of Ain’t No Mo’ by Jordan E. Cooper. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 60 Tony Awards, 184 Obie Awards, 56 Drama Desk Awards, 59 Lortel Awards, 34 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, 58 AUDELCO Awards, 6 Antonyo Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes. publictheater.org

The Public Theater stands in honor of the first inhabitants and our ancestors. We acknowledge the land on which The Public and its theaters stand--the original homeland of the Lenape people. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory. We honor the generations of stewards and we pay our respects to the many diverse indigenous peoples still connected to this land. The Public Theater honors and celebrates the people and legacy of Seneca Village, one of the earliest free Black communities in New York City, which was located in what is now Central Park from 1825–1857.