Stars align for Public slate

Wooster's 'Hamlet,' new Shepard play on tap

Sam Shepard, Caryl Churchill, David Henry Hwang, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian Dennehy and the Wooster Group are all on the 2007-08 bill at the Public Theater — as are three free concert perfs of “Hair” in Central Park this September.

Fall kicks off with a co-production with Arts at St. Ann’s of “Hamlet” from the venerable downtown troupe the Wooster Group. Elizabeth LeCompte directs a cast that includes Wooster regulars Kate Valk and Ari Fliakos as well as musician-performance artist Casey Spooner.

Season continues with the world preem of “The Brother Size,” a new play by emerging playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney that scored strong reviews in a staging in the Under the Radar fest at the Public last season. Tea Alagic helms the story of two brothers, a mechanic and a parolee. “Size” is a co-production with the Foundry Theater.

Next up is “Yellow Face,” the new play by Hwang that the Public helped develop through a program at Stanford. Show, based on the real-life controversy stirred up when Jonathan Pryce was cast to play a half-Asian man in “Miss Saigon” on Broadway, is directed by Leigh Silverman (“Well”) and co-produced by the Center Theater Group in L.A., where the show had a run last season.

Dennehy toplines a cast that includes David Strathairn and Maria Tucci in “Conversations in Tusculum,” Richard Nelson’s new play set outside Rome during the time of Julius Caesar. Show is set for winter.

The spring sees the American debut of “Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?,” by Caryl Churchill. James Macdonald helms the elliptical show about two men in love. The Royal Court, where the show had its world preem, co-produces.

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ “Little Flower of East Orange” is also up in the spring, in a new production directed by Hoffman and co-produced by the LAByrinth Theater Company, the troupe that has an ongoing residence at the Public. Show is a ghost story set in a Gotham charity hospital.

The latest play from Shepard, “Kicking a Dead Horse,” gets its U.S. preem in summer 2008. Stephen Rea stars in the show about an art dealer and the myth of the West. Shepard directs the show, a co-production with Ireland’s Abbey Theater, the original presenter of the production.

Exact dates of all shows have yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, the “Hair” concerts are set for Sept. 22-24 as part of the Joe’s Pub in the Park series, which runs Sept. 19-30 after the upcoming park production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” closes Sept. 9.

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