Stage co-productions reteam collaborators

Two Off Broadway companies, the Public Theater and Theater for a New Audience, will partner to produce a two-play series that reteams longtime collaborators Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory.

Presented under the banner “The Wallace Shawn-Andre Gregory Project,” the slate will begin with “The Designated Mourner,” last seen in Gotham in 2000, and continue with the American preem of “Grasses of a Thousand Colors,” which had its world preem in London in 2009. Shawn will star in both productions, with both to be helmed by Gregory.

Shawn and Gregory have worked together for some 40 years, including a Public Theater staging of Shawn’s “Our Late Night” in 1975. The pair also has worked together on pics including 1981 outing “My Dinner With Andre” and 1994 title “Vanya on 42nd Street.”

“Designated Mourner,” a trio of monologues in which artistic types narrate their nation’s descent into totalitarianism, will star Shawn with Deborah Eisenberg and Larry Pine, both of whom were also in the play’s 2000 Gotham staging. New incarnation is on tap to run June 21-Aug. 25, 2013.

“Grasses of a Thousand Colors,” about a sexually adventurous doctor who figures out how to tweak animal metabolisms so they can tolerate cannibalism, originally bowed at London’s Royal Court in 2009. Stateside staging, running Oct. 8-Nov. 10, 2013, will star Shawn, Emily McDonnell and Jennifer Tilly, following up her recent Broadway stint in “Don’t Dress for Dinner.”

Nonprofit co-productions, such as this team-up with the Public and Theater for a New Audience, have become an increasingly common occurence on the Off Broadway landscape, as orgs pool resources to produce larger-scale, often attention-grabbing projects.

Both shows in the Shawn-Gregory project will play the Public’s Shiva Theater.

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