Shepard, Hwang to Off Broadway

Signature Theater locks in 2012-13 season

Off Broadway’s Signature Theater has lined up eight shows for its 2012-13 season including world preems by Sam Shepard, David Henry Hwang, Regina Taylor and physical-theater duo Bill Irwin and David Shiner.

The new play by Hwang, “Kung Fu,” will be presented as part of the Signature’s seasonlong tribute to the scribe’s work. Play, helmed by Leigh Silverman (who also directed Hwang plays “Chinglish” and “Yellowface”), is based on the life of Bruce Lee but is a separate project from a Lee-inspired tuner tale to which Hwang had previously been attached. Show is set to bow in fall 2013.

Also in the Hwang season are revivals of 1997 play “Golden Child” (Oct. 23-Dec. 2), also to be helmed by Silverman, and a production of the scribe’s 1981 play about Chinese railroad laborers in 1860s California, “The Dance and the Railroad” (Feb. 7-March 17), to be staged by May Adrales.

Newly ubiquitous director Daniel Aukin (“4,000 Miles”) helms the Shepard play, “Heartless” (Aug. 7-Sept. 16), about a woman, her mysterious L.A. family and a visitor who exposes their secrets. The latest from Irwin and Shiner, who haven’t worked together on a new show since their 1993 Rialto success “Fool Moon,” is a still-untitled piece (Oct. 30-Dec. 9) blending magic, clowning, music and tech.

The Taylor play, “—- and Potatoes” (April 30-June 9, 2013), follows a book publisher and crossword puzzle fan struggling to adjust to the digital age and uncovering insights about himself in the process. (The blanks in the title are a reference to a crossword puzzle clue rather than an indicator of profanity.) No helmer has yet been set.

Also on tap are a revival of August Wilson’s 1990 play “The Piano Lesson,” to be directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and a new staging of Lanford Wilson’s 1975 outing “The Mound Builders” helmed by Jo Bonney.

Season consists of programming in the Signature’s Residency One series of shows by a single writer (the Hwang plays), its Residency Five banner for new works (the Taylor show) and its Legacy Program, which encompasses writers previously honored at the theater with seasonlong showcases.

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