Public Theater announces complete casting for The Vagrant Triology
December 17, 2019 – The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) announced complete casting today for the New York premiere of THE VAGRANT TRILOGY, a Public Theater commission, written by Emerging Writers Group Alumna Mona Mansour. Directed by Mark Wing-Davey, THE VAGRANT TRILOGY begins performances in the LuEsther Hall on Tuesday, March 17 with a Joseph Papp Free Preview performance, and will run through Sunday, April 26 with an official press opening on Wednesday, April 1.
The complete ensemble for THE VAGRANT TRILOGY includes Tala Ashe, Ramsey Faragallah, Osh Ghanimah, Nadine Malouf, Rudy Roushdi, and Hadi Tabbal.
“Ten years ago, when I started writing in earnest, I submitted Urge for Going to The Public Theater for its Emerging Writers Group. I had no idea how much this program would influence the writing of the three plays that make up THE VAGRANT TRILOGY,” said Playwright Mona Mansour. “Later, I was given a commission to write The Vagrant, and Jesse Alick and Jeanie O’Hare helped me craft that ‘middle’ play, distilling it from a full two hours to the fever dream it is now. All through that 10-year process, I felt an unflagging support for the scope, material, and politics of these plays from Oskar Eustis. I’m not unaware of how daring it is for him to program this: plays that feature Palestinians at the center are extremely rare in the American theater landscape. Frankly, it shouldn’t be so ‘daring,’ but it is. And I’ve always felt the rightness of this incredible home.”
Mona Mansour, award-winning playwright and alumna of The Public’s Emerging Writers Group, delves into the Palestinian struggle for home and identity in THE VAGRANT TRILOGY, a single epic story told in three parts. In 1967, Adham, a Palestinian Wordsworth scholar, goes to London with his new wife to deliver a lecture. When war breaks out at home, he must decide in an instant what to do—a choice that will affect the rest of his life. The two parts that follow explore alternate realities based on that decision. Each part in the trilogy speaks to the others, together painting a rare and moving picture of Palestinian displacement and a refugee’s life of permanent impermanence. Featuring six actors in 19 different roles, Mansour’s drama spans four decades and three generations of a family uprooted by war and politics. Obie Award winner and Drama Desk Award nominee Mark Wing-Davey directs this sweeping new epic about the poetry and pain of losing the place called home.
THE VAGRANT TRILOGY will feature scenic design by Allen Moyer, costume design by Dina El-Aziz, lighting design by Reza Behjat, sound design by Sinan Refik Zafar, and video design by Greg Emetaz.
MONA MANSOUR (Playwright). We Swim, We Talk, We Go To War (director Evren Odcikin) premiered at San Francisco’s Golden Thread in winter 2018. The Vagrant Trilogy (director Mark Wing-Davey) was presented at Mosaic Theater in June 2018. Of the trilogy: The Hour of Feeling (director Mark Wing-Davey) premiered at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and a new Arabic translation was presented at NYU Abu Dhabi, as part of its Arab Voices Festival in 2016. Urge for Going: productions at The Public (director Hal Brooks) and Golden Thread (director Evren Odcikin). The Vagrant was commissioned by The Public and workshopped at the 2013 Sundance Theater Institute. The Way West: LAByrinth (director Mimi O’Donnell); Village Theater (director Christina Myatt); Steppenwolf (director Amy Morton); Marin Theatre Company (director Hayley Finn). Mansour was a member of The Public’s Emerging Writers Group. With Tala Manassah, she has written Falling Down the Stairs, an EST/Sloan commission. Their play Dressing is part of Facing Our Truths (New Black Festival). Commissions include Playwrights Horizons, La Jolla, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions. 2012 Whiting Award. 2014 Middle East America Playwright Award, MacDowell Colony 2018. Mansour is currently writing on a new Apple TV show.
MARK WING-DAVEY (Director) lives in NYC and is Chair of Graduate Acting at NYU. He first came to prominence with his production of Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest (NYTW), initiating his U.S. directing career. Working extensively in New York for NYTW, MTC, Lincoln Center, Playwright’s Horizons, LAByrinth, and, most often, The Public, where Troilus and Cressida and Henry V (Free Shakespeare in the Park), School of the Americas, Silence Cunning Exile, 36 Views, Unconditional, The Singing Forest, and The Skriker are highlights. Recent work includes Nina Raine’s Consent and Francis Turnly’s The Great Wave, his sixth production for Berkeley Rep. He also directed numerous productions of new and classic plays at major regional theaters, London’s Royal Court Theatre, National Theatre, the Edinburgh Festival, and musicals in the West End and Australia. He has directed new work by Caryl Churchill, Sarah Ruhl, Mona Mansour, Naomi Iizuka, Carson Kreitzer, Rinne Groff, José Rivera, Keith Reddin, Brett Leonard, Adam Rapp, Tony Kushner, and Craig Lucas, among others, and is currently working on two operas and Jean Genet’s The Screens in a new translation by Caryl Churchill.
ABOUT THE PUBLIC THEATER:
THE PUBLIC is theater of, by, and for all people. Artist-driven, radically inclusive, and fundamentally democratic, 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 Studio, 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. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 178 Obie Awards, 53 Drama Desk Awards, 56 Lortel Awards, 34 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes. publictheater.org
THE VAGRANT TRILOGY will begin performances in The Public’s LuEsther Hall on Tuesday, March 17 with a Joseph Papp Free Preview. It will run through Sunday, April 26 with an official press opening on Wednesday, April 1.
Public Theater Partner and Supporter tickets are available now. Full price tickets will be available on Thursday, January 16. Tickets can be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555, visiting publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.
Continuing The Public’s mission to make great theater accessible to all, The Public’s Joseph Papp Free Preview initiative will continue this fall; free tickets to the performance on Tuesday, March 17 will be available beginning March 11 via TodayTix mobile lottery, and on March 17 via the lottery in the lobby of The Public Theater at Astor Place, with entries starting at 11:00 a.m. and winners drawn at 12:00 p.m. (Noon).
The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (There is no 1:00 p.m. performance on Saturday, March 21.)
The open captioning performance will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. The audio described performance will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 11. The ASL performance will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. For more information, please visit publictheater.org.