Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From the Wars is #2 on TIME’s Top 10 Plays & Musicals List; Ends Run December 7 at The Public Theater

The company of Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3). Photo by Joan Marcus

The company of Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3). Photo by Joan Marcus

It’s your final chance to see The Public Theater’s NYT Critics’ Pick FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3), a world premiere play written by Public Theater Master Writer Chair Suzan-Lori Parks. Directed by Jo Bonney, FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3) , began previews on Tuesday, October 14 in the Anspacher Theater and was originally scheduled to close on Sunday, November 16, was extended through November 30th and will now close on December 7th.

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (left) with Public Theater Associate Artistic Director Mandy Hackett, Father Comes Home From the Wars director Jo Bonney, and Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (left) with Public Theater Associate Artistic Director Mandy Hackett, Father Comes Home From the Wars director Jo Bonney, and Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. Photo by Lia Chang

Father Comes Home From the Wars  (Parts 1, 2 & 3) is #2 on TIME Magazine’s List of  Top 10 Plays and Musicals. 

“At a southern plantation in the early days of the Civil War, a slave decides to follow his master into the Confederate army. In her new play — part of a projected cycle — the always adventurous Suzan-Lori Parks (The America Play, Topdog/Underdog) tackles a familiar historical subject but doesn’t settle for easy moralizing or predictable melodrama. (Leave that to Hollywood, and 12 Years a Slave.) Instead, she creates a richly textured mix of Brechtian allegory and Homeric epic, finding new meaning in an essential American tragedy.”

Click here for the complete list.

#1 Time Out New York critic Adam Feldman’s 10 best shows of 2014

“Suzan-Lori Parks blends the human, historical and mythic in a gloriously muddy Civil War epic (directed to perfection by Jo Bonney) that colors vividly inside and outside the lines of classical Greek drama. In bold dramatic grammar, it draws from the past even as it shadows forward, in a kind of future perfect progressive tense, to the crises of agency that African-Americans will have been enduring for decades to come.”

Click here for the complete list.

#1 NY Times Charles Isherwood’s Best Theater of 2014

“The first third of Suzan-Lori Parks’s ambitious work, ultimately to consist of nine plays spanning more than a century and a half, was the most audacious and exciting stage production of the year. Directed by Jo Bonney with a fine feel for its gloriously motley texture — incantaory lyricism in one passage, fine-grained naturalism elsewhere, and even a talking dog — “Father” follows the fortunes of a slave who fights in the Civil War on the side of his master, a Confederate colonel. This was the rare production in which text, design, acting and direction were all in consummate accord. I can’t wait to see more.”

Click here for the complete list.

#8 Time Out New York critic David Cote’s 10 Best Shows of 2014

“Suzan-Lori Parks has explored race and history in her own (often quirky and irreverent) way, but nothing quite prepares you for her Civil War triptych. Built along the lean and symmetrical lines of classical Greek tragedy and Homeric epic, this intimate epic about freedom and betrayal is whimsical and terrifying by turns. It’s the start of a nine-work cycle that will take us to present day.”

Click here for the complete list.

What the critics are saying:

“EXTRAORDINARY! THE BEST NEW PLAY I’VE SEEN ALL YEAR. By turns philosophical and playful, lyrical and earthy, SUZAN LORI-PARKS’S new play SWOOPS, LEAPS, DIVES and SOARS.  THE FINEST WORK YET FROM THIS GIFTED WRITER, and A HIGH-WATER MARK in the career of director JO BONNEY.”
The New York Times

“THRILLING! A MASTERPIECE.  A story that engages the DEEPEST POSSIBLE ISSUES in the MOST GRIPPING POSSIBLE WAY.”
New York Magazine

“GRADE A:  SUZAN-LORI PARKS brings the FULL FORCE of her DRAMATIC POWER. She elevates her themes with echoes of classic literature while at the same time DOUBLING DOWN ON COMEDY.”
Entertainment Weekly

“PROVOCATIVE, RICH and IRREVERENTLY FUNNY.”
New York Post

“This HAUNTING work is FUNNY and TRAGIC, WHIMSICAL and LACERATING, POETIC and POIGNANT, navigating its radical tonal shifts with FLUIDITY and GRACE.”
The Hollywood Reporter

“INSIGHTFUL, POETIC & HEARTBREAKING. DELIVERS A GUT-PUNCH.”
 Bergen Record

“TRIUMPHANT! Overloaded with SOARING LANUGAGE and PROVOCATIVE DEBATE.”
Huffington Post

Check out the review roundup at Broadwayworld.com.

2 hours and 50 min. Member tickets, priced at $45, and single tickets, starting at $65, are available now by calling (212) 967-7555, www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.

Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, The Book of Grace) continues her longstanding relationship with The Public Theater with FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3), a devastatingly beautiful, dramatic work set over the course of the Civil War. Jo Bonney directs this moving and haunting drama comprised of three plays presented in a single performance. In Part 1, “A Measure of A Man,” Hero, a slave who is accustomed to his master’s lies, must now decide whether to join him on the Confederate battlefield in exchange for a promise of freedom. Part 2, “A Battle in the Wilderness” follows Hero and the Colonel as they lead a captured Union solider toward the Confederate lines as the cannons approach. Finally, in Part 3, “The Union of My Confederate Parts,” the loved ones Hero left behind question whether to escape or wait for his return – only to discover that for Hero, freedom may have come at a great spiritual cost. A masterful new work from one of our most lyrical and powerful writers which was a part of the 2013-14 Public Lab season, FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS is a deeply personal epic about love and hope in a world of impossible choices. Presented in association with American Repertory Theater.

Father Comes Home From The Wars Opening Night Celebration on October 28, 2014 at The Public Theater- Cast members Sterling K Brown, Jenny Jules, Jeremie Harris, Peter Jay Fernandez, Tonye Patano, playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, Louis Cancelmi, Russell G. Jones, Jacob Ming Trent, director Jo Bonney and Julian Rozzell Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Father Comes Home From The Wars Opening Night Celebration on October 28, 2014 at The Public Theater- Cast members Sterling K Brown, Jenny Jules, Jeremie Harris, Peter Jay Fernandez, Tonye Patano, playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, Louis Cancelmi, Russell G. Jones, Jacob Ming Trent, director Jo Bonney and Julian Rozzell Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

The complete cast for FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3) features Sterling K. Brown (Hero); Louis Cancelmi (Smith); Peter Jay Fernandez (Oldest Old Man); Jeremie Harris (Homer); Russell G. Jones (Leader, Runaway); Jenny Jules (Penny); Ken Marks (Colonel);Jacob Ming-Trent (Fourth, Odyssey Dog); Tonye Patano (Third, Runaway); and Julian Rozzell Jr. (Second, Runaway).

FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS (PARTS 1, 2 & 3) features scenic design by Neil Patel, costume design by ESOSA, lighting design by Lap Chi Chu, and sound design and music supervision by Dan Moses Schreier.

Father Comes Home From The Wars playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and director Jo Bonney. Photo by Lia Chang

Father Comes Home From The Wars playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and director Jo Bonney. Photo by Lia Chang

SUZAN-LORI PARKS (Playwright) is The Public Theater’s Master Writer Chair. Her plays include Topdog/Underdog, which moved to Broadway and won the Pulitzer Prize, making her the first African- American woman to do so; The Book of Grace; Fucking A; In The Blood; Venus; and The America Play. In 2003, Parks wrote a play a day and her project 365 Days/365 Plays was produced in over 700 theaters worldwide. Her additional plays include The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, and Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom. Her additional Broadway credits include The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, for which she received a Tony Award. She has written screenplays for Brad Pitt, Spike Lee, Oprah Winfrey, and her novel Getting Mother’s Body was published by Random House. She is a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award, and one of Time Magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next New Wave.”

JO BONNEY (Director) previously directed the Public Lab production of Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), as well as Danny Hoch’s Some People, Diana Son’s Stop Kiss, Anna Deveare Smith’s House Arrest, Jose Rivera’s References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot, and Naomi Wallace’s Fever Chart at The Public. She has directed premieres of plays by Alan Ball, Eric Bogosian, Culture Clash, Eve Ensler, Jessica Goldberg, Neil LaBute, Warren Leight, Lynn Nottage, Dael Orlandersmith, Darci Picoult, Will Power, David Rabe, Universes, and Michael Weller. She has also directed productions of plays by Caryl Churchhill, Nilo Cruz, Charles Fuller, Lisa Loomer, John Osborne, John Pollono, and Lanford Wilson. She is the recipient of the 1998 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Direction; and is the editor of Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the Twentieth Century.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
New York Times Critics’ Pick OUR LADY OF KIBEHO by Katori Hall, extends through December 14
The Public Theater Extends Suzan-Lori Parks’s FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS through December 7
Ann Harada Ends Run on Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’ on December 14; Set for World Premiere of ‘Brooklynite’ at The Vineyard in January 2015
Lia Chang Picks: Arthur Dong’s Forbidden City: Chinese-American Nightclubs, 1930-1970 
Q & A with Danny Ramm, Co-writer of Joe Mantegna Helmed ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 10 Episode to Honor the late Meshach Taylor; Airs January 21, 2015
Tonya Pinkins,Trezana Beverley and More Set for World Premiere of War by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Yale Repertory Theatre through December 13
New York Times Critics’ Pick OUR LADY OF KIBEHO by Katori Hall, extends through December 14
Austin Pendleton, Pete Simpson, James Stanley and Gary Wilmes Star in Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men at The Public Theater; Extended through December 14
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at Second Stage Theatre’s Tony Kiser Theatre Beginning January 16, 2015
Photos: BD Wong, Cindy Cheung, Brooke Ishibashi,Thom Sesma, Manna Nichols, Steven Eng, Ariel Estrada and Lori Tan Chinn at Leviathan Lab’s Ghost Stories
Apple Video Podcast: New York Post Writer Michael Riedel Interviews David Byrne, Jaygee Macapugay, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora of Here Lies Love
Cheryl L. Davis’ Maid’s Door Sweeps AUDELCOs with 7 Wins; Complete List of 2014 AUDELCO Recipients
Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More Set for Lincoln Center Theater’s The King and I 
Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
NYU Theatrical Production Presents the World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night in the Shubert Theatre at Tisch School of the Arts
Q & A with Playwright Camille Darby, 2014-15 Dramatists Guild Playwrighting Fellow
Costume Institute’s Spring 2015 Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum to Focus on Chinese Imagery in Art, Film, and Fashion, May 7–August 16, 2015
Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee
Photos: Art Salon with Artist Yang Chihung and Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang at New-York Historical Society
Photos: Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion on View through April 19, 2015 at New York Historical Society
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Photos: Maxine Hong Kingston, Billie Tsien, Bill T. Jones, Linda Ronstadt, John Kander, Julia Alvarez, Jeffrey Katzenberg Receive 2013 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama 
Photos: Artist Arlan Huang, One Brush Stroke at a Time
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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