Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

The Public Theater Extends PARTY PEOPLE and Lynn Nottage’s SWEAT

Lynn Nottage. Photo by Lia Chang

Lynn Nottage. Photo by Lia Chang

Due to popular demand, The Public Theater is extending the New York premieres of Lynn Nottage’s SWEAT and PARTY PEOPLE, created by UNIVERSES (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, and William Ruiz a.k.a. Ninja), with a new block of tickets going on sale Thursday, October 13.

SWEAT has been extended an additional week for the second time. Directed by Kate Whoriskey, SWEAT begins previews on Tuesday, October 18 and officially opens on Thursday, November 3. Originally extended to November 27, it will now run an additional week through Sunday, December 4.

PARTY PEOPLE, developed and directed by Liesl Tommy has been extended an additional week. The New York premiere of PARTY PEOPLE begins previews on Tuesday, November 1 and officially opens on Tuesday, November 15. Originally scheduled to run through December 4, it will now run an additional week through Sunday, December 11.

Member and Partner tickets for the extension weeks are on sale now. Single tickets will be available on Thursday, October 13 and can be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555,; or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street. The Library at The Public is open nightly for food and drinks, beginning at 5:00 p.m., and Joe’s Pub at The Public continues to offer some of the best music in the city.

Continuing The Public’s mission to make great theater accessible to all, The Public’s First Performance “Free for All” returns this fall; free tickets to the first preview of SWEAT on Tuesday, October 18 will be available beginning October 11, and free tickets to the first preview of PARTY PEOPLE on November 1 will be available on October 25 via TodayTix mobile lottery. $20 tickets will be available for main stage productions in The Public’s downtown season at Astor Place through a TodayTix Mobile Lottery.

The Public presents the New York premiere of SWEAT by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Ruined, Lynn Nottage. With warm humor and tremendous heart, Sweat tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the line of a factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in the hard fight to stay afloat. Kate Whoriskey directs this stunning new play about the collision of race, class, family and friendship, and the tragic, unintended costs of community without opportunity.

The complete cast of SWEAT features Carlo Albán (Oscar), James Colby (Stan), Khris Davis (Chris), JohAnna Day (Tracey), John Earl Jelks (Brucie), Will Pullen (Jason), Miriam Shor (Jessie), Lance Coadie Williams (Evan), and Michelle Wilson (Cynthia).

SWEAT features scenic design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Jennifer Moeller, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, original music and sound design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen, and projection design by Jeff Sugg.

UNIVERSES, the award-winning ensemble known for their fusion of theater, poetry, jazz, hip-hop, politics, down home blues and Spanish boleros, makes their Public Theater premiere with an explosive new work about the complicated legacies of the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords Org/Party. Developed and directed by Tony Award nominee Liesl Tommy, UNIVERSES created PARTY PEOPLE based on dozens of interviews with members of these groundbreaking, society-changing groups. PARTY PEOPLE imagines a present-day reunion at an art opening curated by two young counter culturalists; but the curators themselves have complex relationships with the Party members, who fought injustice and provided free food and medical care for their communities-often at the expense of the people who loved them most. Old wounds and generational divides collide in this astonishing, multi-media theatrical event about the price of being a revolutionary, and what it means for those who come after. Breaking the bounds of the expected, the members of UNIVERSES (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp and William Ruiz aka Ninja) and Liesl Tommy -invite audiences of every age, color and creed to join them as they continue to revolutionize American theater and explore the fight to bring power to the people, and the people to power.

The complete cast of PARTY PEOPLE features Oberon K.A. Adjepong (Blue); Michael Elich(Marcus, FBI Agent); Gizel Jiménez (Clara); Ramona Keller (Amira); Christopher Livingston(Malik); Jesse J. Perez (Tito); Sophia Ramos (Maruca); Robynn Rodriguez (Donna, Fina); Horace V. Rogers (Solias); William Ruiz a.k.a. Ninja (Jimmy “Primo”); Mildred Ruiz-Sapp(Helita); and Steven Sapp (Omar).

PARTY PEOPLE features scenic and lighting design by Marcus Doshi, costume design by Meg Neville, sound design and vocal direction by Broken Chord, music composition UNIVERSES and Broken Chord, projection design by Sven Ortel, and hair and wig design by Cookie Jordan.

For more information about tickets and performance schedules, visit

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and

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