In Advance, A THOUSAND WAYS (PART ONE): A PHONE CALL Returns May 20 – July 18

The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) announced today the New York premiere of A THOUSAND WAYS (PART TWO): AN ENCOUNTER, inviting audiences to take part—in-person—in the continuation of this acclaimed work from 600 HIGHWAYMEN (Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone). While the first part engaged two remote participants—often thousands of miles apart—in an automated hour-long phone call, PART TWO: AN ENCOUNTER brings together new pairs of strangers to share physical space in the creation of a private piece of theater. Seated in an empty room, at opposite ends of a table, and separated by a pane of plexiglass, participants follow prompts on a set of notecards, venturing together into cinematically vivid bouts of imagination. The experience invites us to reconsider, in real time, what we think we know about a person—including ourselves—at a moment when virtual interactions have flattened our co-existences. A THOUSAND WAYS (PART TWO): AN ENCOUNTER will take place in several locations at The Public Theater, beginning on Tuesday, June 8, and will run through Sunday, August 15.

In advance of PART TWO: AN ENCOUNTER, The Public brings back A THOUSAND WAYS (PART ONE): A PHONE CALL for an encore presentation following a sold-out run in the 2021 Under the Radar Festival. The return engagement of A THOUSAND WAYS (PART ONE): A PHONE CALL will begin on Thursday, May 20, and will run through Sunday, July 18.

“Abby and Michael have proven to be among our most extraordinary experimental theatermakers. A Thousand Ways is their gentle, intimate, and profoundly moving welcome back to the world post-COVID,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “Great troubles can bring forth immense creativity, and the life-affirming brilliance of these artists is a reminder not only that there is still life, but there is still joy.”

“In this introspective year, it’s been an absolute honor to know that in over 25 cities and 12 countries around the world —and now in four languages—strangers are coming together night after night, across phone lines and through glass planes, to imagine one another and, in the process, create a kind of community with and for one another,” said writers and creators 600 HIGHWAYMEN, Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone. “We cannot wait to bring it back to our home city with The Public.”

A THOUSAND WAYS, eventually a three-part work, is being presented around the world by cultural institutions including Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF) and University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA); ANTI Contemporary Art Festival (Finland); Arizona Arts Live at The University of Arizona; The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi (UAE); Boom Arts (Portland, OR); Canadian Stage (Toronto); Center for the Art of Performance UCLA; Carolina Performing Arts (Chapel Hill); Dublin Theatre Festival (Ireland); Festival Theaterformen (Hanover, Germany); In Between Time (Bristol, UK); La Jolla Playhouse; the Momentary (Crystal Bridges, Bentonville, AR); Noorderzon Festival (Groningen, Holland); Norfolk/Norwich Festival (UK); On the Boards (Seattle); Singapore International Festival of the Arts; SPRING (Utrecht); Stanford Live; Take Me Somewhere (Glasgow); Theater Garonne (Toulouse, France); Volkstheater (Vienna); Walker Art Center (Minneapolis); and Williams College (North Adams, MA).

A THOUSAND WAYS is executive produced by ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann. Andrew Kircher serves as dramaturg and project designer. Stanley Mathabane is the sound designer for A THOUSAND WAYS (PART ONE): A PHONE CALL. Cynthia J. Tong is the line producer.

At the heart of The Public’s return to performances this summer is our commitment to health and safety protocols that ensure A THOUSAND WAYS is a safe experience for our staff, artists, and audiences. In accordance with the New York State guidelines for indoor gatherings, the theater’s capacity will be limited. The Public will also be implementing the following policies in accordance with current guidelines from New York State and the City of New York: all patrons over the age of two must wear an approved face mask at all times and present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the performance time; a negative rapid antigen test taken within 6 hours; or proof of full vaccination completed at least 14 days prior to performance date, along with a brief health questionnaire to be completed before arriving at the theater. Contactless temperature checks will be administered upon arrival and all patrons and staff must maintain physical distancing of six feet from others at all times. Policies may be updated at The Public’s sole discretion, and subject to evolving New York State and City of New York guidelines.

This season has been unlike any The Public has experienced before. The Public continues to be unable to gather fully in-person in theaters and is navigating immense challenges because of the global coronavirus pandemic, and in response to the long overdue reckoning around racism in the country and in the theater community, The Public has begun interrogating its practices and systems to move closer to being an inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist organization. This is a moment of uncertainty, transformation, action, and accountability. There is much work to be done, but The Public’s mission has not changed, and artists and their voices play a critical role in this moment too.

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600 HIGHWAYMEN (Creators). Obie Award-winning 600 HIGHWAYMEN (Abigail Browde & Michael Silverstone) have performed their original works in the U.S. at The Public Theater, American Repertory Theater, The Invisible Dog Art Center, Kimmel Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Luminato Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art, On The Boards, Spoleto Festival, Walker Arts Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, Woolly Mammoth, and outside the U.S. at Centre Pompidou and Parc de la Villette (France), Dublin Theatre Festival (Ireland), Theaterformen (Germany), Noorderzon (The Netherlands), Theaterspektakel (Switzerland), Onassis Cultural Centre (Greece), Bristol Old Vic (UK), OzAsia Festival (Australia), Salzburg Festival (Austria), and The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (UAE). 600 HIGHWAYMEN are recipients of Switzerland’s ZKB Patronize Prize, and their work has been nominated for two Bessie Awards, a Drama League Award, and Austria’s Nestroy Prize. In 2016, Browde and Silverstone were named artist fellows by the New York Foundation for the Arts. They are currently Associate Artists of IN SITU, the European platform for artistic creation in public space.


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 and Girl From the North Country. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 184 Obie Awards, 55 Drama Desk Awards, 58 Lortel Awards, 34 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, 56 AUDELCO Awards, 6 Antonyo Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes.

The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater’s yearround activities.


A THOUSAND WAYS (PART ONE): A PHONE CALL will begin on Thursday, May 20 and run through Sunday, July 18. Tickets for A THOUSAND WAYS (PART ONE): A PHONE CALL are available to Public Theater Partners now and will be available to Supporters on Thursday, May 13 and to the general public on Friday, May 14.

A THOUSAND WAYS (PART TWO): AN ENCOUNTER will begin on Tuesday, June 8 and run through Sunday, August 15. Tickets for A THOUSAND WAYS (PART TWO): AN ENCOUNTER will be available to Partners on Tuesday, May 25; to Supporters on Thursday, May 27; and to the general public on Friday, May 28.

A full performance schedule can be found at Tickets are $15. All tickets are subject to a service fee. Tickets can be booked online by visiting The Taub Box Office at The Public Theater remains closed in person, but can be reached by calling (212) 967-7555 this Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Public Theater strives to make its performances, digital content, and facilities accessible to all patrons and visitors. For additional information and assistance, please email two weeks before your performance.

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