Theater

July 17–August 6:This annual festival is a three-week theater extravaganza featuring about 200 performances, including musicals, comedies, and dramas.

'SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK'
Delacorte Theater,
Central Park, near West 81st Street entrance,
212-539-8750,
publictheater.org

June 13–September 3: As the new artistic director of the Public Theater, Oskar Eustis has acquitted himself quite well, but nothing will test his mettle like his oversight of the Public's most famous phenomenon, its summer season of Shakespeare plays in Central Park. For his inaugural effort, Eustis has programmed one Shakespeare play, Macbeth (June 13–July 9), and one by Brecht, Mother Courage and Her Children (August 8–September 3). He's secured some excellent actors: The dishy Liev Schreiber and the possibly dishier Jennifer Ehle will play Shakespeare's Lord and Lady M., while Meryl Streep will hitch her star to Mother Courage's wagon. SOLOSKI

'THIRD ANNUAL SUMMER PLAY FESTIVAL—SPF'
Theatre Row Theatres,
410 West 42nd Street,
212-279-4200,
spfnyc.com

July 5–July 30:In a city whose stages are consistently teeming with revivals, the Third Annual Summer Play Festival offers a respite for theatergoers looking to challenge convention and support budding artists. The low ticket prices also sugarcoat the incentive. Throughout the month of July, 15 new plays will be given full productions at the Theatre Row complex. The up-and-coming playwrights were chosen from a pool of over 1,000 competitors. Works include Peter Morris's comedy Marge, about a man who hires a prostitute to kill his wife, and Sheri Wilner's Father Joy, about a young sculptor who becomes romantically involved with her professor. COEN

'SUMMERWORKS 2006'
Ohio Theater, 66 Wooster Street,
212-868-4444,
clubbedthumb.org

June 4–24:As every child knows, correct, factual information can most easily be found on the Internet, and so we turn to the musings of handanalysis.com. The "clubbed thumb," these experts hold, "is a sign of great determination and willpower concentrated for rapid results." That's certainly true of the theater company Clubbed Thumb, which will rapidly produce its 11th season of new 90-minute plays. Selections include Anne Washburn's I Have Loved Strangers(June 4–10), Erin Courtney's Alice the Magnet (June 11–17), and Rachel Hoeffel's Quail (June 18–24). SOLOSKI

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