returns in partnership with New Georges!

Two Drama League Award noms, including Best Production of a Play!

“Exquisitely weightless: Liza Birkenmeier’s covertly romantic flotsam bobs along for a swift seventy minutes, funny and graceful… The director, Tara Ahmadinejad, presides over a tremendous cast” — Helen Shaw, The New Yorker

“…a sneaky marvel. Rather than handing you tidy packages of exposition, Grief Hotel trusts you to fall into an already rushing river, find a branch, and hang on. This requires a period of biorhythmic adjustment at the start. Don’t flail or clench too tightly: Just let it carry you for a bit…. Grief Hotel heads in too wonderful a direction to spoil the particulars, but its emotional power — and the thing that necessitates and elevates it specifically as a piece of theater — is the way in which we bear witness to the eventual merging of islands.” — Sara Holdren, VULTURE

“***** … a gorgeously impressionistic picture of a group of acquaintances in loneliness, contemplation, and despair” — Melissa Rose Bernardo, New York Stage Review

“An expansive resort of intrigue and insight… where there is always something new to discover. There’s a tiny mitochondrion of optimism powering this play about grief and disconnection” — Zachary Stewart, Theatermania

Clubbed Thumb’s
in partnership with New Georges
in residency at The Public

by Liza Birkenmeier
directed by Tara Ahmadinejad

Loss is fast, but grief is slow. Aunt Bobbi’s going to try to make everyone feel better, even though her parties are cursed.

with Susan Blommaert, Bruce McKenzie, Nadine Malouf, Ana Nogueira, Susannah Perkins and Naren Weiss

Scenic Design by dots
Costume Design by Mel Ng
Lighting Design by Masha Tsimring
Sound Design & Composition by Jordan McCree
Stage Manager Allison Raynes

WHY THIS PARTNERSHIP?  In summer 2023, we saw GRIEF HOTEL by Liza Birkenmeier, directed by Tara Ahmadinejad, in Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks. It was a beautiful production of an absolutely stunning play, funny and fiercely moving.

We were delighted. We also felt proud. Because we just love Liza and Tara—whom we’ve supported and championed individually for years, as participants in our core development programs and through all kinds of production.

Now here they were collaborating, and the mischievous specificity we’d seen spring up in their separate work over time merged into a mutual vision.  (A collaboration now honored with a 2024 OBIE Award Special Citation!)

So when Clubbed Thumb started talking about bringing GRIEF HOTEL back for a longer run, we hopped on board! And now have the pleasure of inviting YOU. To join ALL of us at The Public Theater for one big fun exciting takes-a-village celebration of this swell play.

It’s our mission—frankly it’s our bliss—to build long-running relationships with artists, to stand with them as they experiment, make work, enter more visible phases of their careers. Partnering with our close comrades at Clubbed Thumb on GRIEF HOTEL’s return makes us really happy.



The Shiva at The Public
March 20 to April 27 2024


Photos: Maria Baranova


Liza Birkenmeier’s recent work includes F*ck7thGrade with Jill Sobule (Wild Project), Islander with Katie Brook (HERE), Honestly Sincere (TiQ), Please Welcome Our Guest with Trish Harnetiaux (MTC Snapshot Series), and Dr. Ride’s American Beach House (Ars Nova.) Liza is a New Georges Affiliated Artist and a Macdowell and Yaddo Fellow. She is an alum of Play Group, Playwrights Realm, and EWG, and was the 2019 Tow Playwright-in-Residence at Ars Nova.

Tara Ahmadinejad is a director and co-founder of the live arts collective Piehole. Most recently, she directed Mourning // Morning by Gelsey Bell (Prototype Festival, HERE Arts Center, NY Times Critic’s Pick) and Lunch Bunch by Sarah Einspanier (PlayCo, Clubbed Thumb, NY Times Critic’s Pick). With Piehole, she has directed and co-authored boundary-pushing live art for theaters, galleries, and digital spaces, including collaborations with the LA-based Tender Claws in AR and VR: Tendar (Sundance 2018) and The Under Presents (Oculus, Sundance 2019, Emmy Finalist). Piehole’s recent work includes Christmas Mountain, a media installation at WNYC’s The Greene Space, and Disclaimer (Drama League Award Nominee, NYC Women’s Fund), written/performed by Ahmadinejad, which premiered at The Public’s Under the Radar 2021. Other recent directing includes digital collaborations with Satoko Ichihara (Japan Society), Eliza Bent (New Georges), Rinne Groff (Clubbed Thumb), and Scarlett Kim (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Resident Futurist at Pig Iron; NYTW Usual Suspect; New Georges Affiliated Artist; MFA Columbia University.