The Public Theater kicked off its 2019 Shakespeare in the Park season May 21 with a production of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon. Taking center stage is The Color Purple Tony nominee and Orange Is the New Black star Danielle Brooks, who stars as Beatrice in the Central Park staging.
An ensemble of all-black artists join her, including Tony winner Chuck Cooper as Leonato, Boardwalk Empire's Erik LaRay Harvey as Antonio/Verges, Grantham Coleman (Buzzer) as Benedick, Jeremie Harris (Legion) as Claudio, Daniel Croix Henderson (Seven Guitars,Purchase Rep.) as Balthasar, Tyrone Mitchell Henderson (Yale Rep's An Enemy of the People) as Friar Francis/Sexton, Tiffany Denise Hobbs (Yale Rep’s Twelfth Night) as Ursula, Lateefah Holder (Modern Family) as Dogberry, Billy Eugene Jones (A Raisin in the Sun) as Don Pedro, Margaret Odette (The Convent) as Hero, Hubert Point-Du Jour (Happyish) as Don John, Jaime Lincoln Smith (Pipeline) as Boracchio, and Olivia Washington (The Butler) as Margaret.
Rounding out the company are Jamar Brathwaite, Javen Crosby, Denzel Fields, Tayler HArris, Kai Heath, LaWanda Hopkins, Jazmine Stewart, and Latra A. Wilson.
Check out photos from the production below: