Lynn Collins, recently seen in the Al Pacino film version of The Merchant of Venice, will play the lead role of Rosalind. The Texas-born Collins played Portia in the film "Merchant." Trained at Juilliard, she portrayed Ophelia to Liev Schreiber's Hamlet in a production at the Public, and was Juliet in Peter Hall's Romeo and Juliet at the Ahmanson theatre in Los Angeles. She will play Charlotte Bronte in the upcoming film "Bronte." Bedford is the respected classical actor who has appeared on Broadway to acclaim in Tartuffe, The Moliere Comedies, London Assurance and Two Shakespearean Actors. Thomas was recently on Broadway in Democracy.
The Rivals' Mark Lamos, a Tony nominee for his direction of Our Country's Good, will helm Shakespeare's As You Like It, which will run June 25-July 17.
Two productions will be offered this summer at Shakespeare in Central Park: both As You Like It and A Midsummer Night's Dream. The stagings will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Public Theater. Outgoing Public Theater producer George C. Wolfe will direct A Midsummer Night's Dream. Dream is scheduled to play the Delacorte Aug. 9 Sept. 4.
Summer 2005 will mark the first time in four years that the Public has presented two separate Shakespeare productions. Public Theater executive director Mara Manus told the Times that increased donations for the Public's 50th anniversary will allow two productions this coming summer. "Financially, we're in a much better place," explained Manus.
In summer 2004, Shakespeare in Central Park presented Much Ado About Nothing. Jimmy Smits starred as the cocky Benedick with Kristen Johnston as the stubborn Beatrice.