Dangerous Demi-God: Groff and Company Open The Bacchae

News   Dangerous Demi-God: Groff and Company Open The Bacchae Tony nominee Jonathan Groff leads the cast of the Shakespeare in the Park production of Euripides' The Bacchae, which opens at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on Aug. 24.
The Bacchae's Jonathan Groff and Anthony Mackie.
The Bacchae's Jonathan Groff and Anthony Mackie. Photo by Joan Marcus

Former Public Theater artistic director JoAnne Akalaitis stages the 90-minute adaptation that began previews Aug. 11 and will conclude its outdoor run Aug. 30. The Shakespeare in the Park production of The Bacchae features the work of Oscar nominated composer Philip Glass, who created an original choral score for Nicholas Ruddall's adaptation of the brutal work.

Groff (Spring Awakening, Prayer for My Enemy) stars as Dionysus, in a cast that also features Tony nominee André DeShields (Archbishop Tartuffe) as Teiresias, Anthony Mackie (The Good Negro) as Pentheus, George Bartenieff as Cadmus, Karen Kandel as Chorus Leader, Joan MacIntosh as Agave, Steven Rishard as Cowherd and Rocco Sisto as Messenger.

The Bacchae chorus members include April Armstrong, Sullivan Corey and Tara Hugo, who join Marisa Echeverria, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Ikeda, Jennifer Nikki Kidwell, Alexa Kryzaniwsky, Vella Lovell, Nana Mensah, Ereni Sevasti, Elena Shaddow and Han Tang.

According to the Public, Akalaitis "re-imagines the classic story about what happens when a government attempts to outlaw desire."

The Delacorte staging has scenic design by John Conklin, costume design by Kaye Voyce and lighting design by Jennifer Tipton.

Euripides' tragedy marks the fourth time a Greek work has been presented by The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park, following Electra (1964), Agamemnon (1977) and Medea (1986).

Performances of Shakespeare in the Park are Tuesday-Sunday at 8 PM. Tickets are free and are available on the day of the performance (two per person) at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park beginning at 1 PM, or by entering the Public's online ticketing lottery at PublicTheater.

The closest entrances to the Delacorte are located at 81st Street and Central Park West or 70th Street and Fifth Avenue.

André De Shields and the chorus of <I>The Bacchae</I>
André De Shields and the chorus of The Bacchae