Hair and Hamlet Set for Shakespeare in the Park

News   Hair and Hamlet Set for Shakespeare in the Park The Public Theater's summer Shakespeare in the Park productions will be Hair starring Jonathan Groff and Hamlet starring Michael Stuhlbarg.
Jonathan Groff, who will star in Hair.
Jonathan Groff, who will star in Hair. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis will direct Tony Award winner Richard Easton and Tony nominee Stuhlbarg in the Shakespeare tragedy. Stuhlbarg will play prince Hamlet, and Easton will play Polonius. Performances will be May 27-June 29. The production has not played Central Park's Delacorte stage since 1975.

Summer 2008 will also mark the return of the iconic rock musical Hair. Based on an acclaimed concert production seen in summer 2007 as part of the Joe's Pub in the Park series, the Public will mount a fully-staged version of Hair July 22-Aug. 17.

The Public has invited back the cast from that earlier 40th anniversary Delacorte staging. Confirmed so far are Spring Awakening's Groff as Claude and Will Swenson (110 in the Shade) as Berger.

More casting will be announced. Diane Paulus will repeat her directorial duties for the fully realized Delacorte production.

"What a piece of work is man!" Eustis stated. "Both Park shows this year center on idealistic brilliant men as they struggle to find their place in a world marred by war, violence, and venal politics. They see both the luminous possibilities and the harshest realities of being human. In the end, unable to effectively combat the evil around them, they tragically succumb. Hamlet and Hair represent both sides of The Public's twin mission to create productions of Shakespeare that speak to our time and new work that is Shakespearean in its aspirations." Performances of Shakespeare in the Park are Tuesday through 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 and at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street (near Astor Place), from 1-3 PM.

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

For additional information about Shakespeare in the Park, call (212) 539-8750 or visit The Public Theater website at www.publictheater.org.