The Public returned to repertory format for the 2010 season with The Winter's Tale and Merchant of Venice at the Delacorte Theater. However, the central leads did not appear in both titles. Merchant famously starred Al Pacino.
For 2011, the Public has assembled a unified company of actors, with one exception, who will appear in both productions. The 2011 Shakespeare in the Park season will run June 6-July 30 at the Delacorte Theater.
Daniel Sullivan, who staged Twelfth Night in 2009 and last year's Merchant of Venice, directs All's Well That Ends Well. David Esbjornson, currently represented with the Broadway revival of Driving Miss Daisy, will stage Measure for Measure. Both productions were also paired for the 1993 Shakespeare in the Park season.
In Measure for Measure and All's Well, Cullum (The Scottsboro Boys, Shenandoah) will portray Escalus/King of France with Pinkins (The Wild Party, Caroline, or Change) as Mistress Overdone/Countess. The acting company will also include Diane Davis (Juliet/Diana), Carson Elrod (Pompey/Interpreter), Danai Gurira (Isabella in Measure for Measure), Joe Forbrich (Friar/Duke of Florence), Michael Hayden (Angelo/Second Brother Dumaine), André Holland (Claudio/Bertram), Jordan Lund (Abhorson/Rinaldo), David Manis (Elbow/Lavatch), Dakin Matthews (Provost/Lafew), Caitlin O’Connell (Nun/Widow), Annie Parisse (Mariana/Helena), Lorenzo Pisoni (Duke/First Brother Dumaine), Reg Rogers (Lucio/Parolles) and Lucas Caleb Rooney (Barnadine/Gentleman).
Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal composer Tom Kitt will pen music for All's Well That Ends Well, and John Gromada (Next Fall, Julius Caesar) will create music for Measure for Measure. Kitt also scored last season's Winter's Tale. The productions will have scenic design by Scott Pask; costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy (Measure for Measure) and Jane Greenwood (All’s Well That Ends Well); lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski; and sound design by Acme Sound Partners.
Here's how the Public bills the classics:
Measure for Measure "sweeps from the corridors of national power to the intimate confines of the bedroom, and from the convent's chapel to the executioner’s block. It is Shakespeare at his grittiest: a bracing and bawdy glimpse of what happens when those in power allow their basest human impulses to range unchecked."
All's Well That Ends Well "is a fairytale for grown-ups. This beguiling fable follows the low-born Helena, one of Shakespeare’s most resourceful heroines, as she inventively surmounts obstacle after impossible obstacle in order to win the love of the aristocratic and haughty Count Bertram."