Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal) helms Winter's Tale, Shakespeare's late-career "romance." Tony winner Daniel Sullivan directs The Merchant of Venice. Both play the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The productions are cross-cast, although Al Pacino and Lily Rabe do not appear in Winter's Tale, and Linda Emond and Ruben Santiago-Hudson do not appear in Merchant.
The Winter's Tale stars Tony Award nominee Linda Emond (Life (x) 3, A Spanish Play) as wronged queen Hermione and Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Seven Guitars, Jelly's Last Jam) as the king who cracks, Leontes.
The repertory acting company also features Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Young Shepherd/Lord/Launcelot Gobbo), Jesse L. Martin (Polixenes/Gratiano), Max Wright (Old Shepherd/Prince of Arragon), Bill Heck (Lord/Lorenzo), Hamish Linklater (Autolycus/Lord/Bassanio), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Paulina/Nerissa), Gerry Bamman (Antigonus/Duke of Venice), Francois Battiste (Florizel/Lord/Salerio), Byron Jennings (Camillo/Antonio), Heather Lind (Perdita/Jessica), Nyambi Nyambi (Lord/Prince of Morocco), Matthew Rauch (Dion/Jailer/Solanio) and Richard Topol (Lord/Tubal).
The ensemble includes Happy Anderson, Liza J. Bennett, Tyler Caffall, Cary Donaldson, Luke Forbes, Bryce Gill, Shalita Grant, Jade Hawk, Bethany Heinrich, Tia James, Kelsey Kurz, Brian Macdonald, Alexander Maier, Dorien Makhloghi and Joe Short.
Here is a look at the opening night:
Stars Celebrate Shakespeare in the Park Openings
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 Theatre in Central Park beginning at 1 PM, or by entering the Public's online ticketing lottery at ShakespeareinthePark.org.