The Public Theater has announced that its three-week tour of Romeo and Juliet will kick off March 18, bringing Shakespeare to audiences who have limited or no access to the arts. For the first time in the Mobile Unit's history, the production will stop at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in Manhattan March 23.
The Bard's celebrated tale of star-crossed lovers and family feuds will tour for free throughout New York City's five boroughs through April 9, before a sit-down run at the Public Theater, April 11-May 1, with tickets priced at $20. The limited Off-Broadway staging will officially open April 15.
“The Mobile Unit is the purest expression of The Public Theater’s mission, to make sure the culture belongs to everyone,“ said artistic director Oskar Eustis in a press statement. “The genius of Lear deBessonet which has been so beautifully visible at the Delacorte for the last three years, will now be seen throughout the city in prisons, community centers, and shelters. We are blessed in her.“
Directed by Public Works director deBessonet, the complete cast features Sheldon Best, Jorge Eliézer Chacón, Mahira Kakkar, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Danny Rivera, David Ryan Smith, Marques Toliver, Max Woertendyke and Ayana Workman.
“There is much to love about this production of Romeo & Juliet, but I’m particularly excited to welcome Public Works Director, Lear deBessonet, and Joe’s Pub artist, Marques Toliver, to the Mobile Unit,“ said director of special artistic projects Stephanie Ybarra. “A mash-up of the Mobile Unit, Public Works, and Joe’s Pub is the kind of thing that can only happen at The Public Theater. It is a collaboration befitting of this rare opportunity to share Shakespeare’s most popular story with audiences who have never seen or read the play before.“
The production features scenic design by Wilson Chin, costume design by Andrea Hood, music composition by Marques Toliver, choreography by Benoit-Swan Pouffer and fight direction by Lisa Kopitsky.
Tour dates will include the following venues:
Pelham Fritz Recreation Center, Manhattan (March 18).
Highbridge Recreation Center, Manhattan (March 19).
Lenox Hill Women’s Mental Health Shelter at the Park Avenue Armory, Manhattan (March 21).
Brownsville Recreation Center, Brooklyn (March 22).
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Manhattan (March 23).
Queensboro Correctional Facility, Queens (March 24).
Rikers Island Correction Facility, Rikers Island (March 25 and March 30).
New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, Manhattan (March 26).
DreamYard Arts Project, Bronx (March 28).
Casita Maria, Bronx (March 29).
Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn (March 31 and April 1).
Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center, Bronx (April 2).
Metropolitan Correctional Center, Manhattan (April 4).
ICL Personalized Recovery-Oriented Services, Brooklyn (April 5).
Taconic Correctional Facility, Westchester (April 6).
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Westchester (April 7).
St. Paul’s Chapel, Manhattan (April 8).
Faber Park Field House, Staten Island (April 9).
For more information, to RSVP to certain performances, or purchase tickets to the Public Theater engagement, visit publictheater.org