Darko Tresjnak directs. Opening at Martinson Hall in the Public's complex in downtown Manhattan is Oct. 19. Performances continue to Nov. 9.
Among the notable names in the cast are David Harbour (A Bad Friend, Fifth of July) as Arcite, and Candy Buckley (Ring Round the Moon, Cabaret), who will play a variety of roles. Also in the cast are Opal Alladin, Liam Craig, Jonathan Fried, Graham Hamilton, Tyrone Mitchell Henderson, Jennifer Ikeda, Doan Ly and Sam Tsoutsouvas.
Two Noble Kinsmen is a rarely seen collaboration between Shakespeare and John Fletcher which was created at the end of the former's life. The play is often left out of "complete works" collections of The Bard's work, and some scholars question whether Shakespeare had anything to do with the text.
John Fletcher was a contemporary of Shakespeare's who is also said to have teamed with his more famous friend on Henry VIII and Cardenio. He is better known, however, for his confirmed work with another man, Francis Beaumont. Together, they authored Philaster and The Maid's Tragedy. (Some have said that it was Beaumont, not the Bard, who co authored Kinsmen.)
New to this play? Join the club. Here's how The Public explains it: "Two prisoners of war spy the beautiful Emilia through the prison bars. A friendship that should have lasted forever descends into bitter rivalry." The 10-actor staging "celebrates the complexity of sexuality and love." This marks the first production of The Two Noble Kinsman produced by The Public Theater, which has long had Shakespeare as part of its mission.
Darko Tresnjak is the memorably-named director who has cut a swath through regional theatre. In the past four seasons, Tresnjak has found work at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Boston's Huntington Theatre, the Westport Country Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals of Connecticut and San Diego's Old Globe. In New York, his work was seen at the now defunct Blue Light Theatre Company.
Designers are David Gordon (scenic), Linda Cho (costume), Robert Wierzel (lighting) and Michael Creason (sound).
The remainder of the Public season includes Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine's drama Biro, Caroline, Or Change, a new musical boasting a score by composer Jeanine Tesori and playwright Tony Kushner, the world premiere of Tracey Scott Wilson's play The Story, and Lisa Kron's play Well. The 2003-2004 season will also include a partnership with the LAByrinth Theater Company, which will present Robert Glaudini's Dutch Heart of Man.
The Public Theater is located in Manhattan at 425 Lafayette Street. Tickets are available at the theatre's box office or by calling (212) 239-6200. For more information, visit the Public Theater at www.publictheater.org.