Drawing on the success of its repertory productions of The Winter's Tale and Merchant of Venice at the Delacorte in 2010, the Public has returned to the format with a unified company of actors for Measure for Measure and All's Well That Ends Well. (Only Danai Gurira does not appear in both works.)
David Esbjornson, who staged the Broadway production of Driving Miss Daisy this past season, directs Measure for Measure, which will officially open Jun 30. Daniel Sullivan, who staged Twelfth Night in 2009 and last year's Merchant of Venice, directs All's Well That Ends Well, which will begin previews June 11 and officially open June 25. The productions will run through July 30.
Measure for Measure and All's Well That Ends Well cast members include Tony Awards winners John Cullum ( The Scottsboro Boys, Shenandoah) as Escalus/King of France and Tonya Pinkins ( The Wild Party, Caroline, or Change) as Mistress Overdone/Countess, as well as Kristen Connolly (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).
The ensemble includes Bill Army, Lauren Ferguson, Edena Hines, Zoey Martinson, Adam McNulty, Katie Meister, Charlie Francis Murphy, Carra Patterson, James Rees, Aleque Reid, Benjamin Thys, Brendan Titley, Katie Tuminelly, Zachary Unger, Benjamin Perry Wenzelberg, Katie Wieland and Roger Yeh.
Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal composer Tom Kitt wrote music for All's Well That Ends Well, and John Gromada ( Next Fall, Julius Caesar) is the composer for Measure for Measure. Kitt also scored last season's Winter's Tale. The productions 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."
Performances of Shakespeare in the Park 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, or by entering the Public's online ticketing lottery at ShakespeareinthePark.org.
The closest entrances to the Delacorte are located at 81st Street and Central Park West or 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.