Original Wicked Star, "Sesame Street" and Rosie's Theater Kids Will Tell The Winter's Tale at the Delacorte
24 Jul 2014
Casting has been announced for the Public Works production of The Winter's Tale, which will feature professional actors and performers alongside community organizations from across New York City. The Public Theater presents the free staging of the Shakespeare work that has been adapted by songwriter Todd Almond and director Lear deBessonet.
Presented Sept. 5-7, The Winter's Tale will feature Almond as Antigonus, alongside Christopher Fitzgerald (Wicked) as Autolycus, Isaiah Johnson (The Merchant of Venice) as Leontes and David Turner (On A Clear Day...) as Clown. Groups making cameo performances include "Sesame Street," Rosie's Theater Kids, New York Theatre Ballet, DanceBrazil, Shinbone Alley Stilt Band, Staten Island Lions and AATMA Performing Arts.
Participating community groups include Children's Aid Society (Manhattan); DreamYard Project (Bronx); Fortune Society (Queens); Brownsville Recreation Center (Brooklyn); and Domestic Workers United (all boroughs, including Staten Island).
According to the Public, "The Winter's Tale brings Shakespeare's tale of mystery and magic to life as never before. Featuring Public Works' signature blend of professional actors, community members, and special guests, this musical adaptation will explode with authentic performances that come together to tell Shakespeare’s beloved fable of hard-won joy and the promise of renewal."
"Public Works is about pursuing a fully participatory model of theater. We have people of all ages and backgrounds coming together from across the city to tell this story," deBessonet said in a statement. "The project both celebrates the depth of our community partnerships, and also creates the opportunity for us to work with these splendid cameo groups from all over the city – it will be a Winter's Tale with stilt walkers, Bollywood dancers, and cast members ranging from small children to elders, and also one defined by the robustness of the relationships developed over two years of community collaboration."
DeBessonet and Almond previously collaborated on the 2013 premiere Public Works production of The Tempest. Their work together also includes The Odyssey at San Diego's Old Globe, as well as Don Quixote in Philadelphia.
Tickets to The Winter's Tale are free and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park the day of the show beginning at noon. The Public Theater is offering free tickets through its Virtual Ticketing lottery at shakespeareinthepark.org on the day of the show.