As You Like It, Featuring Lily Rabe, and Into the Woods Set for Shakespeare in the Park
By Andrew Gans
The Public Theater announced Jan. 26 the line-up for the 50th Anniversary Shakespeare in the Park season at the Delacorte.
Daniel Sullivan, who directed acclaimed productions of All’s Well That Ends Well, The Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night in the Park, will return to direct As You Like It in June with Lily Rabe, who is currently on Broadway in Seminar, as Rosalind. The production will also feature scenic design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Jane Greenwood, lighting design by Natasha Katz and sound design by Acme Sound Partners.
The second show of the anniversary season will be Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony-winning Into the Woods, directed by Timothy Sheader with co-direction by Liam Steel. Based on the Olivier Award-winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre London production in 2010, The Public Theater staging will be an all-new production with an American cast to be announced. The musical will begin performances at the end of July. (A casting notice lists performance dates as July 24-Aug. 19.)
Into the Woods will feature scenic design by John Lee Beatty and Soutra Gilmour, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Natasha Katz, movement direction by Liam Steel and sound design by Acme Sound Partners.
Bank of America continues its leadership sponsorship in support of The Public’s mission to keep Shakespeare in the Park free.
"For half a century the Delacorte has been at the heart of New York culture, a priceless embodiment of America's democratic promise, offering superb performances of the greatest plays in our literature, free for the people,” said artistic director Oskar Eustis in a statement. “To celebrate, we are offering two magnificent plays about the lessons to be learned in the forest: Shakespeare's As You Like It, and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's masterpiece Into the Woods. Lily Rabe is returning, after her luminous performance as Portia in Dan Sullivan's production of The Merchant of Venice, to assay the greatest of Shakespeare's heroines, Rosalind. And I'm delighted that we are adding Stephen Sondheim to the Delacorte's roster: our greatest artist of musical theater will sit very comfortably next to Shakespeare. Sondheim in the Park has a good ring to it.”
The Delacorte Theatre officially opened in Central Park on June 18, 1962, with The Merchant of Venice, directed by Joseph Papp and Gladys Vaughan and featuring George C. Scott as Shylock.
Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are free and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park at 1 PM the day of the show. The Public Theater will again offer free tickets through its Virtual Ticketing lottery at www.shakespeareinthepark.org on the day of the show.
In honor of five decades at the Delacorte, The Public Theater is launching the 50th Anniversary Fellows Program to help support free Shakespeare in the Park for years to come. For more information on the Fellows Program, visit www.shakespeareinthepark.org.
The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is accessible by entering at 81st Street and Central Park West or at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.
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