Off-Broadway's The Public has announced the cast for its upcoming Free Shakespeare in the Park production of As You Like It, a musical adaptation by Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery of Shakespeare's comedy. Woolery directs the run which will begin August 10, with opening night set for August 30 and performances through September 11.
Starring in the cast will be Damion Allen as William, Tristan André as De Boys/Attendant, Ato Blankson-Wood a Orlando, Lori Brown-Niang as Agent/Puppet-deer, Brianna Cabrera as Silvia, Darius de Haas as Duke Senior, Bianca Edwards as Phoebe, Pierre Harmony Graves as De Boys/Arden Dancer/Young Orlando Dad, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Rosalind, Jonathan Jordan as Andy, Bobby Moody as De Boys/Arden Dancer, Renrick Palmer as Oliver, Eric Pierre as Duke Frederick, Idania Quezada as Celia, Christopher M. Ramirez as Touchstone, Edwin Rivera as De Boys/Attendant, and Shaina Taub as Jaques. De Haas, Perez, and Taub are all reprising their roles from the 2017 Public Works production.
Serving as understudies and standbys are Amar Atkins, Sean-Michael Bruno, Danyel Fulton, Emily Gardner Xu Hall, Trevor McGhie, Mike Millán, Kevin Tate, Claudia Yanez. Joining the cast will be two rotating ensembles of 127 New Yorkers from all five boroughs, much like the adaptation's 2017 run.
In the Shakespeare comedy, Orlando, Duke Senior, his daughter Rosalind, and niece Celia find a welcoming community filled with love after being exiled to the Forest of Arden.
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The creative team also features scenic designer Myung Hee Cho, costume designer Emilio Sosa, lighting designer Isabella Byrd, sound designer Sun Hee Kil, hair, wig, and makeup designer Leah Loukas, and puppet designer James Ortiz. Original choreography is by Sonya Tayeh, with choreography restaging and additional choreography by Billy Griffin. Prop management will be by Corinne Gologursky, with Delacorte 2022 sound system design by Daniel Lundberg, orchestrations by Mike Brun, music direction by Andrea Grody, music coordination by Dean Sharenow, and fight direction by Lisa Kopitsky. Kristen Gibbs will serve as production stage manager, joined by Anaïs Bustos and Jessie Moore as stage managers.
Of the production, director Woolery said, "Our musical adaptation of As You Like It was created in response to a shifting world post the 2016 presidential election, where polarizing opinions fractured relationships and created a culture of ‘othering’ one another. Over the last five years, our country has experienced a global pandemic, anti-racist uprising, and so much loss that has further isolated us. The nature of theatre is to gather and sit in community with one another. The heart of the story of As You Like It contains the possibility of humans being whole again through the healing power of community and its ability to gather and hold space for one another during the darkest of times. This is a dream we had for over two years and can’t wait to gather together in community, outdoors, under the stars at The Delacorte Theater."
For tickets and more information, visit PublicTheater.org.