Gersten, currently the executive producer of Lincoln Center Theater, served as associate producer at the Public Theater (then the New York Shakespeare Festival) alongside Joe Papp. Gersten's career at the Public included such works as A Chorus Line, Two Gentlemen of Verona, For Colored Girls…, Much Ado About Nothing, Sticks and Bones, Streamers, Threepenny Opera, The Cherry Orchard and Hair. In addition to Gersten, the Public will honor Bank of America, which has been a corporate sponsor of Shakespeare in the Park for the past four years. The event will feature an al fresco dinner, followed by a performance of Merchant and an after party at Belvedere Castle in Central Park.
"Years ago we borrowed a catchphrase from The New Yorker and adopted the slogan, 'And then there’s free Shakespeare in Central Park.' Now, a full 50 years later, we proudly, happily and miraculously, mirabile dictu, replay the original only slightly modified 'there's still free Shakespeare in Central Park!'" Gersten said in a statement.
As previously reported, the Public will stage repertory productions of Merchant of Venice (starring Pacino as Shylock) and The Winter's Tale for Shakespeare in the Park this summer. Performances run June 9-Aug. 1.
The Public is also making the June 30 opening night tickets for The Winter's Tale (including a post-performance reception with the cast) available for $350.
For 2010 summer gala tickets, beginning at $750, phone (212) 539-8547, or e-mail Gala@PublicTheater.org.