Presented as part of the Bridge Project – which unites BAM and London's Old Vic Theatre – both productions will star the previously announced Simon Russell Beale (as Leontes in A Winter's Tale and Lopakhin in The Cherry Orchard).
A spokesperson for BAM confirmed that Tony nominee Sinead Cusack (Rock 'n' Roll, Cyrano) and Rebecca Hall (Mrs. Warren's Profession, "Frost/Nixon") have also been cast in both productions.
The Cherry Orchard and A Winter's Tale will begin New York rehearsals in October with openings slated for January 2009 at BAM. Following the BAM engagement, the productions will make several international stops prior to settling down for a summer 2009 run at the Old Vic.
The previously announced productions of The Tempest and Hamlet, which were to have featured Stephen Dillane and kick off the Bridge Project at BAM, have been postponed due to an illness in Dillane's family.
Sam Mendes made his Broadway directorial debut with the critically acclaimed revival of Cabaret – earning the 1998 Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. Mendes, who was also artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, earned Tony Awards for presenting the Broadway productions of Take Me Out and The Real Thing. He most recently staged the 2003 revival of Gypsy starring Bernadette Peters. For his directorial film debut, Mendes received the Academy Award for Best Director on "American Beauty."