The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park season will be back this summer with a production of Othello, directed by Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, as well as a re-imagined staging of the acclaimed 2016 Public Works musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The production will mark the first time the Public has presented a full-length run of a Public Works show, which typically play very limited engagements on the Delacorte Stage in Central Park.
Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober, Jacob Ming-Trent, and creator Shaina Taub will reprise their roles from the original Public Works production.
Othello, not seen on the Delacorte stage since 1991, will kick off the season May 29, and is scheduled to run through June 24. Casting and a full creative team will be announced at a later date. The tragedy follows the downfall of a man who is plagued by jealousy and deceit.
Twelfth Night, conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Taub, will begin performances July 17. The adaptation features music and lyrics by Taub, and direction by artistic director Oskar Eustis and Kwei-Armah.
Public Works, The Public’s local and national initiative, invites diverse communities across New York to join in creating and performing in ambitious works for the stage. The 2016 Public Works production of Twelfth Night ran September 2–5 and featured 200 actors and members of the community.
Five Equity actors and two rotating ensembles of community members from all five boroughs will perform with the principal cast in the return engagement this summer. One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, the tale weaves stories of mistaken identity, wild characters, and unusual courtships. Performances will run through August 19.
“Public Works has been the most exciting new program The Public has created in a generation,” said Eustis in a statmeent. “Our Labor Day weekend pageants for the past five years have been greeted with rapture and imitation, having spawned sister projects in Dallas, Detroit, Seattle and the National Theatre in London. This summer, we are making a huge leap forward by presenting a full-length run of a Public Works show: Shaina Taub and Kwame Kwei-Armah's delightful and intoxicating musical version of Twelfth Night. Surrounded by a huge ensemble of community members, Twelfth Night will reach an enormously expanded audience with the deep Public Works message that everyone is an artist, and we are all in this together.”
Tickets to Shakepeare in the Park are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park beginning at noon on the day of each performance. Tickets will also be distributed by random mobile lottery on the TodayTix app or can be purchased via a tax-deductible donation. For information and to donate, call (212) 967-7555.